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A SECRET BEACH. A HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME. WISH YOU WERE HERE? THINK AGAIN… It should be like any other holiday. Beautiful beaches. Golden sunsets. Nothing for miles. You’ll never want to leave. Until you can’t…


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A SECRET BEACH. A HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME. WISH YOU WERE HERE? THINK AGAIN… It should be like any other holiday. Beautiful beaches. Golden sunsets. Nothing for miles. You’ll never want to leave. Until you can’t…

30 review for The Castaways

  1. 5 out of 5

    Val Wheeler

    Wow, what a fantastic read. I was hooked from the very first page. I stayed up far too late at night as I couldn't put it down. Lori books a holiday for herself and her sister, Erin to Fiji for a break, but the night before they are due to fly, they end up falling out and Lori ends up on the plane alone, wondering what's happened to Erin. The plane disappears without trace leaving poor Erin wondering what's happened to her sister and the plane. Now as a reporter she tries to find out the truth. Wow, what a fantastic read. I was hooked from the very first page. I stayed up far too late at night as I couldn't put it down. Lori books a holiday for herself and her sister, Erin to Fiji for a break, but the night before they are due to fly, they end up falling out and Lori ends up on the plane alone, wondering what's happened to Erin. The plane disappears without trace leaving poor Erin wondering what's happened to her sister and the plane. Now as a reporter she tries to find out the truth. The book alternates between Lori and Erin, the past and the present, from each sister's point of view and wow, it took on a life of its own. I had no idea where the story was going, and could never have guessed it, but loved every minute of this castaway adventure. I'm not going to give anything further away as it really would ruin the book and all I can say is read it for yourself. I'll definitely be looking up to see what else Lucy Clarke has written, and if they are anything near as good as this book, I'm in for a treat. A thoroughly great and entertaining read with lots of unexpected twists and turns. Many thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK for my copy and the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Superb premise, 2 Sisters on their way to Fiji for a holiday, 1 misses the flight, the flight that turns into a disaster The start of this book is epic, probably one of the best atmospheric beginnings to a book read for a long time, you can almost taste the anxiety on the plane as the passengers begin to realise all is not well, and the description of what happens is powerful, scary and upsetting, the Fiji island descriptions are wonderful and you can almost eat the coconuts and fruit bread and v Superb premise, 2 Sisters on their way to Fiji for a holiday, 1 misses the flight, the flight that turns into a disaster The start of this book is epic, probably one of the best atmospheric beginnings to a book read for a long time, you can almost taste the anxiety on the plane as the passengers begin to realise all is not well, and the description of what happens is powerful, scary and upsetting, the Fiji island descriptions are wonderful and you can almost eat the coconuts and fruit bread and visualise the crystal blue waters and infinite cloudless skies But for me this is where it stopped, the actual rest of the story was really just ‘biding time’ until the end and tbh not much happened, it had already happened in the first few chapters The male characters were all unlikeable and described in a way you just didnt get enough info on them to build a picture of them, the 2 Sisters went between intense and even more intense, all in all a grim set of folk to spend reading time with The ending, I found odd and will leave it at that Such a gripping start and high drama that petered out to a maybe 50-100 pages too much of repetition and a peculiar ending 6/10 3 Stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    Sisters, Lori and Erin, have an unforgettable holiday planned, in Fiji. The night before their plane was due to transport them from the mainland to one of the remote islands they have a terrible fight and only one sister boards the plane. This sister, as well as the pilot, the seven other passengers, and the vessel carrying them, are never seen again. This story was told through two distinct timelines and perspectives. This ensured the reader was privy to Lori's plane crash as well as Erin's bid Sisters, Lori and Erin, have an unforgettable holiday planned, in Fiji. The night before their plane was due to transport them from the mainland to one of the remote islands they have a terrible fight and only one sister boards the plane. This sister, as well as the pilot, the seven other passengers, and the vessel carrying them, are never seen again. This story was told through two distinct timelines and perspectives. This ensured the reader was privy to Lori's plane crash as well as Erin's bid to find out what truly happened to her, two years later. I was just as invested in each, as both sisters were intriguing characters with their own demons to deal with and a distinct inner-light to aid in fighting them. Just as each of the mysteries, which peppered this book, seemed on the brink of a full discovery another was opened in its place, leading both the reader and each sister ever deeper into a chaotic web of intrigue, lies, and shadiness. No one could be fully trusted and my suspicions were placed upon every individual who entered the narrative. This read like a literary Lost, with the reader also privy to the world outside of the island containing the survivors, and I was hooked throughout. The final 10% provided a twist I did not see occurring and which altered my perspective on much of what came before. I can't say I fully appreciated this final direction the novel took, but it definitely made for an interesting conclusion that also left me with much to ponder over. