OK, it is no secret that I am a self-confessed Susie Lynes fan, each of her books have had an impact on me and each of them have stayed with me for a long time after turning the last page. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Susie Lynes is genius! I am not going to apologise to anyone for the admiration I have for her as a writer and I am not going to stop telling everyone how damn good she is!
So it gives me humongous pleasure to be closing down the Blog Tour for her latest book, The Pact. Thanks to Bookouture, Netgalley and Susie for the ARC to review.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
You made a promise to your sister. It could destroy your daughter.
15-year-old Rosie lies in hospital fighting for her life. She’s trying to tell her mother what happened to her, and how she got there, but she can’t speak the words out loud.
Rosie’s mother Toni has a secret. She had a traumatic childhood, and she and her sister Bridget made each other a promise thirty years ago: that they could never speak the truth about what happened to them as children, and that they would protect each other without asking for help from others, no matter what…
Rosie was Toni’s second chance to get things right: a happy, talented girl with her whole life ahead of her. Having lost her husband in a tragic accident, Toni has dedicated her life to keeping Rosie safe from harm.
But Rosie has plans that her mother doesn’t know about. She has dreams and ambitions – of love, of a career, of a life beyond the sheltered existence that her mother has created for her. But the secrets Rosie has been keeping have now put her life in danger.
In order to save Rosie, Toni may have to break her lifelong promise to her sister… and open doors to her past she hoped would remain closed forever.
The Pact, is Susie Lynes’ third book, and once again she has left me broken. I can normally devour a book within a day or two but with The Pact, I had to stop every couple of chapters to gather my thoughts, catch my breath and get my emotions back in check. I wanted to devour it in one sitting but I also wanted to make it last forever! With every stroke of the keyboard she produces the most exquisite storylines, the kind that will get under your skin and stay there. This is way more than a psychological thriller, Susie makes the reader work for the impact, no wham bam plot lines and in your face characters but rather a beautifully haunted and authentic narrative that will envelope you from the very start. This woman has talent oozing from her fingertips!
The prologue was almost suffocating. Rosie is in hospital fighting for her life, her narrative garbled and confused as she tries to make sense of it all. I found it chillingly claustrophobic and oh so deliciously perfect for this novel. I could feel myself gasp for a breath alongside her, making sense of the jumbled thoughts swimming about in her head.
Susie Lynes captures the nuances of each character perfectly; the awkward 15-year-old Rosie, not quite fitting in, wanting to keep some of her life secret from her mum, her furtive life on social media where she can filter a life that she wants others to believe; Toni the over protective mother who catastrophises every aspect of Rosie’s life to the point where she would do anything to protect her from danger; Bridget, the slightly cooky aunt, cool and out there on the surface but hiding a massive secret underneath. Each of them a part of a triangular relationship of co-dependency, secrets and lies. Each character has a secret, each secret is destined to grow and suffocate them all.
She captures every parent’s fear; the disdain and those eye rolls that only a teenager can show and the very real terrors that lurk out there in our world. She doesn’t just capture these though, she presents them as real and tangible so that you do more than just read this book, you live it and you breathe it. Eloquent and mesmerizing narrative haunting imagery that plays out a realistic and chilling movie in your head.
Once again Susie Lynes has nailed it for me! The Pact is an authentic yet chilling tale of two sisters who made a promise and one girl whose life is in danger. Packed to the brim with realism and the inherent dangers of social media, this one will resonate with anyone who is a parent in today’s world where our lives are played out for all to see online. The Pact explores the phenomenon of lives filtered through social media where there is so much pressure for perfection and the devastating impact on young people, in particular, striving for perfection and acceptance. It also addresses the very real fears that parents have for their children living in a world dominated by social media. It will chill you to the bone.
Will it work for you if you want all your psychological thrillers fast and furious, full of blood, gore and rising body counts? Probably not. But if, like me, you love an intelligent read and you can appreciate the thrill that there is in slowing it all down sometimes and letting the characters and the story get under your skin then do yourself a favour and read this book, actually go and read all three of her books and enjoy!
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About the author:
After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington.