Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Review: The Swap by Robyn Harding

“No list of thrillers is complete without Robyn Harding,” proclaims Real Simple. Now the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Party delivers a riveting tale about the toxic relationship between two couples after a night of sexual shenanigans, and the manipulative teenager with an explosive secret at the center of it all.

Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her looming height or her dreary, isolated hometown on an island in the Pacific Northwest. But whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in—and neither does Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer who now owns the local pottery studio.

After signing up for a class, Low quickly falls under Freya’s spell. And Freya, buoye
d by Low’s adoration, is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, both feel a sense of belonging...that is, until Jamie walks through the studio door. Desperate for a baby, she and her husband have moved to the island hoping that the healthy environment will result in a pregnancy. Freya and Jamie become fast friends, as do their husbands, leaving Low alone once again.

Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, one night of debauchery that they would put behind them, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.

Robyn Harding brings her acclaimed storytelling, lauded as “fast-paced, thrilling, gut-wrenching” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six, to this dark and suspenseful thriller for fans of Megan Miranda and Lisa Jewell.

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: June 23rd 2020
by Simon & Schuster
3/5 stars

Last year I listened to the audio of Robyn Harding's The Arrangement and quite enjoyed myself.  It was a nice mix of mystery, psychological thriller that kept me on my toes the whole way through.  This, The Swap, her new book releases on the 23rd of June.

The Swap is a book about obsession taking place on an island off the Pacific Northwest. Told from the point of view of both Low and Jaime,  with the majority being from Low. I got to know her more then the others, it confirmed her obsessive behavior but not really the why, what made Freya so enticing to these women was lost on me.  She was mean, manipulative and I would have loved to see glimpses of Freya's thoughts, just for balance and maybe some insight into what made her so special.  For that reason I did struggle to connect with these women.  There were also snippets from the men, and again I would have loved more but then again this is the women's story.

Labeled as a thriller it was more of a slow burn story that lacked the 'I gotta sit and read, feed yourself family' feel that usually accompanies that label.  Don't get me wrong, the author made me want to keep reading to see what was going on but it wasn't dark and twisty that makes up a good thriller.  This book took a couple twists and turns I didn't expect, while at times a little predictable.

I still consider myself a new Robyn Harding fan and will continue to search out her back list.

My thanks to the publisher for an advanced digital arc (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

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