I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Islanders by S.V. Leonard
Published by Canelo Crime on March 11 2021
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
Her dream escape is about to become a nightmare…
Kimberley King has spent the last five years trying to outrun the reason she left the police force. Her life is a mess and she’s desperate for change. So when she is randomly selected for the new series of the hit show LoveWrecked, she can’t pass up the chance to win the £100,000 prize. All Kimberley needs to do is couple up with one of her fellow contestants, win the infamous LoveWrecked challenges, and she will have enough cash for a fresh start.
But the island isn’t the paradise she was promised and within hours, one of the contestants is dead. Then the announcement comes: one of the islanders is a murderer and Kimberley must find out who, live on television. For every hour it takes her, one more person will die.
The game is rigged, everyone is hiding secrets, and time is running out…
Damn if a trapped, suspenseful mystery doesn’t just tap into that inner flight or fight response. The Islanders delivers on everything it says it does. Think Love Island with the ultimate twist. A horrifying and bloody twist. The two shows are different but standing up together in proximity, they are created from the same primordial soup that humanity crawled from. A desire to escape from life, a hint of romance distanced from everyday life and some hot hot sun. S.V. Leonard plays with fire and peels back the layers of human emotion and greed. This debut will have you rushing through the pages in a race to the end.
The Islanders is the addictive and highly compulsive read that I have no doubt will be extremely popular as we skip into the summer months. We might be having some rather unpredictable weather at the moment, but Leonard’s writing doesn’t fail to transport to the sandy shores, the tropical climate…you can almost feel the warm sand in between your toes. The narrative left me speechless and at times it was like a train speeding towards you – on this occasion I was happy to let the train hit at full force, and it did so, Leonard knows how to get you!
The Islanders has some magnificent depictions. Imagine being on a TV show, the cameras are following your every move, it would be something that would take some time getting used to. The contestants are chosen at random and taken to this unknown Greek Island. The unknown is thrilling and anxiety inducing all at the same time. I really don’t want to say too much more about the plot because anything I did would be a massive spoiler. Just let it be known that things are not as they seem, and things do not go to plan.
Kimberley has been running from her decision to leave the Police Force. She is harbouring secrets and past events – I love deeply flawed characters; it just gives that deeper context and sharper edge to the protagonists. She is backed up by more realistic characters who on one hand may not be entirely likeable but does give a more dimensional take on the plot. Leonard really impressed me with her ingenious ways of introducing characters to the story until throwing a smoke bomb down to confuse and lead down a different track. The cracks and doubts slowly fill in and I was nearly tearing my hair out trying to connect the dots.
The Islanders is a claustrophobic, nail biting race to the end thriller. It is a super addictive debut. S.V. Leonard is an exciting new voice and will be one to watch.
ABOUT S.V. LEONARD
S. V. Leonard grew up in the little coastal town of Formby, a suburb of Liverpool. She studied Classics at Oxford University and has been lucky enough to live in Australia, Poland, and Malaysia. She is now based in London. When not writing, she can be found breaking out of escape rooms; doing historical walking tours of London; or drinking wine.