Book Review: The Drowned Hour

S.K. Tremayne ~ The Drowning Hour


Surrounded by the Blackwater estuary, The Stanhope hotel sits on a beautiful remote island. Tonight is the grand reopening, and organiser Hannah watches the guests with pride.

But as drinking descends into debauchery, drunken revellers wade into the water, unaware of the treacherous tide at The Drowning Hour. They are never seen again.

Tormented by a terror of water, Hannah is stuck on the island over winter. Whispers about That Night begin to circle. Someone knows what really happened in The Drowning Hour – and Hannah isn’t safe…


(contains mild spoiler)

Having really enjoyed The Ice Twins, I was excited to read The Drowning Hour. The synopsis and setting were creepy and enticing – islands are always isolating, especially if there’s no way to escape.

Unfortunately, the book was disappointing. The story itself isn’t terrible, just very slow. The concept of Hannah’s phobia is a good one and handled quite well. Not being an expert, her recovery did seem quite rapid once she began investigating, but perhaps closure was all she needed. The inclusion of Tarot was interesting, but a little tenuous. I still felt unclear as to how she solved the mystery, not to mention what really happened to her mother.

Hannah, our narrator talks like a child and she appeared to have swallowed a thesaurus, using multiple words to describe her feelings and places. Although this was irritating, it paled into comparison with the weird language she and her sister had invented. It made very little sense and after the first few times (soz bobs, apolibobs) it soon became infuriating and ruined the book. There were also a few mistakes throughout.

I also had a few issues with the ending. It really bugged me that Hannah had a ‘new fiancé’ after all of five minutes being single. Her choice also seemed odd, as there was very little acknowledgment of them throughout the book until the final few chapters. It felt like the author was compelled to provide her with a man to keep her safe, and she could just as easily have gone to Greece with someone else… or at least not have been engaged!

An interesting book, but sadly it doesn’t quite feel finished.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book provided by Harper Collins, for Insta Book Tours. Opinions my own.

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