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Lucy Clarke, and the publisher, Harper Collins, for this opportunity.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Discover the locations in the novel Several people go on holiday to a Fijian island resort. The sister of one of the passengers misses the flight....but then the plane just disappears. No sight or trace of the passengers or plane are found. the sister decides to take matters into her own hands... Boy this was good. HOWEVER if you are a nervous flyer, the first few chapters where you get to experience the turbulence and panic on board the plane....... Blimey even I felt sick and I love flying. I ho Discover the locations in the novel Several people go on holiday to a Fijian island resort. The sister of one of the passengers misses the flight....but then the plane just disappears. No sight or trace of the passengers or plane are found. the sister decides to take matters into her own hands... Boy this was good. HOWEVER if you are a nervous flyer, the first few chapters where you get to experience the turbulence and panic on board the plane....... Blimey even I felt sick and I love flying. I hope the author wasn't writing from experience. The island setting, the mystery and the dual time line as we learn about the passengers fates was a lot of fun. Reminded me in places of that wild feeling I had when reading The Beach. With recent plane disappearances in the news, this had a feeling of being strangely relevant and timely. Cracking mystery. Out in March with a longer review. LONGER REVIEW HERE: If you are dreaming of an island retreat, an escape to paradise….what better place than to spend it on an island in the Fiji archipelago? There’s a plane in the novel on its way to one such island but then it disappears. No trace of it at all. The sister of one of the passengers who was due to take the plane herself, is desperate to find out what happened. Talk about setting! This book more than transports you to the island retreat but I have to say the journey getting there was a bit hairy. The chapter where the plane goes down made my stomach churn so if you’re a nervous flyer you might want to speed read this part. The story races along and takes you for quite the ride if you excuse the pun. I was totally invested as we follow each sister as one gets on the plane and one doesn’t. The story both before and after that fateful day merges together slowly to reveal quite the mix of events! There are secrets and more secrets which flood out as you discover what happened. What did happen to the sisters, the passengers, that plane and the pilot? It was great to be on that Fiji island and I was reminded of the novel The Beach in many ways. The sense of remoteness, loss, fear and survival really is well done. The way in which paradise suddenly goes very dark indeed and in ways you might not expect…. was fun to read. I don’t want to say anymore as it’s great to go into this book blind. Expect twists and turns and scene setting that you will become totally immersed in!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    Sisters Lori and Erin have booked a holiday in Fiji. The night before they fly out they have an argument and Erin goes off on her own. The next day Lori goes on holiday without her because Erin did not meet her at the airport. When the the plane her sister was travelling on disappears without trace, nothing will stop Erin finding out what happened to her sister. A slow moving story with some twists and turns. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest revie Sisters Lori and Erin have booked a holiday in Fiji. The night before they fly out they have an argument and Erin goes off on her own. The next day Lori goes on holiday without her because Erin did not meet her at the airport. When the the plane her sister was travelling on disappears without trace, nothing will stop Erin finding out what happened to her sister. A slow moving story with some twists and turns. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Lori and sister Erin lost their mother at an early age,. They have always been close to one another living together after Lori found out her husband had been cheating on her. Lori books a luxury trip to Fiji for the pair of them, but the night before they are due to fly, they get into a terrible argument and Lori ends up boarding the plane alone. The plane goes missing and two years later Erin a journalist is still trying to find out what happened on that fateful day. She finds out that Mike the p Lori and sister Erin lost their mother at an early age,. They have always been close to one another living together after Lori found out her husband had been cheating on her. Lori books a luxury trip to Fiji for the pair of them, but the night before they are due to fly, they get into a terrible argument and Lori ends up boarding the plane alone. The plane goes missing and two years later Erin a journalist is still trying to find out what happened on that fateful day. She finds out that Mike the pilot has been found alive in Fiji living under an alias!! The story alternates between the past and the present as we discover why the two sisters were not on the flight together and what happened to the plane and its passengers. A book that just screamed out to me to be read!! As the story unfolds I found myself holding my breath desperately guessing how this wonderful story would end!! I would definitely recommend this book. Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    The Cats’ Mother

