- The Split.
- Sharon Bolton.
- 400 pages.
- Thriller / Psychological Thriller / Mystery.
- My Rating: Hellyeah Book Review.
SHE’S GOT NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE.
A year ago, in desperation, Felicity Lloyd signed up for a lengthy research trip to the remote island of South Georgia.
It was her only way to escape.
AND NOW HE’S COMING FOR HER.
Freddie Lloyd has served time for murder. Out at last, he’s on her trail.
And this time, he won’t stop until he finds her.
BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW FAR YOU RUN, SOME SECRETS WILL ALWAYS CATCH UP WITH YOU…
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Felicity Lloyd has taken a two-year assignment as a glaciologist working as part of a research team for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on the remote island of South Georgia, an inhospitable and remote island in the South Atlantic, between the Antarctic and the Falkland Islands. The job, studying the glaciers, the meltwater and how it forms blue lakes and then drains away in the area was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Felicity but, it also allowed her the chance to escape from her estranged husband who since his release from prison months before has been pursuing, relentlessly searching for her. Each new cruise ship that passes the area brings a new bunch of tourists to the island and so far, each ship and the tourists that have arrived have come and gone and the name that Felicity has dreaded to see on the passenger list, that of Freddie has been absent.
Watching the horizon, waiting for that last ship and the impending doom that its arrival will bring Felicity is scared, terrified at the prospect of the boat arriving and with it, bringing her husband, the in her mind demonised Freddie. With each previous ship, she has been lucky but, everyone’s luck eventually runs out and the well of hope runs dry. With the last ship of the season, the looming spectre, the ghost that has been haunting her appears and becomes real, the shadow that has been cast over her life becomes manifest and the name that she has feared to see, that has filled her with panic is there. Felicity went to the edge of the world, to escape, to stay away from the malevolent grasp of Freddie. Even that isn’t far enough and the end of the road has appeared, there is nowhere left to run and no place left to hide…Freddie has finally found her.
After Freddie’s arrival in South Georgia Bolton takes us back in time for part two of the story and we find ourselves in Cambridge, England, nine months prior where a damaged and fractured Felicity is having therapy sessions with Dr Joe Grant. Joe is treating Felicity after she was found bloody and bruised with no memory of what happened to her and due to that, she needs to be signed off by her employer to say that she is fit to return work. Felicity is suffering lapses in memory, missing time and bouts of amnesia. When she regains consciousness and comes back to herself she is confused and disorientated and doesn’t know where she is or what she has been doing. She also seems to have forgotten large parts of her life and there are strange things happened to her, she is hearing voices, someone is breaking into her house and moving items around and she feels like she is being followed, stalked and watched.
Joe has only recently returned to work after being viciously attacked by a patient and he is still dealing with the after-effects and the trauma caused by the assault. He spends a lot of his free time helping the homeless, talking to them, listening to them and treating them free of charge. One of his homeless client’s, a young woman has been murdered and there is someone out there who is terrorising the homeless population of Cambridge.
The Split is told in four parts. Part one is in South Georgia and part two in Cambridge. Part three is also set in Cambridge a few months after the end of part two and then, with part four, Bolton brings us full circle and we find ourselves back in South Georgia and the present as Freddie is closing in on Felicity.
I really like it in books when the setting feels important, plays a role in and is integral to the story that is taking place and this occurs in The Split. During the portion of the story that is spent in Cambridge the city is well-depicted by Bolton but, where the setting really comes to life is when the story is unfolding in South Georgia. In South Georgia the extreme conditions and weather, the ice, the water, the glaciers, the storms, the frigid air, the howling winds, the maelstrom of the sea along with the shipwrecks, the great and hulking bones going to rust and ruin and the derelict and abandoned whaling stations all combine to create a very atmospheric, evocative and vivid setting.
The Split is well-written by Bolton who does a stellar job of keeping the disturbing and unpredictable story filled with suspense and tension throughout. Add in short, snappy and quick-fire chapters from multiple perspectives and you have a fast-paced and intense read that culminates in a breathtaking finale that highlights the awe-inspiring power of nature in a beautiful but deadly and harsh environment.
The Split is clever, chilling and compelling.
Pre-order The Split by Sharon Bolton released in hardback on May 28th, 2020 and available in ebook from April 30th.
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