“When the submarine departed, none of the ten people on board knew it would turn into a nightmare.
Trapped on the sunken vessel on the bottom of the ocean and unable to escape, one of them is discovered dead. The tension escalates as the survivors realise there is a murderer among them, who is preparing to strike again and again…
With mounting desperation, people begin to turn on each other. While they struggle to identify who is responsible, each must contend with their own past, the claustrophobia and the secrets they are hiding.
But who is who? And which of them will be next to die?
Below the surface, the pressure is building and time is running out…”
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to damppebbles today and to my stop on the Pressure blog blitz. Pressure is the latest release from author and entrepreneur, Betsy Reavley. I absolutely fell in love with the magnificent The Optician’s Wife, one of Reavley’s earlier releases which, if you haven’t read yet then you really should get yourself a copy! My love for The Optician’s Wife always makes Betsy Reavley’s books something to look forward to for me. Pressure is published today so a very happy book birthday to Betsy and the team at Bloodhound Books.
I found Pressure to be lots of fun; lots of blood-soaked, terrifying, ‘impending sense of doom’ fun. My absolute favourite type! Regular visitors to the blog will know that I am a sucker for crime/horror crossover books (I flipping LOVE them!). And although this isn’t really a horror novel I had that feeling while reading, that fear in the pit of my stomach, that uncertainty and that glorious unease a good horror book can give to its reader. What you may not know about me is that I am a terrible claustrophobic; I can’t even play ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ at my children’s birthday parties as having my eyes covered makes me panic. If like me you tend to suffer from an intense fear of confined spaces then Pressure should probably come with a health warning. It’s about a submarine. Not only is it about a submarine, it’s about a submarine which fails and sinks to the ocean floor with ten people onboard. And one of them is a murderer, slowly killing the others off, one by one.
I loved the setup of this book. I’m a huge fan of stories where the characters are trapped, with little to no chance of escape and one sadistic soul is offing them in disturbing and unique ways. Parts of Pressure reminded me of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None with a cast of devilish characters hiding their dastardly secrets from the rest of the world. I spent my time reading Pressure and ATTWN not being sure who the murder was. Reavley has done a masterful job of throwing in some very convincing red herrings along the way and boy, did I fall for them!
Each chapter is either told from a child’s perspective, told in real-time as the bodies mount on the submarine or, is one of the characters giving a brief snapshot into their background, a fleeting glimpse into their past and often the wrongs they have committed. The chapters narrated by the child are hard-hitting and difficult to read at times. The unknown narrator tells a tale of extreme abuse, of a mother’s hatred for their child and of a life lived very much alone. As the child grows into a young adult the reader gets to see how this horrific abuse has contributed towards and helped cause unending damage to this young mind (nature or nurture, I’m not sure).
Would I recommend this book? I would. It was a compelling read and just the sort of book I love to lose myself in. Being really rather grisly in places just added to the enjoyment for me. As I progressed towards the end I was starting to feel a sense of disappointment, I believed I had guessed what was going to happen next and it wasn’t what I would have chosen. But I was wrong, and the ending couldn’t have been better.
Four stars out of five.
I chose to read an eARC of Pressure. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Pressure by Betsy Reavley was published in the UK by Bloodhound Books on 4th May 2018 and is available in paperback and eBook formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Book Depository | Goodreads |
Author of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Frailty, Carrion, Beneath the Watery Moon and the poetry collection The Worm in the Bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.
As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.
She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.
In her early twenties she moved to Oxford, where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.
Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”
Betsy Reavley currently lives in London, with her husband, 2 children, dog, cat and chickens.