Monday, November 2, 2020

Review: The Split by Sharon Bolton

The Split
by Sharon Bolton
Release Date: April 28th 2020
2020 Minotaur Books
Hardcover Edition; 382 Pages
ISBN: 978-1250300058
Genre: Fiction / Psychological
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

The remote Antarctic island of South Georgia is about to send off its last boat of the summer – which signifies safety to resident glaciologist Felicity Lloyd.

Felicity lives in fear – fear that her ex-husband Freddie will find her, even out here. She took a job on this isolated island to hide from him, but now that he's out of prison, having served a term for murder, she knows he won’t give up until he finds her.

But a doctor delving into the background of Felicity and Freddie's relationship, back in Cambridge, learns that Felicity has been on the edge for a long time. Heading to South Georgia himself to try and get to her first is the only way he can think of to help her.
My Thoughts
The Split is a standalone novel by one of my favourite psychological mystery writers, and while it was very well written, there just seemed to be something missing from this one that captivated my attention 
so absolutely in her Lacey Flint series. And while I was expecting there to be a different feel to the novel, I just couldn't seem to empathize or connect with the characters like I usually do. Bolton's books are typically dark, full of twists and turns, and often leave me guessing the truth throughout, often incorrectly.  This one was predictable right from the get-go, and took away some of the enjoyment I usually get from the twisted and complicated plot lines.
The book was separated into four parts, the first part on South Georgia Island, where we meet Felicity and learn about her anxiety over the tourists arriving in such a remote spot as it seems like she is on the run from someone.  I loved the atmospheric setting during this part and couldn't get enough descriptions of the glaciers and the environment, especially as I didn't know you could visit like that.  It was enough to send me to Google and add it to my bucket list of places to visit once COVID finally ends and travelling becomes a normal part of society again.  However, I do have to admit that the first part was not overly exciting in terms of mystery or even with regards to setting up set mystery.  
Parts two and three take place earlier and you learn more about how and why Felicity is actually in such a remote spot.  The action picks up somewhat here, and while it is still atmospheric (it is Cambridge, after all), it was extremely predictable.  Rather than stringing the reader along, she might as well have just told the reader straight out what illness Felicity was suffering from, it was that easy to figure out.  The reader spends the majority of this part dealing with a psychologist and learning about Felicity's past and her marriage.  I felt a bit uncomfortable with the relationship between Felicity and her psychologist as he definitely crossed some lines he should not have crossed, but the author just sort of brushed it off.  I'm not opposed to relationships beginning between a client and a psychologist, but not when he is treating her and has to sign off on her mental health for her to take an important job.  Can we say unethical?
The last part of the book takes us back to South Georgia Island.  I did find this last part to be the most interesting and it's too bad the rest of the book didn't have the intensity of this section as it would have been more exciting otherwise.  
The Split didn't quite do it for me, and as I am a huge fan of her other books, this was a bit sad.  I did struggle to get through the middle sections, and I really felt like I was reading a completely different author.  Bolton can typically write a gripping story, one that grabs your attention from the beginning and doesn't let go until the end, with twists and turns that tear at your gut.  Unfortunately, this one didn't have much of that.  A slow start, a fairly predictable plot, and a lack of intensity made this one a tough go. I would highly suggest you read this one for yourself however, and judge it yourself.  Will I read another book by this author?  Oh, yes, absolutely.    


Post a Comment