Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Review: Shiver by Allie Reynolds

In this propulsive locked-room thriller debut, a reunion weekend in the French Alps turns deadly when five friends discover that someone has deliberately stranded them at their remote mountaintop resort during a snowstorm.

When Milla accepts an off-season invitation to Le Rocher, a cozy ski resort in the French Alps, she's expecting an intimate weekend of catching up with four old friends. It might have been a decade since she saw them last, but she's never forgotten the bond they forged on this very mountain during a winter spent fiercely training for an elite snowboarding competition.

Yet no sooner do Milla and the others arrive for the reunion than they realize something is horribly wrong. The resort is deserted. The cable cars that delivered them to the mountaintop have stopped working. Their cell phones--missing. And inside the hotel, detailed instructions await them: an icebreaker game, designed to draw out their secrets. A game meant to remind them of Saskia, the enigmatic sixth member of their group, who vanished the morning of the competition years before and has long been presumed dead.

Stranded in the resort, Milla's not sure what's worse: the increasingly sinister things happening around her or the looming snowstorm that's making escape even more impossible. All she knows is that there's no one on the mountain she can trust. Because someone has gathered them there to find out the truth about Saskia...someone who will stop at nothing to get answers. And if Milla's not careful, she could be the next to disappear...

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 28th 2021 
by Penguin Group (GP Putnam's Sons)
4/5 stars

A chilly debut that put me right there in this cold winter setting.  Told in dual time period via Milla both current day and in the past.  So what happened ten years ago exactly?  That's the question and slowly (maybe a tad slowly at times) the events of that winter are revealed.

 I don't read a lot of books with that lock-down setting and I'll admit that part of me thinks is it even possible to have a book with both depth of character and a story that doesn't drag when covering a shorter period of time.  I'm happy to report that it worked out nicely here.

Shiver is a chilly suspense that kept me guessing until it didn't (pretty darn close to the end I might add).  With any mystery there is always twists and turns, my mind trying to decipher the clues. Both time periods are full of secrets but its the current day where they get darker and deadlier.  Set high up in the mountains there is no way to escape or communicate with the outside world. 

There is lots of talk about snowboarding, but that's okay - its who these people are and central to the plot. It actually gave me a new appreciation for the work involved with that sport.

Shiver has an interesting cast of characters, all suspect, flawed and unreliable - what better group is there to be stranded with, right?  Shiver releases in a months time and available now for preorder.  It's a book I recommend to those that love a slow burn suspense to go with the chilly months ahead.

My thanks to Penguin Group (via Netgalley) for an advanced e-arc in exchange for a honest review.

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