“You made a promise to your sister. It could destroy your daughter.
15-year-old Rosie lies in hospital fighting for her life. She’s trying to tell her mother what happened to her, and how she got there, but she can’t speak the words out loud.
Rosie’s mother Toni has a secret. She had a traumatic childhood, and she and her sister Bridget made each other a promise thirty years ago: that they could never speak the truth about what they went through as children, and that they would protect each other without asking for help from others, no matter what…
Rosie was Toni’s second chance to get things right: a happy, talented girl with her whole life ahead of her. Having lost her husband in a tragic accident, Toni has dedicated her life to keeping Rosie safe from harm.
But Rosie has plans that her mother doesn’t know about. She has dreams and ambitions – of love, of a career, of a life beyond the sheltered existence that her mother has created for her. But the secrets Rosie has been keeping have now put her life in danger.
In order to save Rosie, Toni may have to break her lifelong promise to her sister… and open doors to her past she hoped would remain closed forever.
The Pact is a chilling psychological thriller about the lies we will tell to save our children. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Apple Tree Yard and The Sister.”
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to damppebbles today and to my stop on The Pact blog tour, which I share with two fabulous bloggers; Jen over at Jen Med’s Book Reviews and Kaisha over at The Writing Garnet. The Pact is written by one of my favourite authors, S.E. Lynes and was published today by Bookouture so I would like to take this opportunity to wish all involved a very happy publication day! S.E. Lynes wrote one of my very favourite books of 2016, the incredible Valentina which put her well and truly on my radar as an author. Last year Lynes signed a deal with the mighty Bookouture and published her first book with them, Mother, towards the end of 2017. For a reminder of my review, please click HERE.
When I heard a second Bookouture release was in the pipeline from Susie Lynes I jumped at the chance to read it. And flipping heck, I was not disappointed. One of my favourite things about The Pact is how uneasy the reader feels from pretty much page one. I felt very apprehensive, I could sense something wasn’t quite right with the picture Lynes was painting for me and I loved it! If you’re a fan of suspense then this is a must-read.
We meet Toni, widowed mother of one teenage daughter, Rosie. Rosie is a budding theatre star but lacks the confidence to push herself to the glittering heights others feel she could achieve. Not helped by Toni, her overprotective mother. Lending a more pragmatic and considered point of view to proceedings is Toni’s older sister, Bridget. Both Bridget and Toni have been through a lot; a traumatic childhood featuring unimaginable abuse for Toni, for Bridget the need to protect her sister from the horrors but feeling a constant failure. That’s where the pact came in. A promise made many years ago that no matter what, the two sisters would look after each other and not rely on the help of others. But the pact could be the sisters undoing….
I absolutely loved Bridget. She became a bit of a superhero for me and at times I found myself cheering her on as I read (thankfully this all happened in my head otherwise my family may have been giving me the odd strange look!). I totally believed in Lynes’s characters; I could picture them, I could hear their dialogue in my head (more strange looks but from everyone reading this, this time haha!) and I truly felt for them. I didn’t like Toni as much as I liked Bridget but that was due to her overbearing, smothering nature.
Lynes has cleverly used the vocabulary used by the ‘yoof’ of today along with text speak and emojis when writing Rosie’s interactions with friends. All in all, this added to the believability factor making shy, naive young Rosie all the more real for me. Throughout the pages of The Pact my heart broke for her in many different ways.
As usual, I was looking out for clues from the very start of the book and was able to see where a couple of storyline threads were heading. Can I give you some advice? Don’t do what I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it superbly gripping from start to finish despite being able to see where things were going. I wonder how much it would have knocked my socks off if I hadn’t been doing that. Really, don’t do what I did. Read it with an open mind and see where Lynes takes you.
Would I recommend this book? I would, definitely. Very emotional, incredibly tense and a wonderful, wonderful read focussing on modern day fears and a parent’s worst nightmare. I wanted to hide behind my hands at points whilst reading, peeking out from behind my splayed fingers. Lynes is a very talented writer and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
Five out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of The Pact. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
The Pact by S.E. Lynes was published in the UK by Bookouture on 27th February 2018 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, the following Amazon and Waterstones links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington.
Review © Emma Welton | damppebbles.com