Source: Review copy
Length: 10 hours 49 minutes
Publication: 30th April 2020 from Trapeze
ASIN : B081J45YQ2
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.
Tense, gripping and with a twist you won’t see coming, Sharon Bolton is back in an explosive new thriller about a woman on the run.
Sharon Bolton must have been born with the word ‘nail-biting’ tattooed on her torso, because she is a supremely talented master of the art of creating suspense. In The Split she outdoes herself, having written a dual location thriller that had my head spinning all through the book ‘til I suspected everyone and trusted no-one.
In the first part of the book, Bolton transports us to South Georgia where Felicity Lloyd, a glaciologist, on South Georgia as part of the British Antarctic Survey team, is anxiously scanning the passenger list of the last boat to arrive in South Georgia before the summer ends and the weather shuts off access.
She’s determined that the man who is looking for her; the man who has travelled thousands of miles to find her, will not do so. And she is prepared to go to extreme lengths to make certain of that. Bolton does a fantastic job of creating the South Atlantic atmosphere. There can be fewer spooky places than an isolated set of small islands in freezing weather where danger lurks at every turn even before you bring in the human kind. From the outset you can feel the tension and Felicity’s fear drives the action forward.
Then, suddenly, we are in Cambridge some 9 months earlier where Felicity is seeing Dr. Joe Grant, a therapist. Joe is a quiet chap, who has, it turns out, quite a traumatised past of his own. His mother, Delilah is a pink haired cop just a little bit too overprotective of her grown son.
Delilah is investigating the death of a homeless woman and is looking for another rough sleeper who has now gone missing,
Felicity has gone to Joe because she has decided that the answer to her problems is to flee the country. She’s been offered the job in South Georgia and intends to take it, but she needs the sign of from a psychologist before she will be accepted to work in the remote and isolated South Georgia conditions. Joe discovers though that Felicity is having real problems. She has huge blanks in her life when she can remember nothing of what she did. She believes she has a stalker; someone who is coming into her house. She has discovered a diary but has no memory at all of ever making the entries that she reads.
As Felicity visits Joe for her sessions, it becomes clear that she has very real problems that make Joe question whether she is fit to take the offered post. But Felicity finds a way to convince Joe to sign her off and before he knows it, she has upped and left.
Now Delilah is beginning to question Felicity’s presence in locations where she is investigating and suspects her involvement in the crimes; something Joe has trouble accepting, even when the evidence seems to be staring him in the face.
Bolton’s talent is to create a series of different, seemingly unconnected strands, and to pull them together in a way that leaves the reader scratching their head and wondering how on earth they are all going to be resolved. Even when you think you have worked out parts of the answer, there are more questions to be asked, and you still don’t quite know who to believe.
The resolution, when it comes takes place in South Georgia where all the principal characters converge for an intense, chilling and dramatic finale.
Katie Scarfe’s clear and convincing narration is very well pitched and her well-modulated and understated tones ensure that the words carry the drama without being over excitable.
Verdict: Intense, dramatic and hugely atmospheric, this was a hugely enjoyable and twisty listen that kept me engrossed in the story and had a logical but unpredictable conclusion.
Sharon Bolton is a Mary Higgins Clark Award winner and an ITW Thriller Award, CWA Gold Dagger and Barry Award nominee. Her books include the Lacey Flint novels: Now You See Me, Dead Scared, Lost, and A Dark and Twisted Tide, and several stand-alones. She lives near London, England.