I’m a huge fan of Tom Bale and I was really looking forward to reading his latest novel, Survive.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Paradise is about to become hell…
On a remote island in the Adriatic, an enigmatic billionaire hosts a twisted form of entertainment to satisfy the jaded appetites of his exclusive guests. And for one unsuspecting family, the holiday of a lifetime is about to become a desperate battle for survival.
As young parents, Sam and Jody have managed to defy the odds once before. But years of struggle have taken their toll, and Sam’s demons return to haunt him at the worst possible time.
Caught up in a sick game of cat and mouse, can they put their differences aside and work under intolerable pressure to save themselves and their children?
Live or die. It’s the only choice they have.
Well, it might have been a long time waiting for Tom Bale to release his latest book but boy was it worth the wait!
Survive is laden with Tom Bale’s signature dish of tension and stomach wrenching anxiety and I knew I had made a big mistake starting this at 11pm when I had work the next day. He is master of suspense as he throws you slap bang into a scenario and leaves you as helpless and terrifies as the characters he has created. This author has a real knack of placing you right inside the heads of the characters and it is impossible not to read this and have your stomach clenching and your mind in overdrive as you try to work out what you would do in such a scenario!
Sam and Jodie are a strange couple, there was real feeling of tension bubbling away under the surface of their relationship, almost as though they were desperately trying too hard to be something or someone else. At first I couldn’t make up my mind if I liked them as people; I had a feeling of empathy for Sam but he had such a massive chip on his shoulder and seemed to be one step away from either exploding or breaking down and Jodie, I just couldn’t work out at all. But this is a couple who have secrets and when their life is in danger then it’s touch and go whether or not they will get through it. My mind may have changed a few times about them throughout this read but I’m saying nothing, you need to read it and make up your own mind!
Survive takes the wind out of your sails over and over again and leaves you reeling as Sam and Jodie, along with their two kids are faced with challenges set up by probably one of the most twisted characters I’ve ever read!
I reckon after reading this you might want to rethink that exclusive getaway you were planning!
Survive is about a game of survival, it is dark, it is twisted and if you think of I’m A Celebrity on acid then you might just get a little hint of what you are letting yourself in for.
Survive is available to purchase from: