Welcome on my stop for one of the most chilling stories I have read. Sometimes what looks normal turns out to be awfully scary. Really…
As usual, this review is my unbiased thanks to the fabulous Bookouture team and the wonderful Kim!
Title: The Reunion
Author: Samantha Hayes
Date of publication: 9th Feb 2018
Number of pages: 386
THEN – In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom.
Eleanor never came back.
NOW – The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.
When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…
If you loved Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, this gripping psychological thriller packed full of twists and turns will be impossible to put down
The more I read books from Bookouture, the more I want to find a little lodge in the middle of nowhere and live as a recluse! Yes, The Reunion had this effect on me. How could it not? Now I’m even glad I don’t have a group of old friends to gather on special occasions…
Whether it be in the words themselves or simply the story, The Reunion is an escape game without the exit issue. Friends and family meeting again after many years and a tragedy, for the sake of an old man, for … some relief? Right from the start, the book hit me hard as it tackles a subject I am facing with a family member. I hesitated, one finger lingered on the close tab. But something held me back and I am glad it did.
I easily stepped into Claire’s shoes; a woman, daughter, wife, mother, friend. Faced with life’s hardships, riddled with a guilt that has not left her side for decades, she only wanted a respite from it all. What could possibly go wrong when you are surrounded by loved ones? From my experience? Everything! But the author takes the gathering to another level of hell!
We jump from one point of view to another, we witness things that don’t seem important, we get clues that will become essential later, but not in a big family crisis way. The Reunion is quiet. As quiet as so many people can be parked in one place! The shadow of past events leaves a coat of silence around, things happen in hushed tones, letting an unsettling feeling creep under your skin as the family saga unfolds and plays with your emotions.
There’s a character for everyone to appreciate, to suspect, to connect to, to feel sorry for. I disliked some, I did not care for others. But Samantha Hayes makes sure you always are on the edge of your seat. Yes, I ended up having strong suspicions about a certain character, and yes, I was right (I always feel so proud when it happens!) but it doesn’t matter. The astonishing narration and the blend of events and dates, days and nights, are enough to keep you going.
You get a mixed bowl of people who creates such intense drama you cannot stay out of it and it becomes your reunion, too. You are part of it. This is where the genius lies in The Reunion. It took me minutes to realize my jaw was almost touching the floor, this is HOW GOOD IT IS!! Don’t try and learn too much about the story before you grab it. Or before it grabs you. Open the book and enjoy watching the past and the present reunite.
Have I convinced you? Try the other stops on the tour and grab a copy here!
Samantha Hayes grew up in a creative family where her love of writing began as a child. Samantha has written eight thrillers in total, including the bestselling Until You’re Mine. The Independent said “fantastically written and very tense” while Good Housekeeping said “Her believable psychological thrillers are completely gripping.” Samantha’s books are published in 22 languages at the last count.
When not writing, Samantha loves to cook, go to the gym, see friends and drink nice wine. She is also studying for a degree in psychotherapy. She has three grown-up children and lives in Warwickshire.