Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Book Review - The Disappearance by Annabel Kantaria

Amazon UK
Title: The Disappearance
Author: Annabel Kantaria
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: 21st April 2016
Rating: 3.5 Stars

In a family built on lies, who can you trust?
Audrey Bailey will never forget the moment she met Ralph Templeton in the sweltering heat of a Bombay café. Her lonely life over, she was soon married with two small children. But things in the Templeton household were never quite what they seemed.

Now approaching 70, and increasingly a burden on the children she’s never felt close to, Audrey plans a once-in-a-lifetime cruise around the Greek isles. Forcing twins Lexi and John along for the ride, the Templetons set sail as a party of three – but only two will return.

On the night of her birthday, Audrey goes missing…hours after she breaks the news that the twins stand to inherit a fortune after her death. As the search of the ship widens, so does the list of suspects – and with dark clues emerging about Audrey’s early life, the twins begin to question if they can even trust one another…

The first part of this book jumps around a lot, between the events leading up to the cruise, and also Audrey's early marriage, how she met Ralph Templeton, and just what went on behind closed doors. 

I found myself the whole way through really hating Lexi and John, Aubrey's adult twins, who seemed to resent their mother, and determined to put her in a home years before it would be necessary. I found there was no warmth to either character, and it took until almost the end of the book for my opinion of Lexi to change. John was just horrible man, and seemed to share characteristics with his father. 

The second part of the book is the cruise in detail, and as a huge travel fan, cruising, fan and lover of the Greek Isles, I enjoyed reading about the ports of call, and trying to guess what real world cruise ship the ship they were on was based on. The descriptions in this part of the book really spoke to me and the first few days of the cruise was my favourite section of the whole book. 

I found the disappearance in question to be ultimately disappointing, I didn't feel any tension, or the must read pull that I normally would with a book of this nature, and although there were some surprises, I found they really were just potential motives of a far nastier theory. 

Although I didn't quite guess the outcome, I was hoping for it to turn out how it did, so I didn't even get a a proper shock at the ending. 

I found The Disappearance had a lot of promise but that it just fell short as a psychological thriller. As a book about family dynamics, that had a family holiday in it, I found it an enjoyable story, with quite a few positives, but found my lack of empathy towards any of the main characters a bit worrying, and this didn't really connect to the book as a whole. I did find it to be a surprisingly fast book, and although I wouldn't say it was compulsive, I did read it in one evening, and was shocked how quick I seemed to be getting through it. 

Thanks so much to Netgalley and MIRA for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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