Shiver by Allie Reynolds, Review: Chilling dramatic thriller

Shiver by Allie Reynolds is a new propulsive locked-room thriller and chilling psychological drama. Read on for my full review.

^ Not to be confused with Maggie Stiefvater’s bestselling YA fantasy novel Shiver (2009).

Shiver Book Synopsis

A reunion weekend in the French Alps turns deadly when five friends discover someone has deliberately stranded them in a deserted mountaintop resort.

When Milla is invited to a reunion in the tiny 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 an isolated lodge high up a mountain, amid a looming snowstorm, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.

Imagine Agatha Christie set in the Alps and you have Shiver, a spectacularly sinister psychological debut.

(Hachette Australia, January 2021)

Genre: Thriller, Drama, Romance, Mystery, Action-Adventure

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Shiver Review

There is something uniquely appealing about locked-room thrillers. Perhaps the known constraints give us the false impression the power balance between mystery author and amateur detective reader has shifted? Regardless of the reason for their appeal, one thing is clear. Debut author Allie Reynolds is very much in control every moment of Shiver.

Reynolds holds the reins of this clever plot just as tight as her complex ensemble cast are headstrong. With a narrative that alternates between present-day and 10-years prior, she slowly increases the storytelling pace and tension.

Shiver‘s isolated setting is evocatively depicted; Reynold’s professional snowboarding experience and respect for the ever-present dangers of weather and terrain shine from the pages. Even more chilling though are some of the personalities at play.

Narrator Milla is an underdog amidst a fiercely competitive pack. But there are different ways to win… Who could she trust, back then, and now? What led to that fateful day that changed their lives a decade prior? All is gradually revealed but not without some shocking and unexpected twists along the way. I raced through this novel’s latter half.

Shiver is both compelling and unsettling; a well-executed drama-filled action thriller and strong debut from Allie Reynolds.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5

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More Shiver reviews

‘A high-velocity, heart-in-your-mouth whodunnit that delivers twists and turns, I absolutely loved it’ – Anna Downes, The Safe Place

Shiver is a tour de force, a truly gripping chiller of a thriller, genuinely impossible to put down and a sensational debut’ – Peter James, Find Them Dead

‘This suspenseful debut thriller by a former freestyle snowboarder contains both style and substance.’-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

‘An exciting, twisty page-turner that keeps you guessing all the way to the end.’ — C. L. Taylor, Strangers

About the Author, Allie Reynolds

Allie Reynolds is a former professional freestyle snowboarder who spent five winters in the mountains of France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. Her short fiction has been published in magazines in the UK, Australia, Sweden and South Africa. Allie swapped her snowboard for a surfboard and now lives by the beach in Queensland. Shiver is her debut novel. Check out her website and connect on Twitter or Facebook.

This review counts toward my participation in the Aussie Author Challenge 2021 and the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge.

* Receiving an advanced review copy from the publisher did not impact the expression of my honest opinions above.