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 Cult by Abby Davies
Published by HarperCollins on October 28, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Domestic, Action & Adventure, Women Sleuths, General, Suspense
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
The gripping new thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last!
‘Such a clever plot; a sinister decades-old cult and a modern-day missing children mystery, brilliantly woven together’ Jackie Kabler, author of The Perfect Couple
A hidden community...
Thirty years ago, in the English countryside, a commune was set up. Led by Uncle Saviour, it was supposed to be a place of love, peace and harmony. But what started out as paradise turned into hell.
A shocking abduction...
Now, two young children have vanished from their home in the middle of the night. Their parents are frantic, the police are at a loss.
A twisting case...
DI Ottoline is leading the search – her only clue a mask found in the woods. Could the key lie in events that took place decades ago, when a dream of a new way of life became something far more sinister?
What readers are saying about The Cult
‘I had many a late night whilst reading, desperate to read 'just one more chapter’’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘One of those books you can't put down!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Riveting, from the start to the end’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Had me on the edge of my seat for the entire time’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘If you want a dark, twisted psychological thriller then this is definitely for you’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘This is so original, I loved it!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Lots of twists and plenty of shocking parts’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘You think it’s figured out but the rug is pulled from under your feet’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘There were moments I was biting my lip because I actually felt SO on edge!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Had me gripped from the first page to the last’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘An absolute masterclass of a thriller’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Chilling, gripping, fast paced, tense and terrifyingly good’⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I would 100% recommend this book to any thriller lover!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Cult was a difficult read for me. The subject matter was hard-hitting and painful. I’m not saying that it wasn’t what it needed to be – it was but boy did it punch you in the gut.
The story is told over two timelines which at times got a bit repetitive and convoluted. Love tells us about her experience of living in a community that at first has its values rooted in Love and values but very quickly we witness it all hit the fan. The chapters from Love become very sinister, something we have read about time and time again about these so-called Cults. I need to be clear in the point that these were the chapters that I struggled with most. It wasn’t the story as such but more about the goings-on in this community. Uncle Saviour runs the Cult and at first, is a person with a good sense of morality and the common good, but we are catapulted into the darkness of manipulation, gaslighting, and grooming. Love soon began to display worrying characteristics in response to the grooming she was experiencing. She alienated herself from her blood family and only wanted to please Uncle Saviour. She also displayed extreme bouts of jealousy if he gave others attention instead of her.
The Cult also gives us insight into Lily’s POV. To be honest, I felt that a lot of her story was unnecessary, and it wasn’t until much later that we got to grips with her role in the storyline. DI Ottoline’s POV was far more important, and I felt that a lot was sacrificed for Lily to be heard more. In the search of Lily’s two missing children, she heads up the investigation whilst battling her own personal demons. She’s an extremely relatable character and one that I enjoyed being in the head of.
The Cult was a kind of story that for the majority I felt invested in but had no connection to the characters. The reason being, that they were not the kind of characters that were likable and had major flaws. Manipulators, murderers, and abusers. Not exactly the kind of company one likes to keep. I would have liked to know Lily a bit more – why was she taking pills for her mental health? Was it post-natal depression or something more? A lot of questions I just felt were left unanswered and points that could have been fleshed out more. A decent crime read with a sinister cult at its epicentre.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abby Davies is the author of Mother Loves Me (2020) and The Cult (out October 2021), both published by HarperCollins. The Peterborough Telegraph called Abby’s debut ‘a chilling dread-laden thriller’. Chris Whitaker (bestselling author of We Begin at the End) called it ‘Intensely gripping, perfectly paced and thrilling’, and Alex Lake (bestselling author of Seven Days) said, ‘Mother Loves Me is both utterly gripping and totally original.’
She holds a BA English Literature from The University of Sheffield and an MA in Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University. She taught English in all its forms for 13 years before becoming a full-time author. Mother Loves Me was shortlisted for Mslexia Novel Competition 2018.
Abby enjoys many genres but has a penchant for psychological suspense, crime, mystery and YA Dystopia.
This sounds pretty heavy. I enjoy cult stories but I’m not sure if this would work for me.
It was very heavy and so far I haven’t read a cult story that just clicked for me… Yet.
Dan Santos’ Take
Sounds like an interesting story. The only novel I have read dealing with cults was Warren Adler’s “Finding Grace: Captured by a Cult.” Glad you liked this one. If you are interested, here’s the link to my review of Adler’s book. https://wordpress.com/post/dansantostake.wordpress.com/34 Thanks for reviewing and posting!
I think it’s so incredibly difficult to get the cult idea right. Your review has intrigued me so I might need to check it out.