The chance of a lifetime – a unique opportunity for all involved to create a film aboard a submarine turns into a nightmare as the sub sinks. And then a murder takes place… This is what Betsy Reavley’s gruesome and chilling thriller is all about: Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ five times scarier…
The Pica Explorer is the submarine where it will all happen: a chance to stand in the spotlights once again – and for the first time as an actor, a chance for the captain and his crew to earn a bit of money and to be part of a unique project, and last but not least a chance for Frank Holden, who used to be “one of UK’s biggest directors,” to avert bankruptcy and, even worse, being forgotten. But somehow, everything falls to pieces when the Pica Explorer is losing power and slowly but surely is heading for the bottom of the sea…
“You have never known real darkness until you have been deep underwater.” – opening words chpt.2
The pressure is building up both outside of the submarine as well as inside. The silence is not a peaceful one but feels more like the silence before the storm. Before the shock sets in and panic rises. There are ten people assembled aboard the Pica Explorer – the captain and his crew, the actors, and Frank Holden and his entourage, to shoot a unique film and bring back the days of glory for both the director as the actors. The film means funds for the captain, Patrick, and a chance to work with the best, a move forward in her career for young Zara. In between the chapters aboard the Pica Explorer, where people get more desperate with the passage of time, we learn about the backgrounds of everyone and find out that each has his or her own reason to be aboard the submarine at that specific moment in time.
There are sad stories and stories of love, heartache and failure, and more.. The most disturbing parts are the ‘Child’ chapters, speaking of a childhood filled with violence, horrible abuse and negligence. What sort of vicious and vile person can act this way?! And who can grow up like this without being afflicted by it? Who is this child, who is the adult and, more importantly, how is this related to the current situation aboard the Pica Explorer? As if the situation is not enough, someone is found dead. Murdered. Accusations fly around and the tension rises to unspeakable heights. As if ten people locked up in the confined space of a sinking submarine isn’t enough, it now appears a murderer is amongst them…
What a captivating read! I had to read on and could not stop before I knew how it would end. Who would survive? Would the Pica Explorer ever see the surface again? I cannot answer these questions for you – that would be spoiling the plot but let me tell you that at times, I felt I could hardly breathe myself! The author builds up her plot chapter by chapter, the ‘present day’ of life on the Pica Explorer entwined with chapters where we get more insight into the characters and, more disturbingly, with chapters called ‘Child.’ Is the grownup version of this neglected and abused child we feel so sorry for aboard the Pica Explorer? If so, I nailed it down to three ‘suspects’ but that was as far as I got! Whilst the pressure is building up inside the submarine, you feel the tension rising when yet another occurrence takes place, another shocking event. You might guess what as I referred to Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Werre None’ but.. nope! A captivating, chilling, at times gruesome thriller by our own lady of suspense: Betsy Reavley!
About the Author
Author of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Frailty, Carrion, Beneath the Watery Moon and the poetry collection The Worm in the Bottle. Betsy Reavley was born in Hammersmith, London.
As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire. She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.
In her early twenties, she moved to Oxford, where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford, her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller. Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced with the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”
Betsy Reavley currently lives in London, with her husband, 2 children, dog, cat and chickens.
|Publisher||Bloodhound Books (24 April 2018)|