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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 5 star ratings
5 reviews
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4.2 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Window breaks

    Very, very, good. Well written book that holds you to the end.
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    Roller-coaster in part

    Tom, Rachel and Holly are on holiday to a remote lodge in the middle of nowhere, hoping to rekindle their lives as a family unit and help them forget the past. But when a window breaks in the middle of the night they find themselves under threat. A Window Breaks was a bit of a divided book for me. The first section I thought dragged a bit; it gave important exposition, but I just found it a very slow-going read that made me question all of the previous reviews of it being a non-stop rollercoaster. Once the window broke, it then becomes a very fast paced, scary and exhilarating read which I enjoyed up until a point. Then at around 60% (where they go to the cellar) the action started to become a bit repetitive and then the reveal happened which just felt too over the top and contrived. I had many guesses as to where the story was going and although it was certainly a twist as to what happened, it didn’t really feel very realistic. Part of the problem with the book was that I didn’t really find myself particularly empathising with any of the characters – Tom is a bit of a wimp, mother Rachel seemed to be too obviously hiding something and daughter Holly didn’t seem to have much of a personality. I found myself mainly routing for Buster the dog! There is also a skip in timeline occasionally to son Michael’s car accident which is confusingly told in reverse. Although I can see why this may have felt like a clever narrative technique to the author, to a reader it is just confusing and ultimately doesn’t really work – I found myself wanting to skip over those sections. It didn’t help that in the Kindle ARC I was reading there is nothing to denote this change in timeline happening which made for a jolting read as you were suddenly thrown to another time and place with no warning. Hopefully this has been amended with a ‘Now’ and ‘Then’ heading or a format change or similar in the finished edition. Overall A Window Breaks contains a roller-coaster few chapters but with a slow start and unrealistic conclusion, I wasn’t sold on the overall package. Thank you to NetGalley & Pan Macmillan for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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    First-Rate!

    A first-rate thriller where the focus is on escape and self-preservation. Tom and Rachel Sullivan are mourning the loss of their teenage son, Michael, who died in a joyriding accident, along with his girlfriend. When their daughter Holly is subsequently mugged, the family are keen to take some time out to concentrate on reconnecting as a family. When Tom's boss, Lionel, offers them the use of his luxury lodge in a remote part of Scotland, the family jump at the chance. On their first night away, Rachel is certain she has heard the shattering of glass downstairs. Suddenly, the Sullivan's are caught up in a fight for survival... As a devotee of a well-written thriller, A Window Breaks deserves full marks. In the first part of the book, CM Ewan cleverly lures the reader into a false sense of security, with admirable skill. The action moves to the luxurious lodge in the Scottish wilderness and then it's a nail-biting, nerve-racking read as the family fights for their lives. Chris Ewan is a dab hand at ratcheting up the tension to a maximum level, as I found myself trapped in the pockets of Tom and his family. I was desperate for everyone to escape. With a pace that is relentless and tension in abundance, the story hurtles through the many twists and red herrings towards an outstanding denouement. In less able hands, this may have been an all-action-no-plot kind of story, but the author adeptly manages the undiluted pace throughout while using a split narrative for some time out and the backstory, so there were absolutely no disappointments here! This is one of the most rambunctious thrillers I've ever read and now I'm off to check out another of Chris Ewan's novels - Safe House. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Pan Macmillan via NetGalley at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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    Dripping with tension and atmosphere

    Well, that certainly was a page-turner with non-stop action from the sound of breaking glass to the sickening crack of metal against bone. Tom, his wife, Rachel, and their daughter, Holly, have been through it. First their teenage son, Michael, and his girlfriend, Fiona, die in a road traffic collision when Michael was driving and if that wasn't bad enough, Holly is viciously attacked by a mugger. What's needed is for them to getaway and take Tom's boss up on his offer of time away at his secluded and secure lodge in Scotland ... what could possibly go wrong? Written mainly from Tom's perspective, we are taken on a thrilling journey of survival; we are lulled into a false sense of security when Tom and his family arrive at the lodge but are quickly plunged into a nightmare when they are awoken by the sound of someone walking on broken glass. When Tom goes to investigate, what he sees makes his heart drop to his toes and so it begins 😰 Tom's voice is a breath of fresh air because he is not your usual macho Bear Grylls hero, he is a "normal" husband and father ... vulnerable, fearful and afraid but determined to protect his family despite not being particularly brave, strong or fit ... this made him more real somehow and because of this, you are never quite sure how this was going to end. With an easy to read, flowing style, this book is dripping with tension and atmosphere with many hold-your-breath moments that had me gripped and eagerly flipping my Kindle® ... I couldn't read fast enough. Recommended reading for action/thriller/suspense lovers. Many thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for my advance copy in return for an honest review.
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    Slow start but picks up pace

    Tom and Rachel have two children but tragedy strikes when 16 year old Michael takes his dads car to collect his girlfriend Fiona but ends up crashing and killing both of them. The family start to fall apart in their grief but Rachel finds comfort in a group called Justice For All (JFA) which happens to be run by Tom's boss, Lionel. After attending an event for JFA in which Rachel was invited to give a speech, the family are hit again when they are mugged as they left and daughter Holly is beaten. Lionel offers them a break away in his remote lodge to try to recover from their ordeal and work on repairing the split in the marriage and family. The lodge has the highest level of security and surrounded by a tall fence that nobody can climb over. All seems fine until intruders break into the lodge and are determined on killing the family.... but the question is why? As the twists and turns unfold, you realise there is more to Michaels death than they were led to believe but just how much does Rachel and Lionel know about what is happening. The story is a little slow (and repetitive) to start whilst explaining the emotions of Tom as he moves out of the family home and his upset at not being able to stop the muggers beating Hollie. The pace picks up when they arrive at the lodge and although Tom's feelings of guilt is still very repetitive, and it keeps you gripped as they try to escape. A great read
5

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