Saturday, 24 August 2013

April Yule by Reb MacRath

Review by Bill Kirton

After a mysterious, teasing hook, the author gets us acquainted with R.J. and Penny – young, successful, ruthless in their ambitions, as they drive through the storm to their new,  custom-built dream home, Penny in her Porsche, R.J. in his Jag.  It's Xmas Eve and they need to prepare for the guests who'll soon be arriving for the house-warming party. There have been quibbles over the building of the house, but they're confident they'll be resolved. Even as they make their separate ways there, however, little and not so little cracks begin to appear in their world, suggesting they may not be as invulnerable as they believe.

Still, it's Xmas, party-time, and 'Seattle's sexiest couple', as they've been designated for the past three years by voters, are on the threshold of a new beginning. He picks her up, carries her into their home...

...and immediately we’re pitched into a fast-paced thriller where mysteries multiply as the story progresses and the two people are taught a hard, painful lesson. Revealing anything of the nature of the torments they experience might prove to be a spoiler so you'll have to read it to find out. There’s plenty of humour, cliff-hangers abound and the nature of each of the four principal characters comes through in what they say, how they act and how others perceive those actions. In other words, in spite of the extremes being perpetrated, there's a realism and authenticity about the events that keep you turning the pages. It's well written, carefully structured, and leads to more than one twist in the tale.

Overall, an absorbing, enjoyable, intelligent thriller with a difference.