Recently I was given the opportunity (by the Soup Project people) to preview a new Australian book Beyond Fear by Jaye Ford, an Australian journalist turned author. It was fun getting to read a book before it's general release and this was a book that really appealed.
It is a book I can relate to - the story of four Sydney women going away for a much needed girls' weekend in the country. Having been on a few such girls' weekends away myself I know how much they are anticipated. I also know how isolated I feel, being a city girl through and through, when the lights go out and the serenity of the country turns into that creepy feeling ... I have often laid there in bed in the dark, feeling acutely aware of the isolation and the oppression of the "nothingness" around me.
For the four friends in this book things go wrong very quickly and then they go from bad to much, much worse.
Our main protagonists are Jodie, a teacher with a dark secret, and Matt, a detective with a complicated past. Their lives collide in the tiny town of Bald Hill when a girls' weekend away turns into a nightmare.
Once the action gets going it is relentless and heart-racing exciting. It does take a little while to warm up but once the drama starts it doesn't stop until the very end. In hindsight the slow start is a good balance to the fast paced second half.
I would have liked a little more character development for the secondary players and possibly a little less emphasis on the romance (would you be thinking about the hunky ex-cop when two psychopaths are about to rape and murder you?) but overall it was well written and a very entertaining read.