14 March 2018

The Reunion

Psychological Thriller

By Samantha Hayes

Paperback 384 pages
Publisher Bookouture (6th Feb 2018)
ISBN-13 978-1786813053

‘Just when you think you’ve figured things out, watch out for the twist!’ Cosmopolitan

📕My Review

In August 1996 13-year-old Eleanor leaves the beach to buy an ice cream but doesn't return. Despite extensive searching, all that's found are the shorts she was wearing on the day she disappeared. As the days, weeks, months and eventually years pass, no one sees Eleanor again. 

Fast forward to June 2017 and Claire, Eleanor's elder sister, decides to organise a reunion of her childhood friends. Her father has Alzheimer's and she thinks it will rekindle memories of happier times when everyone was carefree and life was idyllic. However, when the daughter of one of Claire's friends goes missing in circumstances shockingly reminiscent of Eleanor's disappearance 21 years earlier, it becomes apparent that all is not as it appears...

The Reunion grabbed me from the moment I read the blurb. I knew it was exactly my kind of book. I love reading about hidden family secrets and people who are not quite what they seem. I find myself being sucked in until I'm totally immersed. Much to my pleasure, this book was no different. 

The characters were well-developed and plausible; especially Claire, who became my constant companion. I thought the pacing was a little on the slow side but that's my only gripe. I absolutely loved all the brilliant twists, turns and insinuations. It's great when a sentence here and there can change your whole perception - that's the mark of a truly gifted author. 

The writing was engaging and flawless; it flowed with ease and conjured up each moment perfectly. What can I mention about the ending? Only that if I spent a million years trying to guess how it would finish, I'd be completely wrong!

I received an Advance Reader Copy. My thanks to Samantha Hayes, NetGalley and Bookouture.

Barnsey's Books Rating 

📗The Blurb

They were all there the day your sister went missing...Who is lying? Who is next?

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…

📘The Author

Samantha Hayes grew up in Warwickshire, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time living in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.

Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on 'real life fiction'. She focuses on current issues and sets out to make her readers ask, 'What if this happened to me or my family?'

Samantha Hayes' website

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