Book Review: The Split by Sharon Bolton (eARC)

The Split

Author: Sharon Bolton

Publication Date: 28 April 2020

Genre: Adult Fiction – Psychological Thriller

Pages: 400

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Tense, gripping and with a twist you won’t see coming, Sharon Bolton is back in an explosive new standalone thriller about a woman on the run in The Split.

No matter how far you run, some secrets will always catch up with you…

The remote Antarctic island of South Georgia is about to send off its last boat of the summer – which signifies safety to resident glaciologist Felicity Lloyd.

Felicity lives in fear – fear that her ex-husband Freddie will find her, even out here. She took a job on this isolated island to hide from him, but now that he’s out of prison, having served a term for murder, she knows he won’t give up until he finds her.

But a doctor delving into the background of Felicity and Freddie’s relationship, back in Cambridge, learns that Felicity has been on the edge for a long time. Heading to South Georgia himself to try and get to her first is the only way he can think of to help her.

After hearing so many people rave about Sharon Bolton’s books, I finally decided to give her a try with The Split. And, y’all, I’m going to be very honest. I feel like I have been LIED to. This book was an utter disaster.

Felicity Lloyd is a glaciologist who works with a small team of scientists on the remote island of South Georgia, which is within the Antarctic Circle. Felicity is damn good at her job, but she didn’t choose this remote location thousands of miles from her home in Cambridge, England by accident. Felicity lives in constant fear thanks to her ex-husband Freddie who has finished serving his jail time for murder and is coming for her.

With the help of Dr. Joe Grant, a psychologist that Felicity confides in, Felicity uncovers a history of brutal abuse. Felicity knows without a doubt that she has to do everything in her power to keep Freddie from finding her before she winds up dead. Joe is determined to help Felicity before it’s too late.

I typically don’t mind unreliable narrators, but Felicity’s character is frustrating. The story starts in the present, which is the exploration in desolate South Georgia. Felicity is an intelligent and self sufficient scientist, who is amazing at her job…then we go back 9 months prior to South Georgia to Cambridge. In Cambridge, Felicity is an absolute trainwreck who can barely get by day to day without having a breakdown. She decides to seek the help of Dr. Joe Grant in order to come to grips with why she’s always so on edge. The Felicity that we see in sections two and three of the book (both in Cambridge) is literally night and day from the subject matter expert we were initially introduced to.

At about 30-35%, I knew exactly where this story was going (which is rare since I’m normally surprised by plot twists). I decided to put my feelings on that aside and continue with the story to see if it would get any better. Spoiler alert, it didn’t.

The plot itself is disjointed and confusing since we have six different POVs and three different timelines. I think the author should’ve focused on Felicity and Joe since her therapy sessions are the heart of the story rather than some of the other POVs that didn’t serve an additive purpose.

While this story wasn’t for me, others really enjoyed this one, so don’t let my saltiness deter you.

Thank you to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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