Author: Allie Reynolds
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Read: October 2020
Expected publication: 27 January 2021
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2
When Milla is invited to a reunion
in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she
drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that
winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can't seem to let
The five friends haven't seen each other for ten years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia. But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realise they don't know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth.
In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.
What attracted me to this book:
Edgy closed-door mysteries are a joy to read, and SHIVER fell firmly into this category – it’s hard to believe that this is Allie Reynolds’ debut novel!
Firstly, we have an atmospheric setting, a ski retreat high up in the French Alps. This seems to be a popular theme in mysteries right now, but so far no one has pulled it off as well for me as Reynolds, because she has kept it simple and believable without trying too hard to fit in 100 plot twists. A lonely glacier, five friends who share a terrible secret, and someone who is out to get revenge. An old but trusty theme that never fails if it’s executed well.
With her insider knowledge into competitive snowboarding, it was no surprise that Reynolds was able to evoke that scene very well. I loved the way the friends, who are all professional snowboarders, are close and supportive, and yet also very competitive, a mix that will ultimately get them into strive. And whilst each and every one of them is flawed in some way, I felt I could relate to all of them, even the “villain” of the story, Saskia, who is the most ruthless and driven of them all.
Reynolds knows how to build suspense, which had me glued to the pages for hours, reluctant to put the book down. It all played out movie-like in my head, and my travel deprived self was divided between wanting to be in the ski lodge and running for cover, screaming. In a movie, the scenes would be heavily foreshadowed by creepy music, but Reynolds achieves this just by cleverly constructing her story and knowing how much to reveal at just the right time. I have found that these types of mysteries seem to work best for me if told from only one POV, and I was happy to find an enigmatic protagonist in Milla, who was just enough of an unreliable narrator that I wanted to trust her but also never believed all she told me. A perfect mix!
SHIVER will come out early in 2021, just in time for the European winter. The perfect whodunit to curl up with in front of the fire, best with all the lights on and the doors locked. As far as armchair travel goes, it was the perfect setting! Seeing that this may be as close as I’ll get to travel for quite some time yet, I am very grateful to the author for taking me on this journey. A great debut and highly recommended!
Thank you to Netgalley and Hachette Australia for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.