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 Beach Party: A Completely Gripping Psychological Thriller with a Jaw-dropping Twist by Amy Sheppard
Published by Bookouture on August 30, 2022
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Women Sleuths, Women, Family Life, General
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
We were all at the party. Which of us wanted her dead?
As the smoke from the bonfire spirals into the night sky and the cool drinks slip down our throats, none of us can take our eyes off Lacey. She dances in the dunes, her long golden hair damp from her late-night swim, her smile dazzling, her blue eyes closed.
Everyone who is close to Lacey sits by the smoky fire. Her adoring boyfriend, who holds onto her, perhaps a little too tightly. Her little sister, always in Lacey's shadow, sifting fine soft sand through her fingers, never taking her eyes off Lacey. And me. Sad and full of rage, after an argument forced the man I love to leave the party early.
When the fire burns out, we stumble away from the beach, along the cliff path - faces burned by the wind, hearts full of secrets. But Lacey never makes it home. The next morning, her body is found in the sand dunes, a heart-shaped locket missing from around her neck.
Who would have thought our beach party could end the way it did? Close friends gathered on the last night of a long hot summer - which one of us could have killed the girl everybody loved?
An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with an ending you will NEVER see coming! Strap in for a twisty rollercoaster ride that will keep you turning pages all night long. Perfect for anyone who adored The Holiday, The Guest List or Gone Girl.
What everyone is saying about The Beach Party:
'The kind of book that keeps you hooked and guessing till very end... Full of mystery, tension and suspense. Had my heart pounding! The best thriller I've read this year. This book will reel you in instantly!' Rubie Reads, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
'There were so many twists and turns in the story that lead to a really surprising and shocking ending. This is a cracking novel which was well crafted and full of suspense, I loved it.' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book was excellent! It had me riveted from page one. The pacing was perfect and the narrative intriguing, making it near impossible to put down. I read this one in record time and highly recommend. The twists as they played out were extremely well done too.' Celebrating Authors, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
'WOW! A phenomenal read... The setting is a quaint small town, that feels quite picturesque. Suspenseful, thrilling, twists, turns. I didn't put it down once I picked it up.' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
'What a fabulous story' Bookreadmarathon ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
'I was hooked from the first page, I really felt like I was in the novel from start to finish, I could almost taste the sea salt on my tongue. The plot was extremely gripping and well thought out.' Netgalley reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have a soft spot for cold cases; I will inhale all the true crime podcasts, books, and documentaries that I can find. They tend to throw up all manners of dead ends, webs of deceit, and secrets lurking around every corner. That’s why The Beach Party caught my eye. With an enticing cover and a dark premise, it promises a story to keep you guessing. It promises to have the reader so engrossed that the ticking of the clock is the only sound you can hear in the background. A girl was found murdered on the beach, and no one was ever charged for it, but it’s being re-examined with a fine-tooth comb when Katie and Sophie do a series of episodes about it on their podcast, Small Town.
Katie and Sophie met at university whilst studying Journalism together in London. Sophie enjoys being more of a broadcaster whereas Katie enjoys writing. They combine their talents together to create a True Crime podcast called Small Town. They focus on the unsolved murder of nineteen-year-old Lacey Crew in Cornwall. Katie grew up in Cornwall and has inside knowledge surrounding the event that led to Lacey’s body being discovered. She was there – does she know something that she had forgotten? Can secrets stay buried forever?
Kate and Sophie were writing and producing episodes for the podcast quite happily together…until Tom came on the scene. She knows him from Cornwall, they grew up together, and he was also at the party that preluded Lacey being found dead. There is a lot of tension between Katie and Tom, and they allude to something happening between them at one point.
I struggled a bit with Katie’s character. She was painted as the protagonist, but she lacked the strong characterisations that I attribute to strong female leads. She seemed to shrink in the shadow of Sophie. She let her take the lead with most things regarding the podcast, and when things were getting to her, she wouldn’t stand her ground. I found it quite frustrating.
Although the plot was engaging and intriguing, I found the execution to be lacking a little. Apart from the characterisation of Katie, I can’t pinpoint anything exactly that I disliked so I’m a bit unsure of why it didn’t hit home. Some of the writing came across as clunky and a bit convoluted. It’s unfortunate that I felt a bit of a disconnect.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Sheppard is a busy mum of two boys, living in Cornwall. Her obsession with making budget friendly family dinners, led her writing two cookbooks. Amy creates recipes for her followers and for brands @amysheppardfood
Her debut novel is out in August 2022. A psychological thriller set in Cornwall called ‘The Beach Party.