Before I review this book I’ll come clean. I 'met' Allie several years ago through an online writing group, writing short stories for womags.
The group grew to be very large and we drifted off to a smaller groups. The group I stayed in touch with, and am still part of today, currently has five members including myself.
Finding the right writers’ group is not an easy task. I have been to a couple of physical groups but never found other writers who were on the same wavelength as myself and my writing until I met these girls. Over the years we have come to know each other really well and provide constructive criticism and support. I know that I wouldn’t have had the stories published that I have without their help and advice. It’s just a pity that we can’t meet up in the flesh as geographically we are just too far apart, especially as Allie lives in Australia.
Allie has recently had her first novel, Shiver, published in hardback and on Kindle. Right from the beginning of her submission to agents, Allie has had brilliant success, with several agents wanting to represent her, followed by a bidding war by publishers. The book has sold internationally and she even has an option on a film. Not bad for a first novel!
And it is deservedly so. I’ve just finished reading the complete novel and I have to say that I couldn’t put it down. I’m not just saying that because I know her. If I didn’t like the book, I would just keep my mouth shut.
Shiver is set in French resort of Le Roche, where five friends are invited back for a reunion, ten years after they were last there. They were all competitive snowboarders competing in the ‘half pipe’ which seems to me to a be a truly dangerous sport and something I would never have the guts to attempt.
There is tension from the beginning as no one knows who has sent the invitations and there is also an atmosphere of mistrust as the last time they were together, one of their friends, Saskia, went missing, presumed to have become buried in one of the treacherous crevices which form on the mountain. No one really knows how much each person was involved in Saskia’s disappearance.
An “icebreaker” game turns sinister and then they realise that they are trapped in the out of season ski lodge. Everyone begins to doubt the other as they try to work out who has trapped them here and why?
The story alternates between the past and the present as we gradually learn that each of the friends has secrets they would rather keep hidden. The tension never lets up as we are drip fed information and try to solve the mystery as we read.
Allie was former competitive snowboarder herself and she uses this to bring the atmosphere of both the setting and the sport alive.
If you like page turning thrillers, I would definitely give this book a go.
Well done Allie, and good luck with next book. Can’t wait to read it.