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|Print List Price:||£14.99|
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New Year Island: A Psychological Suspense Survival Thriller (Northern California Suspense Thrillers Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 725 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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This is nothing like I imagined. It begins innocently enough, revealing the back story of a few of the characters, enough to draw you in and catch your interest. Then it starts in earnest with non-stop action all the way.
I won't go into details as I don't want to spoil the enjoyment for anyone, but I strongly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys tense drama with plenty of surprises along the way. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of this authors work.
Ten people get invitations to be contestants on a reality show. It will be filmed on a deserted island, overrun by seals, birds and sharks. They get checks for $5,000 for showing up, with the promise of a first prize of 5 million, over a million for second and third, and $100,000 for everyone else who doesn't get disqualified.
The author introduces his characters in the very beginning and then sets the stage for the story from their personal points of view. His talent at laying the foundation through their backgrounds made interesting reading. The ten main characters -- the doctor, the model, the soldier, the mountain climber, the shy student, the SCUBA dive leader, the banker, the producer, the director of a women's shelter and the ex-con, all have a secret. Too many main characters can be confusing, but I had no trouble remembering any of them.
On the way to the island, the reader gets a unique feeling of foreboding. From then to the end of the book, there are goose bumps at every twist and turn.
I couldn't put the book down! I found myself planning to read just a few more pages, and ended up reading late into the night, even skipping dinner. The author has great skill at surrounding the unbelievable with the believable. He lures the reader into suspending reality.
This book has everything I need in a mystery and psychological thriller. Hands down, it's one of the most riveting books I've read in the last few years.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review, and I hope you found it helpful in making a purchase decision.
The book grabs your attention right from the start with short flashback storylines for many of the main characters...each of them facing an intense, life-threatening ordeal. The short flashback chapters all end with the understanding that the individual survived; but that there was much more to the situation that lives on as secrets which haven't yet been revealed to the reader.
Spring ahead to many years later, and these same people, along with a few others, have all received an invitation that is too hard to turn down. As the ten selected candidates board a luxury megayacht, the mystery begins as they discover they are the only ones onboard other than the ship's crew. Rather than a live representative to greet them, a video image of their host, Julian, proceeds to divide them into two teams and provides a cursory explanation of what their contract entails. They're then transported to a remote biological research island off the California coast where they are to be abandoned for two weeks with the intention of competing for the $5,000,000 grand prize in a new reality show.
Upon their abandonment on the island, it becomes immediately apparent that things are not as they were expected to be. In an eerie following of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, they begin their quest for shelter and food. Although they have no means of communicating with the outside world; along the way, they continue to receive video instructions of what is expected of them. Some days, the two teams are taxed with games that will earn the team, and individual players, with points toward winning the 5 million. Other days, the only expectation of them is that they try to survive...an expectation that is easier said than done.
For any of us readers who have ever had to suffer through corporate team-building exercises during its heyday, let me tell you...we had it easy then. No one died. The nightmarish struggles that these teams have to endure on the island takes team-building to an entirely different, and terrifying, level.
Besides the horrific happenings on the island, I found it fascinating how the various characters interacted with each other -- at times supportive and protective, but other times suspicious and fearful of what their fellow teammates were up to. The playing of the reality show "game" encompasses all that is good and evil about human nature...very Lord-of-the-Flies-esque. For most of the contestants, the image of the five million bucks is, over time, displaced by the hope of remaining alive and getting off the island.
The author does an excellent job in developing the book's characters into people who you end up caring about. As a result of their earlier ordeals, some of them had devoted their lives to important charity foundations and it helped me, as the reader, understand their hunger and hope for what the millions in prize money could do for their life's work. It also helped me to see what drove each of the contestants to do what they did.
I lost count of how many times I thought I had "figured out" the book. I was wrong; but still kept trying, though. This book truly kept me guessing up until near the end.
If you enjoy mysteries and psychological thrillers, I highly recommend this book. I hope my review helps you to decide if this book would be of interest to you.
Soon enough, it becomes apparent that several of these people are hiding shameful secrets and the contest promoters have other ulterior motives in mind. Tension and suspicion build as people start to disappear or are murdered and this quickly becomes a battle for literal survival.
Personally, I thought that some things were a bit 'over the top', like the way some people kept surviving against incredible odds. For instance, it is hard to imagine that people at the heart of a massive explosion can actually survive, but they do in this story. So be prepared to suspend belief and enjoy the suspense and surprising twists and turns the author brings us.
The Kindle book is formatted well and the team score cards are nicely displayed.
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