Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

614ddEUsR3L._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_“Limerick, Ireland: Oscar Harvey finds the body of a woman in a car boot, beaten and bloody. But let’s start at the beginning…

Kate and Mannix O’Brien live in a lovely Limerick house they can barely afford. Their autistic son is bullied at school and their daughter Izzy wishes she could protect him. When she spots a gorgeous New York flat on a home-exchange website, Kate decides that her family needs a holiday.

Hazel and Oscar Harvey, and their two children, live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Though they seem successful, Hazel has mysterious bruises and Oscar is hiding things about his dental practice.

Hazel is keen to revisit her native Limerick, and the house swap offers a perfect chance to soothe two troubled marriages.

But this will be anything but a perfect break. And the body is just the beginning.”

I had been considering this book on NetGalley when I received an email asking if I would like a review copy.  I was of course delighted and accepted immediately.  I’m glad I did as it’s a great début novel and I look forward to reading more from Siobhan MacDonald.

Things aren’t quite right for Kate and Mannix.  Their son is struggling at school and being bullied.  Their 11 year old daughter is pretty much ignored because their son takes up so much of their time and attention.  They as a couple have drifted apart.  That’s when Kate realises that she has to do something to save her family.  Money is tight so she signs up for a house swap with an American couple living in Manhattan.  They seem a nice normal couple on the surface but what secrets do they hide underneath…

This book opens with a dead body being shoved into the boot of a car.  You have no idea what has gone before but that doesn’t stop you from becoming an amateur detective and trying to connect the dots.

Each chapter is narrated by one of the four main adult characters.  As you progress through the book you begin to understand the destructive secrets the two families have been living with.  You think the story is going in a certain direction, but you’re probably wrong!

My favourite character in the book was Fergus, Kate and Mannix’s son.  I liked Kate but I didn’t love her.  The rest of the characters I struggled to warm to, especially the men.

I enjoyed this book.  If you like a fast paced psychological thriller then you might want to look somewhere else.  However, if you like your books character driven with a steady build then this is the book for you.

Four out of five stars.

Many thanks to Canelo and Siobhan MacDonald for providing me with a copy of Twisted River in exchange for an honest review.

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald was published in the UK by Canelo on 18th April 2016 and is available in eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com

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