“The waves are to die for. It’s a paradise they’d kill to keep.
There’s a darkness inside all of us and The Bay has a way of bringing it out. Everyone here has their secrets but we don’t go looking for them. Because sometimes it’s better not to know.
Kenna arrives in Sydney to surprise her best friend, shocked to hear she’s going to marry a guy she’s only just met. But Mikki and her fiancé Jack are about to head away on a trip, so Kenna finds herself tagging along for the ride.
Sorrow Bay is beautiful, wild and dangerous. A remote surfing spot with waves to die for, cut off from the rest of the world. Here Kenna meets the mysterious group of people who will do anything to keep their paradise a secret. Sky, Ryan, Clemente and Victor have come to ride the waves and disappear from life. How will they feel about Kenna turning up unannounced?
As Kenna gets drawn into their world, she sees the extremes they are prepared to go to for the next thrill. And everyone seems to be hiding something. What has her best friend got involved in and how can she get her away? But one thing is rapidly becoming clear about The Bay: nobody ever leaves.”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of The Bay by Allie Reynolds. The Bay was published by Headline last week (that’s Thursday 23rd June 2022) and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow at a later date. I chose to read a free eARC of The Bay but that has in no way influenced my review.
I thoroughly enjoyed Allie Reynolds’s debut when it was published in 2021. So much so that Shiver was one of my top ten(ish) books of the year! So it goes without saying that I was very excited to get hold of a copy of The Bay, also known as The Swell in other parts of the world, and made a start on this one as soon as it landed on my Kindle.
London-based sports therapist Kenna hasn’t seen her childhood best friend Mikki for a while but they speak regularly. When Mikki announces her sudden engagement to fellow surfer, Jack, Kenna is delighted for her. But soon Kenna starts to believe Jack isn’t quite as perfect as Mikki makes out and may be more interested in Mikki’s bank account than the woman herself. So Kenna jumps on a plane to Australia to check the situation out for herself. Arriving unannounced, Mikki is shocked to see Kenna and informs her that she and Jack are planning some time away from their Sydney apartment and heading to a secluded bay with a group of friends. Kenna tags along but upon meeting the group, starts to feel something isn’t quite right about them. Kenna is an outcast. It soon becomes clear that the group all have secrets, they’re all hiding something, and they’ll do anything to protect their secrets and Sorrow Bay…
The Bay is a wonderfully written character-driven mystery which I savoured. I was always keen to return to the secrets of Sorrow Bay and its inhabitants, always feeling as though I was teetering on the edge of making a shocking discovery. Reynolds has created a cast of thoroughly intriguing characters who rub alongside each other, with an ever present feeling of threat never far away. On arrival at the camp it is clear that this close knit group of not friends, more accomplices, are hiding something and poor Kenna, having travelled thousands and thousands of miles, is really not welcome! What I found interesting was I felt instead of trying to integrate herself into the group, Kenna went in with question after question which ensured the barriers went up and the original group grew tighter, leaving her alone, trying to figure out exactly what is going on between this odd bunch of people. Tensions rise, insecurities mount and Kenna is stranded far from home.
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. The Bay is a twisty, compelling read which I really enjoyed. I’m a huge fan of Australian mysteries and a lot of the books I read by Aussie-based authors are set in small, dusty towns (not complaining, absolutely love that type of setting!) but The Bay with its vast coastline felt refreshingly different. I don’t know how the author has made such a vast open space feel so confined and claustrophobic but she has and it’s superb. I do love me a claustrophobic setting! As with Shiver which was based around a group of snowboarders, The Bay with its band of surfers has actually taught me a lot about a sport I have no experience of, which I enjoyed (me in a wetsuit? No chance!). I did have a tiny inkling about where the story was going to go which was eventually proved right but Reynolds does a marvellous job of making you doubt every single member of the group. All in all, The Bay is a gripping mystery with some of the most secretive, intriguing characters I have met in a long time. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author in the future. Recommended.
I chose to read and review a free eARC of The Bay. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
The Bay by Allie Reynolds was published in the UK by Headline on 23rd June 2022 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow at a later date (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | bookshop.org | Goodreads | damppebbles bookshop.org shop |
Allie Reynolds’ debut thriller SHIVER is out now! SHIVER has sold in 24 territories and will be translated into 23 languages. Her second thriller, THE BAY (UK, ANZ)/THE SWELL (North America) is out in mid-2022.
Born and raised in the UK, Allie moved to Queensland Australia in 2004. She lives by the beach with her two young boys.
Many years ago she competed at snowboard halfpipe. These days she sticks to surfing – water doesn’t hurt as much as ice when you fall on it.
She’s a massive reader. Her first ever job was a Saturday job in a bookstore, at age 14. She’s read and enjoyed pretty much every genre there is, but these days she mostly prefers thrillers, especially psychological thrillers with interesting settings. She also loves romance, crime, sports fiction, high concept stories with interesting premises, and non-fiction including sports biographies and self-help.