Shiver by Allie Reynolds, 2021
Her former snowboarding friends: Curtis, Brent, Heather, and Dale
Saskia, Odette, and Julien who were also friends of the group in the past
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The Plot (from Goodreads):
How far would you go to win? Hyper-competitive people, mind games and a dangerous natural environment combine to make the must-read thriller of the year. Fans of Lucy Foley and Lisa Jewell will be gripped by spectacular debut novel Shiver.
When Milla is invited to a reunion in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can’t seem to let go.
The five friends haven’t seen each other for ten years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia. But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realise they don’t know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth.
In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.
Oh my God, the atmosphere in this book is incredible. It was high 50s and sunny in Vegas while I read this, but Allie Reynold’s descriptions put me right on the side of the slopes. I grew up skiing (in fact, last winter was the first winter in 20 years that I didn’t make it out at least once), and I know the smell of the lodge and the shuffle of the chairlift line all too well. I don’t know anything about snowboarding or their slang, but I was still able to perfectly picture Milla’s hours spent training.
I loved the plot of this mystery, too. At the beginning of the book, the reader knows that Milla left snowboarding and fell out of touch with her old friends after Saskia disappeared and Odette got badly injured. There are allusions to fights, pranks, and sleeping around, but it isn’t clear what exactly happened that winter.
My favorite scenes were those from Milla’s past. The tension of the snowboarding competitions combined with the need to figure out what happened to Saskia and Odette kept the pages turning quickly.
The alternating timelines complimented each other nicely, letting the reader find out more and more about the past as tensions rise in the present. I really enjoyed the endings in both timelines. This was an amazing debut novel, and I can’t wait to see what Allie Reynolds does next!
Cons: The present-day scenes in Shiver are very similar to An Unwanted Guest and One by One, and I can see it getting a little flack for that. However, I definitely enjoyed it more than One by One. I think I enjoyed it more than An Unwanted Guest as well, but I read that one a long time ago (pre-blog) and can’t remember all of the details. The scenes in the past really carried the plot along and helped set it apart from other similar snowed-in-on-a-mountain mysteries.
Many thanks to Putnam for this gifted review copy.