Published on 2nd July 2015 by Random House UK
What’s the worst thing your best friend could do to you?
Admittedly, it wasn’t murder. A moment’s carelessness, a tragic accident – and two children are dead. Yours.
Living in a small island community, you can’t escape the woman who destroyed your life. Each chance encounter is an agonizing reminder of what you’ve lost – your family, your future, your sanity.
How long before revenge becomes irresistible?
With no reason to go on living, why shouldn’t you turn your darkest thoughts into deeds?
So now, what’s the worst thing you can do to your best friend?
Sharon Bolton takes a break from her Lacey Flint series and brings us a fantastic standalone novel set in the Falkland Islands.
Bolton takes us on a dark journey of friendships lost, of pain and despair, grief and anger and missing children. Narrated by three lonely and lost characters, Catrin, Rachel and Callum, we slowly get to know them and how they see the world. Two children were accidentally killed, leaving behind them a mother, Catrin, buried in her pain and her best friend Rachel, guilty of not paying attention for a second. The love between the two close friends has broken down forever and Catrin’s ex-husband has moved on to start a new family elsewhere. Added to this is Callum, a man connected to Catrin who fought in the Falklands and is still having flashbacks. This is essentially a study in grief and in broken down friendships. Life for these two women has become about existing, both stuck in the moment. A missing boy brings the whole of the Falklands out looking for him. It forces Catrin and Rachel to start to unravel their pain.
I felt so captivated by the book from the first page, I was looking up photos of the Falkland Islands on the internet. I cannot imagine living in a remote idyllic looking place, with such a history. Everybody is aware of the Falklands conflict back in the 1980s and Bolton uses this cleverly as a backdrop. The place seems just appropriate for a closed off community, full of secrets and grief.
I cannot imagine anyone reading this story and not reflecting afterwards. I found myself wondering whether I would be as lost and bitter, like Catrin or would I have been able to forgive my best friend for accidentally killing my children? I felt sorry for Rachel, living with the guilt and the loss of her friend.
This is exactly what you would expect from a Sharon Bolton novel. Plenty to think about, sophisticated and emotional story-telling that grabs hold of you from the first page and three wonderful if sad characters to show you the way. For anyone who has not read Sharon Bolton before, this would be a perfect introduction.
Many thanks to Alison Barrow for my review copy!