#49 Six Wicked Reasons by Jo Spain

It’s June 2008 and twenty-one-year-old Adam Lattimer vanishes, presumed dead. The strain of his disappearance breaks his already fragile family.

Ten years later, with his mother deceased and siblings scattered across the globe, Adam turns up unannounced at the family home. His siblings return reluctantly to Spanish Cove, but Adam’s reappearance poses more questions than answers. The past is a tangled web of deceit.

And, as tension builds, it’s apparent somebody has planned murderous revenge for the events of ten years ago.

Hardback | 432 pages

Publisher: Quercus (17 Sept. 2020)

Target Audience: Adult Crime

I couldn’t leave the writing of Jo Spain after Dirty Little Secrets and I’d been waiting to get this book anyway and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I knew when I was holding the book that I was in for a treat. The split chapter personalities would give me a unique perspective and a chance to learn about the characters without influence from others. From the first three chapters, I knew this was going to be complicated. The characters involved have such rich backstories that it wouldn’t make sense if the plot line was simple and uncomplicated.

Very easy. I did actually read this over the course of a couple of days and while I know that isn’t usually my style, it has been almost too hot to do anything at the moment, yet alone read a book!! With multiple character pov chapters, there is always that worry that I’ll get lost or confused but I managed to stay on top of what was happening here, recognise the individual voices and get a clear sense of what was happening.

I essentially had a family of 7 characters to explore, plus a small host of secondary characters and at first, I wondered whether I would have the time to grasp them all as individuals.

When I say the characters were complex, in this instant I really mean it. Having come to the end of the book I feel myself almost awed by the level of deceit the characters carried and how well Spain managed to maintain the secret element until the last moment. I had many theories as I read this book and none of them came close to what actually happened. I did have an inkling of the truth in the latter half of the book, but it turned out that I was only a couple of pages ahead of the actual reveal, so it didn’t bother me at all.

Of, Frazer, Ellen, Kate, James, Ryan, Adam, and Clio, it was the latter two that I focused on the most. It wasn’t that they had more pov chapters, I think I was just drawn to their personalities more and felt they had more to offer than they were giving to the reader. Frazer was the only character I felt complete hatred for – and if you do read the book you’ll understand why -, but the characters of James, Ellen and Kate because moments to fill page time with rather than characters I found myself invested in.

Coming at this book with an open mind, it was interesting to see the inner workings of a family and the secrets that people carry behind closed doors. It made me more aware that not everything is as it seems, and it definitely made me think a lot about home dynamics.

This was very easy to visualise, each character had a strong voice, so it was easy for me to picture them clearly. There weren’t a mass of scenes or settings either, so what I saw in my mind was a good representation of what I was reading about.

It is so hot right now! I literally can’t even tell you how hot the south of England is currently. It’s been that kind of heat where doing absolutely ANYTHING is too much hard work. It’s part of why it took me longer to read this book! I’ve really come to value Jo Spain as an author, I find a thrill and sense of excitement when I read her book and know I’m in for a treat of a murder.

I particularly enjoyed this book because there were so many possible narratives and avenues that the plot could have gone down, which gave me plenty of room to speculate and theorise. Then, the actual reveal hit me like a ton of bricks, and it was so craftily written that it made complete sense. It’s that cunning element that I so look forward to when reading books.

I thought that Spain managed to craft characters that were essential to the plot – however small their role was – and managed to keep the different pov chapters as compelling and gripping as possible without confusing the reader or hounding them with information.

I thought this book was a great read and it was definitely a book that was easy to get into. I found it very immersive and exciting to read. I was fully committed to the characters from an early stage and eager/curious to find out what secrets lay in their pasts and what actions they played out in the future. I thought the plot was an interesting concept and you know I enjoy books that make me think! My enjoyment level while reading was quite high and it was a book I could immerse myself in and leave reality for.

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