    The Castaways is a clever psychological mystery about two sisters whose lives are forever changed by a plane crash, by an author who was new to me. It’s definitely one to dive into avoiding spoilers as much as possible - although the title does give some idea of what’s going to happen. There are elements of Lost, without the weirdness, and with a decent ending! I enjoyed this in spite of the mostly unlikeable characters, and was eager to get to the end to find out what on earth was going on. Lori, The Castaways is a clever psychological mystery about two sisters whose lives are forever changed by a plane crash, by an author who was new to me. It’s definitely one to dive into avoiding spoilers as much as possible - although the title does give some idea of what’s going to happen. There are elements of Lost, without the weirdness, and with a decent ending! I enjoyed this in spite of the mostly unlikeable characters, and was eager to get to the end to find out what on earth was going on. Lori, an art teacher who has recently been abandoned by her husband for her pregnant colleague, and her sister Erin, a journalist stuck in an unsatisfying job, travel from London to Fiji for a relaxing getaway on a remote island. The night before their final flight, they have a terrible argument, and Erin doesn’t show up at the airport. Lori goes on alone, but the small plane crashes, leaving her stranded with a handful of survivors. Two years on, the plane has never been found, and Erin is still wracked with guilt, so when the pilot reappears in Fiji, seriously ill and unable to explain what happened, she travels back to try and solve the mystery - what did happen to flight FJ209? This was a well written and cleverly compulsive story told from both sisters’ perspectives - Lori in the past, and Erin in first person present (try as I might, I can’t seem to avoid it.) Lori’s stress and anxiety, as she prepares to board a flight without the most important person in her life, was very well done, and there’s a real sense of dread as she observes her fellow passengers since we know that they’re not all going to survive. Back in London, Erin’s refusal to move on and terrible coping strategies also felt realistic. I did question why two sisters with limited resources would choose to travel to Fiji, when they could’ve had the same kind of holiday in the Caribbean with a lot less travel time, cost & jetlag, but the plot would only really have worked in the vast Pacific Ocean. I did like the way the author chose to end it with a satisfying but non-predictable resolution. Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for the ARC which allowed me to give an honest review. The Castaways is available now.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    Omg that was one breath taking book, that had hold of me from the second I started it until I finished it barely letting me pause for breathe. It is addictive and kept me guessing throughout. I kept trying to predict or second guess the outcome but I just couldn't wouldn't have come up with how it turned out, in a million years. Two years ago Lori's flight never arrived at its destination. Her sister Erin was meant to be on the flight, but didn't take it. Two years later Erin is still trying to Omg that was one breath taking book, that had hold of me from the second I started it until I finished it barely letting me pause for breathe. It is addictive and kept me guessing throughout. I kept trying to predict or second guess the outcome but I just couldn't wouldn't have come up with how it turned out, in a million years. Two years ago Lori's flight never arrived at its destination. Her sister Erin was meant to be on the flight, but didn't take it. Two years later Erin is still trying to discover the truth, and without any idea where the plane came down, no bodies she can't get any closure. She is dogged in her pursuit of trying to find out just what happened. I can't work out though how to say anything else without potentially giving away spoilers. It keeps you guessing continually and wanting to know various secrets including just why weren't' both sisters on the plane they were booked on, and that's just for starters. The book is split into past and present sections, and there are harrowing descriptions of what happened with the plane, the aftermath. Everything described so vividly that I felt as though I was there, and may end up dreaming about it tonight as a result. It's a story of survival, or not knowing what you are capable of until you are in that situation, of a wonderfully exotic backdrop, and a quest for the truth. And throughout the one thing you will feel is just how strong the bond between the sisters is, and just how much love they have for each other. This is an author who every time amazes me even more, this is her best book easily (and the rest are all fabulous too). It was very hard to tear myself away from the story for things like sleeping and working, and even then my mind was on the story. Just amazing, if you love a twisty story with a backdrop that is far removed from everyday life, then this is definitely worth reading. Thank you to Harper and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.,

