Genre: Psychological Thriller
They told us he had been missing for nearly two days, that he probably drowned. They told us a lie.
Megan was ten years old when her older brother, Zac, went missing among the cliffs, caves and beaches that surround the small seaside town of Whitecliff.
A decade later and a car crash has claimed the lives of her parents.
Megan and her younger sister Chloe return to Whitecliff one summer for the first time since their brother’s disappearance. Megan says it’s to get her parents’ affairs in order. There are boxes to pack, junk to clear, a rundown cottage to sell. But that’s not the real reason.
Megan has come to confront her family’s past after receiving a postcard on the day of her parents’ funeral. It had a photograph of Whitecliff on the front and a single letter on the back.
‘Z’ is all it read.
Z for Zac.
A totally gripping psychological thriller that will have fans of Louise Jensen, Sue Fortin and The Silent Child absolutely hooked.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Two Sisters!
I’m a fan of Wilkinson’s Jessica Daniel series, so when I found out that he was publishing a standalone psychological thriller, I was super intrigued. His series is more straightforward crime fiction/police procedurals so I wondered how this genre would work for him. I’m so pleased to say that I enjoyed this one just as much as his other books!
It starts right after Megan and Chloe’s parents are killed in a car accident and ten years after their older brother Zac goes missing. When Megan receives a postcard signed Zac, they decide to head to their parents cottage to find out more about their past. They don’t remember much about Whitecliff or Zac, they were very young but Megan especially is eager to investigate her families past. The story is told from her point of view and she was quite the character, she has a pretty awful attitude and she’s very prickly and closed off. It took me a bit to warm up to her, but once some of her personal battles were revealed, I developed a soft spot for her.
My favorite aspect of this book was the creepy, eerie atmosphere Wilkinson created in the village of Whitecliff. It sounds like an idyllic beach town, but there is a very apparent undercurrent of dread and malice lurking. There was a constant sense of someone watching Megan and I began to feed off of her paranoia myself. On top of that, there’s a rivalry between the locals and tourists that added some tension and you just knew things would boil over at some point.
This had a slower pace, the suspense builds gradually although there were a few key scenes that made my heart race. The secrets hiding in this odd town were multilayered and kept me guessing, many of which I never could have seen coming. This could also grab the interest of fans of YA novels since Megan and Chloe are both so young, so there’s definitely some crossover appeal.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.
About the Author:
Kerry Wilkinson is from the English county of Somerset but has spent far too long living in the north. It’s there that he’s picked up possibly made-up regional words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’. He pretends to know what they mean.
He’s also been busy since turning thirty: his Jessica Daniel crime series has sold more than a million copies in the UK; he has written a fantasy-adventure trilogy for young adults; a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter and the standalone thriller, Down Among The Dead Men.