Friday 14 July 2017

BLOG TOUR: Do Not Become Alarmed - Maile Meloy

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship's comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship's safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they're gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents - now turning on one another and blaming themselves - try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

What did I think?

I was really looking forward to reading this one so I jumped right in as if I was diving into the clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.  It sounds gripping and intriguing from the excellent strapline: The sun is shining, the sea is blue, the children have disappeared... So what's it all about?  A question I ask myself now even though I have read it.  Seriously, what's it all about?

Liv and Nora are cousins who are as close as sisters.  They decide to spend the Christmas holidays on board a luxury cruise liner with their husbands and children.  The guys go off to play golf as the women and children go on an excursion with a guide from the ship.  On the way to the zip wire excursion, the minibus gets a flat tyre but the guide, Pedro, knows of a little secluded bay nearby where they can all relax and have fun.

The children play in the water while Nora goes off exploring in the bush with Pedro and Liv falls asleep after having a drink of Pedro's potent cocktail.  The dream holiday soon turns into a nightmare when Liv wakes up to find the children missing.  20% in to the book and so far so good.  Why did Nora go into the bush with Pedro?  Did he drug Liv?  What has he got to do with the children's disappearance?

Normally at this point I say that all my questions were answered but unfortunately this wasn't the case in this instance.  Once the children disappeared, I kept waiting for something to happen.  They didn't actually disappear as such because we follow what they're up to while their parents plead for their safe return.  As I got closer and closer to the end, I was waiting for the big 'A-HA! I knew he/she was dodgy' moment but when it didn't materialise it left me feeling rather flat.  Perhaps I am too used to 'the twist' and the 'big reveal' type of books to appreciate a slow burner these days.

An interesting premise but one that didn't really deliver for me.  I found the characters a bit flat and uninteresting but the missing children storyline did keep the pages turning at a steady pace.  I was left feeling rather confused about the dual storyline, that of a young girl travelling across country to New York with her uncle.  It just seemed quite unnecessary as it didn't seem to add anything to the story, for me anyway.

A good book to take on holiday to read around the pool, or to take on a cruise - just don't go on any excursions and keep an eye on your kids!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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