“A brilliant debut psychological thriller by a former police psychologist. Perfect for fans of Nicci French, Tana French and S. J. Watson.
A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.
Jim is a retired police officer, and worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong.
Tom has woken up to discover that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son.
Cecilia had packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy, and sees no way out.
Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.
‘Before the plane crash, after the plane crash, such a short amount of time for the world to turn on its head… ‘”
4 of 5 stars
A plane takes off for Scotland on a snowy day in March. It fails to make its destination, instead crashing into the Welsh mountains. Soon after the body of a woman is found. Four people, left to deal with the repercussions.
This is a story about tragedy, deceit, betrayal and endings, of people leaving loved ones and of people being taken from them. It starts with a bang, literally, when a plane falls out of the sky. Each chapter deals with one of the main characters. These are short and sharp chapters, the dangerous kind where you tell yourself you’ll read just one more and suddenly you are a quarter of the way through the book. I loved this way of telling the story, allowing it to develop layer upon layer.
I enjoyed reading this book. The pace was just right. Whilst I guessed some of the story before it was revealed I enjoyed the journey. I found myself speeding through the last 100 pages. There is a darkness and a bleakness to the novel. This is assisted by the setting, the snowy winter days seeming more like night adding to the atmosphere.
This is very much an ensemble piece. Each of the characters are well drawn individually and draw together well to create the whole. In fact I soon concluded who I would like and wouldn’t like from the first chapter of each character. Whilst I liked most of the characters, I was not enamoured with Cecilia. It may have something to do with the fact that at the time of reading I had just had a baby but the fact that Cecilia had left her young son made me dislike her, and set the tone for how I received her for the rest of the book. As the story develops her reasons are explained and shed light on her character and the reason behind her actions.
Although there is a murder to solve and a plane crash to investigate this story is more about the survivors than the victims. It is a story about how a momentary decision can have an impact on so many lives, how the ramifications can be felt years later and how tragedy can separate and unite people. It is a story about how the end can just be the beginning.
This is the debut novel of Emma Kavanagh. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.