Beneath the shimmering surface lies a dark secret…
Diana and Julian Denver have the world at their feet. With a blissful marriage, a darling son and beautiful homes in London and the country, Diana’s life, to the outside world, is perfect. But nothing is as it seems…
When Julian dies suddenly and tragically, Diana is convinced there is more to it than meets the eye. She calls on the one person she had never wanted to see again – her sister, Rachel.
A former tabloid reporter, Rachel appears to be living the dream as a diving instructor on a Thai island. The truth is she’s in exile, estranged from her family and driven from her career by Fleet Street’s phone-hacking scandal.
For Rachel, Diana’s request opens old wounds. But she is determined to make amends for the past, and embarks on a treacherous journey to uncover the truth – wherever it may lead…
First of all thank you to the lovely people at Headline for providing me with a copy of this book through Bookbridgr. This was the first time I read a Tasmina Perry book and I can’t say it will be my last.
The story revolves around the mystery surrounding the death of Diana’s beloved husband, Julian. Diana, unlike everyone else, questions the way in which he dies and doesn’t believe for a second that everything is what it seems. As such, she calls on her sister Rachel to help her. One sibling helping another in a situation like this is normal but it comes as a surprise to all when Rachel comes to her sister’s aid in the hopes of solving Julian’s mysterious death regardless of the fact that the two sisters haven’t to spoken to one another in years.
From the beginning I was reeled into the story very quickly. We are shown the two different lives lived by two sisters, who in the prologue seem to have the closest relationship, yet now in the present for some reason, are miles apart from one another – physically and mentally. The mystery surrounding their apparent feud immediately had me hooked, as I found myself continuously wondering what could be the cause of their relationship deteoriating to such an extent.
I’m not sure how much I liked either of the sisters at the beginning but I can say that I definitely warmed to both as the plot progressed. For me, the character that had the most growth was Diana. From being reserved to naïve to independent, she blossomed into someone who you could truly appreciate as a person and I loved that she did because a lot of the time my sympathies were with her.
Tasmina puts a lot of detail into the personalities of the two sisters and I was constantly learning new things about both as the story progressed. Of course one the main issues that keeps these two sisters together (and at times apart) is Julian. From flashbacks we learn more about Julian and the type of man he was and why to Diana he seemed perfect and why to Rachel, he was perhaps not so perfect. Then of course his death brings about suspicion as to who he really was as an individual. Was he the man that Diana fell in love with and married or was he the snob that Rachel believed him to be? So many questions were brought up in the novel and they did well to keep my interest in the story going.
The pace of the book was slow, at times, but it reflected the mood of the characters perfectly. Tasmina’s writing is clear and easy to understand. She goes into a lot of detail, in terms of places and her character personalities are quite in depth so I felt as if I had known the protagonists my whole life. Lots of twists and turns kept the plot of the novel intriguing and I certainly didn’t expect the ending as it was and for that I’m certainly glad!
Overall, if you are a romance and women’s literature/family saga fan then this book is perfect for you. There’s suspense, love and a whole lot of family dynamics that keeps the story going and makes it even more brilliant! This book has definitely raised my expectations and I hope that, as soon I as I get my hands on another Tasmina Perry book, it’s as good as this. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of this book because you will not regret it!
Overall Rating: 9/10