Good Morning All,
Happy Sunday! Only 3 more sleeps until Christmas!!! I can’t believe it’s nearly here. Thankfully, I’m fairly organised this year, so only a handful of last minute things to sort out before the big day. That means only one thing…lots of hours available for lots of winter reading and this makes me a very happy Sarah.
I love me some Claire Allan and have read a number of her books within the past year. So when this book came up as an ARC I was all over it like Donkey Kong. Thank you to Avon Books UK and Claire Allan for this ARC in return for an honest review.
Relationships are strained within the McKee family. Sisters Heidi and Ciara do not get on for complicated reason, however there is one thing that they have in common; their feelings towards their father Joe. Joe McKee is seen as a pillar in the community and valued within the church. However Heidi and Ciara know the real Joe that exists behind closed doors. When Joe dies from cancer, secrets along with the police surface and it would appear that someone other than the cancer wanted to put an end to Joe Mckee.
General Thoughts 🤔
I’ll be completely honest, I got through about 20% of this book and thought that it just wasn’t living up to Claire Allan’s previous work. The storyline felt a little predictable and I felt like the story was running far too quickly. But I soon settled in and my opinion changed. There are a lot of complex emotions to pick through in this book and I was soon drawn into the lives of Heidi and Ciara and was struggling along with them.
The story covers a sensitive subject matter and I think Claire Allan has done a fabulous job of handling it with care.
The characters were what ended up making this book for me. I had so many internal back and forth from beginning to end. I started off really empathising with Heidi and not being able to stand Ciara. I then switched. And switched again. And switched again. Ending up feeling ok with both of them.
Though Joe is so central to the story, he isn’t in the book an awful lot but you still get a sense of his character, his capabilities and the pure evil that ran through him. I always like it when an author can write a character that a reader can quite easily have so much hatred for.
Writing Style ✍🏽
As mentioned above, it was the characters that made this book for me. They are written so cleverly that I always felt like I was on the back foot and was never sure if I knew the real Heidi or the real Ciara. I never quite knew if I really did know their secrets and I think that’s such clever writing to make a reader so doubtful.
I also liked that the unravelling of all of the characters and the end of the story didn’t feel rushed. All bases were covered, all threads tied off. I like a nice, neat ending.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
I devoured this book within a few hours. Once I got over my very early hurdle, I was in deep and I couldn’t put it down. I can always trust in Claire Allan for a gripping read and this book 100% delivered.