by Sarah Singleton (Author)
In the first book in this series, The Island, friends Charlotte, Otto and Jen were caught up in a murder mystery during their gap year in India. The three friends have now gone their separate ways in different parts of India, but a series of disturbing events will soon draw them back together.
The drama is quickly established when Charlotte, on her way to begin her dream job at the Golden Tiger Reserve, is caught up in a terrifying train crash. This leads to unwanted attention from a fellow backpacker who feels he and Charlotte share a unique bond because of their ordeal. In a desperate attempt to shake off this stalker, Charlotte asks Otto to pretend to be her boyfriend, but will this fake relationship develop into something more? Meanwhile, poachers are threatening the future of the tiger reserve, and Charlotte desperately wants to help her Indian friends continue with their vital work.
The Indian setting is powerfully evoked, and the deep bond shared by these friends is well described. The sinister figure of Jack is well drawn, creating tension and intrigue. There are frequent changes of pace throughout the story, which sometimes works well and other times less so – the spiritual ramblings and general introspection of Jen adds little to the tale, and the chapters where she is the focus tended to drag. Overall though, the book has plenty of depth and is certainly a thought-provoking read.
Natasha Mac a’Bháird
This review was published online in