Another enthralling page-turner. The new Queen of Suspense strikes again! 4/5 stars.
Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for giving me an e-copy of this book to read and review.
The blurb: Jenna is seriously ill. She’s lost all hope of getting the heart transplant she needs to live. But just as her life is ebbing away, she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie.
Who was Callie and how did she die? Jenna is determined to find out.
The closer Jenna gets to those who loved Callie, the more questions arise about her untimely death. Someone knows what happened to Callie. Why won’t they talk?
Jenna is about to uncover the truth, but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.
I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since I enjoyed Louise Jensen’s debut, The Sister, back in August. And so I’m delighted to say that The Gift is another gripping psychological thriller which fans of the genre are sure to love.
The set-up quickly secures out sympathy for Jenna, the protagonist and first-person narrator. She’s been critically ill and was only saved thanks to a heart transplant. Unfortunately, what initially seemed to be a blessing turns out to be more of a curse as Jenna is plagued by the residual memories and feelings of Callie, the heart donor.
The supporting cast is varied and interesting in their own right. They make sure there’s enough going on around Jenna (infidelity, professional jealousy, criminality… take your pick!) and sufficient characters present dubious qualities to keep us guessing about what exactly happened to Callie right up to the final chapters.
Jensen writes fear and paranoia convincingly. As the story progresses she creates a pervasive sense of dread which, combined with some adrenaline-pumping interludes and the results of Jenna’s amateur investigations, keep us turning the pages. And if finding out what happened to Callie isn’t enough to keep you glued to the story, extra tension comes from concerns about Jenna’s still fragile health. Will her digging lead her to come to harm or will she simply drop from over-exerting herself?!
Without spoiling anything, I was particularly impressed with the final reveal. I think the “guilty party” is far from typical and it’s refreshing to come across such a different resolution to a psychological thriller.
Overall: The Gift is every bit as gripping as The Sister and surely an ideal present for readers who enjoy a dark thriller.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul