THE SPLIT | Sharon Bolton
04.28.2020 | Minotaur Books
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
South Georgia is a remote Antarctic island home to a handful of scientists and a tourist location for only the most adventurous. Felicity Lloyd is one of the resident scientists occupying this island while working on her glacier research. Felicity was more than happy to leave behind her city life in Cambridge and move to South Georgia. She has a past she doesn’t like to speak about, but it seems it might be catching up with her. As the last tourist boat of the season comes in, Felicity fears her ex-husband may be aboard. Why does she fear him? Why has he tracked her down?
Sharon Bolton has become an auto-buy author for me over the years after loving DEAD WOMAN WALKING and THE CRAFTSMAN. As with Bolton’s previous works, I found yet again she set the stage for a creepy, atmospheric, and suspenseful read within the pages of THE SPLIT.
Bolton drops the reader into Felicity’s life in present day on South Georgia island where we find her preparing to go on the run on one of the most remote islands in the world. It appears her ex-husband has tracked her down. Details are extremely sparse, but the reader knows there is reason to be fearful of this man. Instead of keeping with this timeline, Bolton drives the story back in time after the first handful of chapters. The reader is taken back to the months leading up to Felicity’s decision to move to South Georgia in order to give us a look into her past. I loved this transition in time and getting to know Felicity more intimately.
Not only does Bolton smartly take the reader through time with the different sections of this book, but she also includes alternating narratives to give the reader a full and complete picture of Felicity. I wouldn’t call Felicity an unreliable narrator in the traditional sense that we see with thrillers these days, but there is definitely some underlying untruth coming through her narrative, which leads the reader to second guess what they’re being told. I know this sounds vague, but it’s hard to talk about the details of this book without spoiling the storyline.
In addition to great formatting and narration, Bolton also provides the reader with an atmospheric quality that is simply unbeatable during the present day, South Georgia sections. I love that the island became its own character with the way it plays a role in Felicity’s actions and the overall story. There is something immediately unsettling about being on the isolated island of South Georgia that instantly enhances the danger Felicity feels.
My major hang up with THE SPLIT and the reason I can’t give it a higher star rating is that I guessed all the twists within the first few chapters. Maybe it’s a case of I read too much crime fiction or maybe I’ve become a really amazing detective! I found myself thinking the answers were a bit obvious and I was genuinely frustrated with the other characters for not putting the puzzle pieces together faster. Despite this, I really enjoyed the book and for the longer length of story, it went by incredibly quickly. I think this book is perfect for those looking to get into the genre who want a quick and engaging story!
A huge thank you to Minotaur Books for my free copy!
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.