Book Review: Shiver – Allie Reynolds

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

About The Book

They don’t know what I did. And I intend to keep it that way.

How far would you go to win? Hyper-competitive people, mind games and a dangerous natural environment combine to make the must-read thriller of the year. Fans of Lucy Foley and Lisa Jewell will be gripped by spectacular debut novel Shiver.

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 go.

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.

My Review

Shiver, the debut novel by ex-snowboarder Allie Reynolds is an entertaining thriller and locked room mystery set atop a mountain during a snowstorm. Ten years ago six friends, Milla, Saskia, Curtis, Heather, Dale and Brent were as thick as thieves, until one of them went missing, presumed dead. Now, they have reunited to commemorate their absent friend at the place they all lived and worked; Le Rocher. Most of them were champion snowboarders, working their way to a spot in the Olympics and the events of that winter forever changed them all. They have returned to Le Rocher in the off season and the resort is empty apart from the five of them, high up on the mountain to commemorate the loss of their friend.

All is not as it seems though. There is some confusion over who actually arranged the trip, their mobile phones go missing, an ice breaker game descends into chaos when long buried secrets are revealed and it seems that there may be somebody else up there on the mountain – but who is it?

Told via a dual timeline of now and the events of 10 years ago, this is a taut thriller which I was fully absorbed in. I particularly loved the flashbacks to the group snowboarding and the descriptions of their tricks and dedication to their sport. It is so atmospheric and really transported me to a snowy mountain and almost made me want to learn snowboarding, until I remembered that the one time I went skiing I called my parents in tears asking them to fly me home as I was so terrible at it.

In the present, the 5 remaining friends are suspicious of one another and tension begins to mount. Each member of the group holds a piece of the puzzle but they’re all reluctant to relinquish what they know, throw in some underlying sexual tension and complicated romantic history and it is a recipe for disaster. There are moments of genuine threat and times where the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. There is something about the expansive landscape and remoteness which really got under my skin. The group are staying in a hostel which, in peak season, is usually a bustling place filled with skiers and snowboarders, but now, is a vast, empty place without staff or any other guests.

Shiver is an eerie and unsettling read which kept me on my toes and was heightened by the dual timeline which is perfectly executed. It revealed just enough of the past to keep me interested and wanting to try and solve the mystery whilst withholding enough to make it clear I was well off the mark. This is a solid, page-turner of a thriller with a great narrative structure and pace. It is suspenseful, has great characterisation, tension and a really great plot. Recommended!

My thanks to Headline for providing me with a copy of the book via Netgalley.

Shiver by Allie Reynolds was published on 21st January in both hardcover and ebook.

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