Title: The Islanders
Author: S.V. Leonard
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: March 11th 2021
Publisher: Canelo Crime
Finished reading: January 29th 2021
Pages: 246

“Nothing prepares you for the feeling of disbelief that comes when the entirety of your world has changed.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Canelo Crime in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I have a weak spot for a good locked room mystery and there was just something about the blurb of The Islanders that caught my eye immediately. The sound of a TV show with a twist, a murder and an investigation while the clock is literally ticking… Oh yes, I had a feeling in my bones that this debut and me would get along. Thankfully my instincts turned out to be absolutely right, as I ended up having a fantastic time with this story! I found myself to be literally glued to the pages and entertained until the very last chapter… 100% recommended if you enjoy the genre!

The first thing that stands out is the tropical setting. I always love it when a story manages to take me to different places, and the setting on an (unknown) Greek island definitely added a little something extra. The set up of the LoveWrecked TV show with the mansion and all the cameras capturing everything that happens on the Greek island make for some very entertaining reading, especially since the contestants are supposedly chosen at random and you wonder what their motives for joining the show would be.

I personally loved the plot. I’m a big sucker for the locked room trope, and we have the ultimate locked room mystery here on an isolated Greek island, with the added pressure of the hourly deadline to solve the crime. The pace of the story never slows down and this story will keep you on your toes as well as entertained the whole time. I simply couldn’t stop reading, wondering who was behind it all! You will find lots of suspense and plot twists to keep you busy too, and The Islanders without doubt ends with a bang and a final twist I most definitely didn’t see coming.

The story is told from the POV of Kimberley King, who is an interesting enough character with her own secrets and past. The fact that she used to be a police officer is perfect for the plot of course, as she is forced to investigate the murder of one of the LoveWrecked contestants… The rest of the cast makes for an interesting mix of personalities, and while they might not be exactly likeable, they do all add to the story and their development felt realistic.

Kimberley’s POV is interrupted with emails to the mysterious owner of JustDeserts and entries on the Spyland.co.uk website, which both added a little something extra to the plot as well as dropping hints about twists and revealing more information. The writing itself is engaging and flows easily; combined with the fast pace it transforms The Islander into a real pageturner that is absolutely worth the read.

In short, if you love a good locked room mystery that will keep you on your toes as well as entertained until the very last page, I can highly recommend this debut. I will definitely be hoping to see more of her work in the future!


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