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#Blog Tour #Book Review of The Island by Mary Grand #Domestic thriller @rararesources @Boldwood Books

Thank you to Rachel fromrachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for The Islan, a new gripping psychological thriller by Mary Grand.


The Island

The Island – where everyone knows everyone, and secrets are impossible to keep…

‘Be careful, you don’t know them as well as you think. Remember – anyone can kill.’

Juliet has returned to the Isle of Wight from years abroad to visit her sick father and to be reunited with her three sisters – Cassie, a professional musician who seems to have lost her way in life, Mira, who is profoundly deaf, is married to the local vicar but their relationship is falling apart, and Rosalind, glamorous and charming but now deeply unhappy and secretive about her life. 
As Juliet’s father lies dying, he issues her with a warning. There is a killer on the loose, and they may be closer than she can ever imagine. He anxiously tells Juliet that he confided a family secret in son-in-law Rhys, and now regrets ever saying a word.
Days later, as the clock strikes one in the morning, a man comes out of Rhys’s church, walks along the path and is run down by a car driven by an unidentified person. When the finger of suspicion points to Juliet, she realises the only way to clear her name is to uncover the secrets her family has been keeping from her for years. But with a killer on the loose, danger is getting closer all the time…

The Island  is set on the Isle of Wight – insular,  claustrophobic, and where secrets are hard to keep. Mary Grand’s heart-stopping who-dunnits are perfect for fans of Louise Candlish. Agatha Christie and Lucy Foley.

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My thoughts:

The Island by Mary Grand is a kind of book that grows on you as you keep on turning pages. Set on the beautiful Isle of Wight, it is atmospheric (almost gothic in some parts), twisty, and impossible to put down.

Thirty-one-year-old Juliet has been teaching English in China for two years, when she receives a call from her mother teling herabout a serious car accident that put her father in hospital. Juliet takes the first flight home and gets to the hospital just in time to have one last conversation with her dying father, who hints at various secrets that must not be revealed. especially since anyone with a motive can become a murderer on a small island like this. He also seems to regret having confided in Rhys, the local vicar and his son-in-law. At the funeral, Rhys makes a strange eulogy talking about sins, punishment and the duty of doing the right thing. Back home, Juliet sees more and more secrets and strange, conspiratory looks.

All four sisters in this close-knit family are well-written characters with distinct personalities. The eldest one Cassie is a talented musician who used to be distant and uninvolved in the family, but is about to become a partner in a new business venture. Kind and selfless Mira, married to Rhys, appears to have some disagreements with her husband. The baby of the family Rosalind, the most spoilt and impatient of all of them, has grown a hard edge. Juliet keeps remembering the day Cassie and her mother came home with the newborn Rosalind, when their neighbours’ son Harry was killed. The police have never found the murderer. When Rhys’s body is found outside the vicarage in what appears a hit-and-run accident, everyone becomes a suspect, and you can’t help thinking that these two cases might be connected.

I really liked the way the author kept adding layers and layers, secrets, hints and suppostitions in a slow and steady manner in this compelling domestic thriller. Mary Grand doesn’t tell you, she shows a detail and lets you make your own conclusions. Sometimes they will misdirect you, other times they will lead straight to the crux of the matter. You just have to be patient and pay attention to the clues that will allow you to solve the mysteries and secrets that abound in this family and this part of the island.

I particularly appreciated the portrayal of Mira who is profoundly Deaf and the details that made this character so realistic.

My first thriller by this talented author and I was pleasantly surprised by how good the book is. I was thoroughly entertained and will be looking forward to reading Mary Grand’s next book!

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources, NetGalley and Boldwood Books for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Author Bio:

Mary Grand is the author of five novels and writes gripping, page-turning suspense, with a dark and often murderous underside. She grew up in Wales, was for many years a teacher of deaf children and now lives on the Isle of Wight where her new novel, The House Party, which was published by Boldwood in August 2020, is set.
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