Survival can be murder…
C.J. Tudor ~ The Drift
Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. Evacuated from a secluded boarding school during a snowstorm, her coach careered off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors.
Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She’s in a cable car stranded high above snowy mountains, with five strangers and no memory of how they got on board.
Carter is gazing out of the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger.
Outside, the storm rages. Inside each group, a killer lurks.
And will anyone make it out alive?
This book was dark, disturbing and full of dead bodies. I loved it.
Even though the groups within the story are already isolated and scared, the snowy setting enhances this and makes each person on edge. Snow is treacherous. Cold can mutilate. Even without a murderer on a rampage, the landscape is dangerous and kills without mercy. Add in a deadly, contagious virus, and nobody can escape the clutches of Death.
Perhaps it’s the subject matter that makes this book resonate so much, but the entire story is creepy and sickening. The body count is extremely high and the variety of deaths is impressive. The three stories seem disparate, but we know there is a link. Tudor leaves us a trail of clues to help us work out the connection and the human hunter. They are not a surprise, but the rationale and lack of remorse the killer shows are.
The human element is also explored within these pages. How would each of us react in this situation? What would we risk to ensure the safety of loved ones and how far would we go in order to survive? It might sound pretty deep for a thriller, but it’s impossible not to consider these questions throughout the book. Characters are plentiful, but there is limited time with each of them; in spite of this, we learn a lot about them from their actions. Human behaviour can be ugly, yet even at the darkest of times, amongst the fear and betrayal, there is sacrifice and compassion.
Fast-paced, yet thought-provoking – and with a plot that will continue to cause you restless nights long after reading – this may be Tudor’s best work to date.
Thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for the proof copy. Opinions my own.