Thursday, 29 June 2017

Book Review - Last Seen by Lucy Clarke

Amazon UK
Title: Last Seen
Author: Lucy Clarke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 29th June 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Seven years ago, two boys went missing at sea – and only one was brought to shore. The Sandbank, a remote stretch of coast dotted with beach huts, was scarred forever.

Sarah’s son survived, but on the anniversary of the accident, he disappears without trace. As new secrets begin to surface, The Sandbank hums with tension and unanswered questions. Sarah’s search grows more desperate and she starts to mistrust everyone she knows – and she’s right to.

Someone saw everything on that fateful day seven years ago. And they’ll do anything to keep the truth buried.

Unputdownable and enthralling, I can't really ask for more than that from a book, and Last Seen offers that and even more. 

On the surface its a reasonably easy story to understand. Jacob and Marley were inseparable best friends. 7 years ago unfortunately Marley drowned on Jacob's birthday when they were 10 years old. Now on the night of his 17th birthday Jacob is last seen in The Sandbank area and no one knows what happened to him or where he is. 

The story is told from the points of view of Isla and Sarah. Sarah is Jacob's mother and Isla was Marleys. Between them we discover just what happened this summer, and also the hidden details of what happened 7 years before, as well as developments in between. 

I found it really hard to like Sarah as a character and I wasn't overly keen on Isla either, but as the book progressed the writing had be so absorbed, and I was very interested to see just what happened to Jacob that I was able to see past my dislike of them and just not stop thinking about the book. 

The timeline of the book is easy to follow, and the pacing was great. Although I didn't think too much happened in the first bit of the book, it was really laying the foundation for the rest of the story. 

There are so many secrets and half truths in the book, that every time you thought you knew what would happen, or had just about grasped the current theory, then something else occurred that had you thinking in a different direction. 

Originally I was slightly upset that Lucy Clarke hadn't featured another exotic location for this book's setting, like some of her previous ones, but that was forgotten just a few pages into the book, when the writing grasped me regardless and wouldn't let me go. Regardless The Sandbank was in fact an excellent setting for a book, being a sandbank that is only generally accessed by boat when the tides are right, and that it contains a row of beach huts, and not too much else. Which gave the book a really atmospheric setting, while still coming across as summery but in a slightly sinister way! 

Unfortunately I had no choice but to put Last Seen down a few times, but given half a choice I would have read this in one sitting. Even when I wasn't reading it my mind was on the book, as it really is compelling storytelling. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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