Published: April 2021
My Rating: 🦋🦋🦋🦋.5/5
Nina Rai had it all. A beautiful rich socialite living in an elite neighborhood. Then one day she just disappeared along with a quarter of a million dollars. It was assumed that she had taken the money and left. Tired of just being a trophy wife to a rich husband.
But ten years later her bones are found in a car in the deep, dense forest that surrounds the neighbourhood. Her son Araav, is determined to find out what happened to his mother and he will stop at nothing to find out the truth. And it’s not just the rich and privileged who stay in the area, but those who work for them as well. In this cul-de-sac, everyone is a suspect.
Wow can Nalini write! Clearly she is not new to the writing scene and you can pick that up very clearly from her writing.
“You really are her son.”
“Yes. I won’t give up trying to find the truth.”
A missing socialite, bones found in a forest. I mean, what a setting for a thriller! This story was gripping from the beginning and it flows effortlessly.
Set in New Zealand in a cul-de-sac of an elite neighbourhood, Of course you can imagine the kinds of secrets these households contain.
The book consists of short chapters and is told from the perspective of Nina’s son Aarav. Even though we don’t know Nina as a living character in the book, we get glimpses of her through her son’s memories, which at times can’t always be trusted.
For some reason, I really enjoy books where the protagonist is a writer. It adds more depth to his character and how he uses his life experience to fuel his creativity. You can see how much the disappearance of his mother has shaped the man he has become. Nina was in no way the perfect mother, but we can tell from the story and Araav’s memories that she loved her son dearly. This was clearly the driving factor for his determination when it came to getting to the bottom of his mother’s death.
Araav himself has many inner demons to face and we get some glimpses into his counseling sessions which also keeps the reader intrigued.
There are quite a lot of different characters in the story and at times you need to focus otherwise you might mix them up. I did feel that this added to the mystery as each one could be a suspect and therefor the twist was a completely unexpected one for me, exactly the way I like my thrillers. Eerie and atmospheric, this is an absolute page-turner.
Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.