Author: Allie Reynolds
Publication Date: Out in Paperback 28th October 2021
They don’t know what I did. And I intend to keep it that way.
How far would you go to win? Hyper-competitive people, mind games and a dangerous natural environment combine to make the must-read thriller of the year. Fans of Lucy Foley and Lisa Jewell will be gripped by spectacular debut novel Shiver.
When Milla is invited to a reunion in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can’t seem to let go.
The five friends haven’t seen each other for ten years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia. But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realise they don’t know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth.
In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.
Despite being one of the least sporty people ever I find the environment of competitive sports incredibly fascinating so Shiver, set in the world of elite snowboarding, really appealed to me. Happily, I can confirm it is every bit as thrilling and unputdownable as it looks! The story follows a group of friends who haven’t seen each other in a decade, since the winter that one of their number disappeared. They are gathered in mysterious circumstances to the deserted ski resort where they all last saw each other and end up engaged in a terrifying game of cat and mouse with dangerous secrets from the past finally beginning to come to light.
I absolutely flew through Shiver, it totally gripped me and I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what happened to the stunning, yet dangerous Saskia all those years ago and who was pulling the strings in the present day. I love when I don’t know who to trust in a thriller and that was definitely the case here, I had my suspicions about all of the main characters at some point and trying to figure out who was lying and who was allied with who was so much fun. The narrative is split between the tense situation in the present day and the fateful winter ten years ago when everything went wrong. Both timelines were completely equally compelling , which often doesn’t happen in a thriller. At the end of every chapter I wanted to stay with the action, always a sign of a successful dual narrative. The parts set ten years ago, right in the middle of the competitive winter snowboarding season with these young athletes pushing themselves beyond all limits was perfectly captured on the page. The author, having been a freestyle snowboarder herself, clearly totally understands the mindset of professional athletes and, despite knowing literally nothing about snowboarding myself, I was one hundred percent invested and obsessed with the intensity of what is evidently an extremely dangerous sport.
The stakes are so high all the way through Shiver and it makes for a high octane and consistently engrossing read. The characters are all really interesting and the relationships between them so loaded with intent, passion and history that things never feel predictable at all. I absolutely loved this book, I couldn’t put it down and the setting and atmosphere is so fantastically evocative that I felt I was right there with these characters, at the mercy of not just their unknown puppet master but of the environment itself. Highly recommend.
I kindly received a proof of Shiver prior to publication. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.