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Cruel Summer [Paperback]

James Dawson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 Aug 2014

One year after the suicide of their friend Janey, the rest of the group decide to spend the summer together in a holiday villa in the Mediterranean. They're hoping to get over the terrible events of the previous year, but then a new guest arrives, claiming to have evidence that Janey's suicide was actually murder. When the guest is found dead, it becomes clear that the killer must be one of the group - but who is it? And will they strike again?

A compelling psychological thriller - with a dash of romance.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Indigo (7 Aug 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780621752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780621753
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Dawson, author of dark teen thriller HOLLOW PIKE, grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of Doctor Who. He later turned his talent to journalism, interviewing luminaries such as Steps and Atomic Kitten before writing a weekly serial in a Brighton newspaper.

Until recently, James worked as a teacher, specialising in PSHCE and behaviour. He is most proud of his work surrounding bullying and family diversity. He now writes full time in London.

In his spare time, he STILL loves Doctor Who and is a keen follower of horror films and connoisseur of pop music.

Product Description

Review

With a lively cast of characters, each with their own unexpected secrets to hide, plenty of twists and turns and a glamorous Mediterranean setting, this is an entertaining and accessible mystery that will keep readers guessing as they try to work out 'whodunnit'. A perfect poolside summer read. (Booktrust Booktrust 2013-10-28) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A group of friends are enjoying a long, hot summer in a Mediterranean villa - until someone starts killing them off, one by one...

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping YA thriller! 8 Aug 2013
By Zarina @ Page to Stage reviews TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
One year since they left school and their friend Janey committed suicide after the leavers' ball, Ryan, Alisha, Ben, Katie, and Greg reunite for a summer break in Spain. What should've been a relaxing holiday to reconnect with old friends and put the tragic loss of Janey behind them, quickly turns into a nightmare when an ex-schoolmate shows up claiming that Janey didn't commit suicide but was in actual fact murdered! The group doesn't believe Roxanne at first but when the next day she's found dead in the pool, the former friends quickly turn on one another as they realise one of them is the killer and all of their lives are in danger...

I found 'Cruel Summer' to be a more intricate and grown-up version of the Point Horror novels I devoured in my early teens. It has all the same aspects of the classic book series but the characters are more fleshed out and realistic, and the "whodunnit" wasn't as predictable. In fact, author James Dawson very cleverly gave all the characters motive and opportunity at some point during the story progression, making the reader suspect each one in turn and only moments before the big reveal did I arrive at the correct conclusion. He not only kept the characters but also the reader on their toes throughout.

Another aspect that sets this novel apart from similar themed ones in the YA genre is the interesting voice of Ryan. In alternating chapters we see the story unfold through the eyes of Ryan and Alisha, but it's the former in particular who stands out as a character. Ryan is very theatrical and dramatic and he pretends he is living in a TV-show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect summer reading 28 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Review: Leavers’ dance night. Janey Bradshaw commits suicide. One year later. Her old group of friends Ryan, Katie, Alisha, Greg, and Ben, with the addition of Greg’s girlfriend Erin meet for a holiday in Katie’s Spanish villa. Then Roxanne shows up, with claims that Janey was murdered. Then someone else dies, it comes out that someone at that villa is a killer, and soon they’re all caught up in mysteries and secrets of both the present day and the past.
Reason why I read this: I loved Hollow Pike and expected it to be just as good. It didn’t disappoint.
Ryan, I think there may be something wrong with him. He sees everything as part of a TV series that he is the star of. It’s good, a quirky character trait, to start with, but it gets weird when someone dies and he’s still stuck in that mindset. He’s a little annoying, but a really nice, funny guy too. Most of the cast are likeable, and all are intriguing with secrets and exploration and development. I liked Alisha or Katie equally best. They both develop the most, and they’re both strong girls who are awesome. I like the fact we got to know quite a bit about, and get kind of close to, Janey too, considering she's dead.
It plays out very much like a classic teen-slasher film. Everyone fits into classic stereotypes, and it’s self-aware, with genre savvy Ryan and booky girl Katie.
It is written as scenes, each following a certain character. Most of the time it’s Alisha and Ryan, but there’s some flashbacks to fill you in on backstory. Everything gets revealed after hints, and it’s unpredictable, and gripping.
Mostly there’s mystery, and horror regarding the murders and something else that happens that I don’t think I should say, but there’s also bits of romance and coming of age/figuring out who you are.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 2 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback
A fantastic read from James Dawson and highly recommended. Lots of twists and turns which makes it hard to put down and some brilliant one-liners that made me chuckle to myself like a loon. Certainly a book that needs to be made into a teen horror film pronto.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Wow! Cruel Summer was a great read. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of murder mysteries, but I hadn't read one in a while. So when picked Cruel Summer up, I was very excited, as you would be. And I was blown away. Not only was the story so brilliantly thought out, it was brilliantly told too. I am now a huge fan of James Dawson and will definitely be reading his other novels.

I want to start off by talking about the wonderful plot. I started Cruel Summer thinking it would be a typical murder mystery, nothing special. But I was wrong! It turned out to be a story full of jealousy, lust, love, and revenge. I really had no idea who did it until the very end. What a reveal that was! It was such a shocker. Those final scenes were thrilling and had me sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, praying for the characters. I loved the ending, but I would have like it to be slightly longer because I do like mysteries to be wrapped up nice and tight.

"Against the white cliffs, the girl in the red dress was as vivid as a drop of blood. Even by moonlight, the rugged shoreline was visible for miles at sea: two vast ave mouths yawned, black stains scarring the chalk. The tide was coming in, advancing on a dark, rocky beach; the surf sighed over the shingle as the waves crept closer."

The story is told in the style of a TV show. Instead of chapters, there being 'scenes'. It was an interesting concept, but I'm not sure if I liked it. I think I wounds have enjoyed it mor if it was told in the usual style of a book, because I couldn't really see the story as something I'd be watching on telly. I liked the setting, the luxury villa in the middle of nowhere with nothing but sun, sea and sand.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book by a brilliant author.
Published 19 hours ago by laura button
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic !
After reading James Dawsons Hollow Pike following stumbling upon his website when searching for old point horror books one day I thought nothing could top it... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michelle Toy
4.0 out of 5 stars This holiday will be a scream...!
I've had this one for a while, but kept putting it off.. but when I did pick it up, I devoured it in a day! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michelle Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story
This book had you hooked from the start . Great story with a startling end. Would definitely recommend. Intense drama
Published 4 months ago by Louise J. Maggs
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
A group of friends gather at a Spanish villa, exactly one year after one of their number fell to her death off a cliff - was is suicide or was it murder? Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gripping read - I couldn't put it down!
This is an absolutely brilliant book! I read it in one day -I just couldn't put it down. The storyline is amazing with all sorts of twists and turns along the way and in the most... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ladylee
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic!
I've heard a million wonderful things about this book even before I picked it up so I was pretty sure I was in for a treat, but I would have never predicted how much of a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits, and Tea
5.0 out of 5 stars Twists and turns
One summer ago, Janey Bradshaw died on the night of her prom. Was it suicide, or did something darker happen that night? Read more
Published 8 months ago by litllibrarian
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Very easy to read, read this book in two days. Didn't see the twist coming. Which is always good. Definitely worth a read. I enjoyed reading it.
Published 9 months ago by Miss K. L. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book excellent read couldn't put this down once started. Ordered for the kindle and well worth the money. Nice holiday read
Published 10 months ago by sarah vaughan
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