Mini Book Reviews: Hidden Depths | The Cove | After Dark | Wrong Place Wrong Time

Hidden Depths by Araminta Hall

I can never resist books set on the Titanic so was thrilled to get my hands on this one! Hidden Depths follows Lily who is pregnant and increasingly unwell. She doesn’t trust her husband but because of feeling so awful and now being trapped on a ship she is limited in what she can do. On board Titanic she meets Lawrence, who is grieving the loss of his wife, and the two start talking. I loved that Lawrence’s late wife had been part of the suffragette movement and that he had eventually learnt the importance of listening to women and understanding their plight. The novel is increasingly tense as we know what is going to happen to the Titanic but we don’t know if Lily will be able to figure out what is happening within her marriage, or who will survive. I found some parts of this book really gripping but other parts I found quite slow; on the whole though I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

The Cove by Alice Clark-Platts

The Cove follows two families who have recently become friendly and decided to have a weekend away together on a remote island resort. We know from the start that something goes wrong during the weekend and so the tension is there from the start. A lot of the characters were either unlikeable or suspicious, and one is clearly mentally unwell following the recent birth of her second baby, so this meant I was never quite sure who, if anyone, could be trusted. The setting becomes claustrophobic very quickly, with the heat and the sense of being cut off from the mainland so I enjoyed that element. At times it made me feel like I was trapped, which compelled me to keep reading so see what happened to this group of people. I did find that some of what happens in this novel predictable and it definitely requires suspension of disbelief but I still really enjoyed this one. It would make a great holiday read.

After Dark by Jane Cowie

After Dark is something different in the mystery/thriller genre and I loved it. It’s set in a dystopian now but there is a curfew and all men are tagged and have to stay at home from 7PM until morning in order to keep women safe. Then one day there a woman is found murdered and the police are sure it can’t have been a male as they’re all tagged, aren’t they? I found this novel so gripping. We follow different characters – a woman, Sarah, who works at a tagging centre and lives in a home for women with her daughter Cass, who we also follow. Sarah had her husband arrested and jailed a little while previously and she’s anxious on hearing of his release from prison. We also follow the police investigation and gradually learn about what has happened to lead to this murder and how it happened. This is a fast-paced thriller but it’s also a book that makes you think. I highly recommend it.

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

This book is brilliant, I found it near impossible to put down once I started it. One night Jen and her husband are waiting for their teenage son to get home but something happens outside their home and their son is charged with murder. Jen is reeling and doesn’t know what to do. When she wakes up the following day for her, it’s actually the previous day. And so the novel begins where every day Jen is further and further back in time and has to work out why, and how she can use this to stop her son committing murder in the future. I thought this book might be confusing to follow but it’s not at all, you just get so invested in Jen’s story and the plot that it all flows perfectly. I was riveted all the way through and was so keen to see how it was all going to end. I loved this book, it’s so clever and different. I definitely recommend it!

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