The Split by Sharon Bolton #review @orionbooks

The Split by Sharon Bolton cover

Title: The Split
Author: Sharon Bolton
Publisher: Orion
Books

[Synopsis]

She’s got nowhere else to hide…and now he’s coming for her.

Two years ago Felicity Lloyd desperately signed up for an extended research trip working on the remote island of South Georgia.

It was her only way to escape.

And now he’s coming for her.

Freddie Lloyd has just got out of prison for murder and is on his way to where Felicity is hiding.

And this time, he won’t stop until he finds her.

Because no matter how far you run, some secrets will always catch up with you…

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[My Review]

The Split is a clever combination of psychological thriller and serial killer investigation, centering around protagonist Felicity. At the beginning of the book we witness her on the island of South Georgia, where she is working, trying to elude an unwanted visitor who is arriving on a tourist boat onto the island. Why is she so worried, and what is ‘he’ coming to do?

We’re then taken back in time to the lead up of events, when Felicity starts seeing a therapist Joe in the hopes that he will sign her off to go to work in South Georgia – she sees this as a fresh start. From then on the pace is either mixture of frantic and tense, or – at other times – eerily calm but atmospheric; it often seems like someone is messing with Felicity to make her feel uneasy and unsettled. We are also very much in the dark about her supposed husband, who she is aware of only because of photographs but has no memory of, and her family history which seems to be more and more shocking as more is revealed.

We’re let into not only Felicity’s thoughts but those of various other characters, including Shane, Barber, Joe, and Freddie, and I really liked the multiple viewpoints.

Sharon Bolton effectively presents Felicity as a character who may be unreliable, but who we’re rooting for anyway. She herself can’t remember huge chunks of time, so we wonder what happened within that time frame, but she is likable and interesting to read about so we want her to be OK. This definitely adds some extra intrigue and mystery to the story.

I enjoyed the simulatenous narrative showing the investigation into what appears to be a serial killer in Cambridge, and the way this may or may not link to Felicity, and the part of Joe – who is the son of one of Delilah, one of the police officers, and is also Felicity’s therapist. He’s an interesting character as his ethics certainly seem to take a hit the more we find out about him, but he’s still very well-meaning. I don’t know if he’d actually have been able to get as involved into the investigation as he did with his mum Delilah, who works for the police, but this allows Joe’s character to combine his psychological knowledge with his mum’s rather unique but useful detective skills!

I also really enjoyed the multiple time frames, which allows the reader insight into what will happen before taken them back to figure out why it all happened, and how it will end. The journey to figuring everything out is very entertaining, with lots of surprises and twists along the way. I didn’t guess at the ending and I felt like it was satisfying and enjoyable.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to the publisher, Orion Books, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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