|I read, and was pretty impressed by, this author’s debut novel back in 2009 – [Read my review of hush, hush] – the first in a sequence of four love fantasies. Although I hadn’t been inclined to read the other novels in that sequence this realistic, edge-of-your-seat thriller felt much more like the kind of reading I enjoy when it arrived from Simon & Schuster – especially so after I’d read the first few pages and the opening chapter. I was hooked, as they say.I said of her first book: “Fitzpatrick is already a sufficiently skilful storyteller to be able to carry the reader along and create the necessary suspension of disbelief. This is all done in the atmosphere of a Sunday afternoon feature film.” That comment about the Sunday matinee feature film wasn’t meant as a criticism, but rather as a signal to readers of the review about what kind of read to expect. I then added, “I can’t say I was ever seriously moved or unsettled by the predicaments the main character, Nora, finds herself in, but I was always fully engaged.”|
In this book it is imperative that we do become moved and unsettled by Britt’s predicament. I was.
Britt and her best friend drive up into the mountains to go hiking. The weather closes in and they have to abandon their Wrangler. Britt’s companion, Korbie, is the sister of her first love, Calvin, a young man Britt is now estranged from. Whilst they are trapped on the mountains they become the captives of two strange and sinister men. Except that one is not entirely a stranger to Britt. For much of the book the reader is kept wondering which of these two captors is the most evil. And things become yet more complicated when Calvin arrives as rescuer.
Fitzgerald’s writing is rarely flashy, and all the more effective for that. There are a handful of moments when she becomes unnecessarily wordy, but these are mercifully few. The book is melodramatic, to be sure, and its fortunately/unfortunately twists and turns are paced a little predictably, but then in this kind of read its the momentum that keeps those pages a-turning.