Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A Fractured Winter by Alison Baillie

I am delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for A Fractured Winter by Alison Baillie. A Fractured Winter was published by Williams and Whiting on 8 April 2018.

A Fractured Winter
By Alison Baillie
Published by Williams and Whiting (8 April 2018)
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the author

Publisher's description
A missing girl.
Threatening notes.
Sinister strangers.
Olivia's idyllic family life in a Swiss mountain village is falling apart. She thought she'd managed to escape the past, but it's coming back to haunt her. 
Has somebody discovered her secret - why she had to leave Scotland more than ten years ago?
What is her connection to Marie, a lonely schoolgirl in a Yorkshire seaside town, and Lucy, a student at a Scottish university?

My verdict
I loved Alison Baillie's first book, Sewing the Shadows Together, and yet again she's written an intriguing novel with plenty of heart.

A Fractured Winter is a combination of psychological thriller and family saga. It focuses on Olivia's seemingly idyllic life, which changes when two young girls go missing and a mysterious stranger arrives, with the potential to tear her family apart. The plot is filled with secrets and lies. It's clear that Olivia has a mysterious past, but what happened all those years ago?

The book is set mainly in a small alpine village in Switzerland, which gives the book a claustrophobic feel and a small cast of characters. It's beautifully written and its stunning descriptions of the surroundings create a great sense of place. Flashbacks to the past take place in England and Scotland, providing a series of breadcrumb clues to traumatic events in Olivia's past.

The characters are realistic and believable, all well described, with some quirky ones slotting some humour into the otherwise dark plot. I found myself turning the pages, determined to discover more about Olivia's secret, the mysterious stranger and the fate of the two missing girls.

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