ARC Review: The Trial by S.R. Masters

Hi All,

Hope you’re all good and have had a good week. I have had a week oflow lows and high highs but that’s a whole other story for another day. One of the highlights of my week has been this fantastic read along.

Book 📖

Thank you to @onemorechapterhc and @srmastersauthor for this advanced copy of The Trial in return for an honest review. The Trial was published on 7th July 2022 and you can get a copy here. Also a big thank you to @sarabethsbooks for organising a brilliant read along.

Description 🔖

Could this be the advert of dreams?

Aged 18-40? Paid clinical trial in the Canary Islands. Paid up to £20,000 tax free for participation.

It seems like an opportunity that cannot be missed. However nobody knows what the clinical trial is actually for, they just know that they’re asked to take a pill everyday. At first it’s fine. But then the headaches start. Then they get worse. Then a dead body turns up on the resort. The killer could be anyone. Even you.

General Thoughts 🤔

Straight away, I was drawn to this book. The description sounded like something I would love and get drawn into immediately and it didn’t disappoint. I was pretty hooked from the very beginning and found it difficult to put down. Every opportunity I had, you’d find me trying to devour more, just to find out what on earth was going on with the trial.

The first 95% of the book, I was obsessed, but then the end kind of left me a little disappointed. This is completely personal preference, but I am not a fan of when books aren’t neatly wrapped up and concluded (unless it is clear there will be a sequel). There were too many unanswered questions at the end of The Trial that left me feeling a little deflated after feeling great for the majority.

Characters 👫👭👬

There are lots of characters in this story as it follows all of the people on the trial, plus the staff on the island. Of course there is more focus on particular characters and the main character is Elle. I started off feeling very sorry for Elle. She didn’t have a fantastic life at home and I completely understood why she applied for the trial. She didn’t see another option for herself. Mid-way through the book Elle started to frustrate me as I thought she could have been doing more to dig deeper for details about what exactly was going on. Then I did a complete 360 and came back to empathising with Elle for the final part of the book.

The person that annoyed me most on the island was Becks. There was something about that woman that grated on me and made me dislike her. She was so irritating and as the story developed and things started to go really wrong for the trial participants, she got more and more annoying.

Writing Style ✍️

The biggest thing that will stick with me about this author, is his ability to create such a claustrophobic atmosphere via the pages of a book. There were moments whilst reading that I felt like someone was creeping up on me from behind. Or I’d think I saw something move out of the corner of my eye when nothing was there. The tension was stifling at times and I loved it all.

The one picky thing I have to mention is the chapters within chapters in this book. A few of the bloggers mentioned it on the read along and at first I didn’t see a problem with it but the further I got through the book, I noticed it more. I didn’t pick up on a significance or a reason for it and therefore I am unsure if it was really necessary.

Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️

Overall, I think that this was a fantastic thriller. It was such an interesting concept and felt a little bit like reality television with a psychological thriller twist on it. If you like to read books that make you feel a little bit like you can’t breathe, then you should definitely give this a try. A fantastic book from an author that I can’t wait to read more of.

😍😍😍😍😫

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