A perfect beach read. 3/5 stars.
The blurb: Lucy Hall arrives in the Seychelles determined to leave her worries behind. The tropical paradise looks sun-soaked and picture-perfect—but as Lucy soon discovers, appearances can be very deceptive. A deadly secret lurks in the island’s history, buried deep but not forgotten. And it is about to come to light.
As black clouds begin to gather over what promised to be a relaxing family break, Lucy realises that her father stands in the eye of the coming storm. A shadow from his past is threatening to destroy all that he holds dear—including the lives of his loved ones.
A dark truth is about to explode into their lives, and that truth is going to hit them right between the eyes.
Firstly, I must mention that I met the author of Journey to Death – Leigh Russell – at a blogger/author event in London and she very kindly asked her publisher, Thomas & Mercer, to send me a copy of the book. Thank you.
Journey to Death is the perfect beach/holiday read for the following reasons:
- it’s a quick, easy read which doesn’t demand a great deal of concentration or work from the reader. You can lie back on your sun lounger and let the story wash over you.
- once if finally gets going (it takes about 80 pages to really get stuck in), it’s a page turner and more gripping than the slow build-up might lead you to expect.
- the setting is wonderful. For me, someone who has had the Seychelles high on their travel wishlist for years, this was the best thing about the book. You can tell the author has been to the Seychelles and scoured the islands for a variety of locations. It’s all there: bustling colourful markets, white sandy beaches and dense tropical forests. The descriptions are superb.
Sadly I wasn’t on holiday when I read this book. If I had been, I think I’d have had more patience with the characters and been able to let the less plausible aspects of the plot roll past me. But I was at home, so I was at my usual nit-picky best. Our heroine, Lucy, is 22 and has just broken up with her long-term boyfriend after it turned out he was a cheating rat. This isn’t a nice thing to happen to anyone, and I did feel sorry for her. However, it’s not every 22-year old who gets to accompany their parents on an all-expenses-paid, two-week holiday to the Seychelles because they want to cheer her up. Her moping in paradise took the edge off my sympathy for her quite a bit and I think this impatience carried through the rest of the book as I found myself rolling my eyes and tutting at some of her (and the other characters’) decisions.
Overall: an easy-to-read, entertaining mystery. My advice would be to read this when you too are enjoying some time away from your daily routine.