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Kerdouci

    The cover and title is the most revealing aspect of the latest crime thriller from Lucy Clarke given that the synopsis is so brief and vague. Covers are what attract me to a book initially and this one spoke volumes, enticing me in with thoughts of far flung idyllic destinations where all you need to concern yourself with is where the next cocktail is coming from! So irrespective of not knowing what to expect I chose to dive straight into what I’d pronounce as a deliciously moreish storyline;it’ The cover and title is the most revealing aspect of the latest crime thriller from Lucy Clarke given that the synopsis is so brief and vague. Covers are what attract me to a book initially and this one spoke volumes, enticing me in with thoughts of far flung idyllic destinations where all you need to concern yourself with is where the next cocktail is coming from! So irrespective of not knowing what to expect I chose to dive straight into what I’d pronounce as a deliciously moreish storyline;it’s one that invites the reader to devour every word with relish and in my case haste as realisation dawned that this is one holiday destination you’d be wise to steer clear of. Lucy Clarke’s writing is exquisitely atmospheric from start to finish, the air rife with tension and a sense of inexplicable fear as Lori Holme is preparing to board a plane from mainland Fiji to a remote island in the archipelago. Expecting to board the flight with her sister Erin, on another leg of their joint holiday, Lori’s uneasiness is palpable given the non appearance of her sister. Where is she and what has delayed her? With only seven passengers booked on this flight, Lori’s attention is drawn to her fellow passengers in the departure lounge, offering her a brief distraction from worrying as to Erin’s whereabouts. However, behaviour by certain individuals only seems to increase her anxiety, her reluctance to leave Erin behind growing by the minute. It is this initial scenario that filled me with foreboding, unable to shake the premonition that disaster was about to strike, inwardly screaming at Lori not to leave without her sister. It makes you wonder if the errant Erin is in possession of a crystal ball that day since it later transpires flight FJ209 never reaches its destination with the pilot and passengers presumed dead. And that folks is as much of the storyline I’ll reveal, the rest is under wraps for the sake of your own enjoyment. Frustratingly whilst I choose to remain tongue tied, loathe to reveal too many crucial details pertaining to the plot, The Castaways is one seriously superb crime thriller that ticks all the boxes in terms of atmosphere, characterisation and the execution of a few unexpected surprises. Although I worry I won’t be able to convey the sheer brilliance of this storyline I’ll let you into a small secret. You wouldn’t want to be in either Lori or Erin’s shoes. The intense heat, the remoteness and inaccessibility of these islands detract from the obvious beauty of the landscape which can be as hostile as it can be inviting. As a journalist Erin is best placed to leave no stone unturned as she seeks to unearth the truth surrounding what caused flight FJ209 to disappear, a task undertaken over the course of two years and beyond. With no plane wreckage or bodies ever recovered it’s as if Erin refuses to believe her sister is dead. The tendrils of their sisterly bond cling possessively to Erin, a lost soul without Lori, whose dissatisfaction with life prevents her from moving forward. It’s Erin’s survivor’s guilt that is particularly striking. Acting like a noose around her neck, memories of her last conversation with Lori continue to torment and torture her every waking moment yet it is this basic human instinct for survival that lies at the heart of this crime thriller. We hear from Erin in the present day, details emerging of the sisters close relationship, illustrating their individual personalities, strengths and weaknesses, providing a clear picture of both women’s characters. Prior to this tragedy, Lori and Erin have already survived so much, the loss of both parents and in Lori’s case the breakdown of her childless marriage so for Erin to survive the loss of her sister, allowing the last fragments of their relationship to dissipate is virtually unthinkable. Really this is a novel packed with raw human emotion, visceral and heartbreakingly sad in places. Love mingles with loss and hope mingles with despair and fear as the author imagines the kind of behaviour individuals are capable of when faced with extreme circumstances. Above all you may find yourself asking this question alongside Lori in her final terrifying moments; have I led the life I’ve wanted to, have I fulfilled my hopes and dreams or did the world have more to offer me? The characterisation in this novel is to die for (pun intended!) with everyone drawn to perfection in accordance with their given roles. Yet it is the love that exists between Lori and Erin that grabs you by the throat, a love that cannot be extinguished. Other events transpire which serve to further prove that love is worth fighting for, even if you have to resort to uncharacteristic behaviour to do so. BRILLIANT and a satisfyingly addictive read fully justifying a 5 star rating. Just a word of warning. If you’re of a nervous disposition maybe don’t read this just before you’re due to fly! Probably best enjoyed with your feet firmly planted on terra firma. The Castaways is one of those thrillers that has bestseller written all over it and I recommend without hesitation. My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    Sisters Lori and Erin are holidaying in Fiji and plan to take an inter-island flight the next day. But following a heated argument at dinner, Erin storms off in a huff. In the morning Lori arrives at the airport alone; thinking Erin will turn up under her own steam. Growing increasingly anxious as the minutes tick by and with no sign of Erin, Lori reluctantly boards the plane alone. It's a decision that changes both their lives forever. The plane veers off course and crashes into a remote island Sisters Lori and Erin are holidaying in Fiji and plan to take an inter-island flight the next day. But following a heated argument at dinner, Erin storms off in a huff. In the morning Lori arrives at the airport alone; thinking Erin will turn up under her own steam. Growing increasingly anxious as the minutes tick by and with no sign of Erin, Lori reluctantly boards the plane alone. It's a decision that changes both their lives forever. The plane veers off course and crashes into a remote island. As the days pass, the survivors come to realise any hope of rescue is fading. With their plight now desperate, a fight for survival ensues — survival not only from the elements but from one another. Fast forward two years and the plane wreckage still hasn't been located. Everyone on board is now presumed dead and the crash is no longer newsworthy. Unable to accept that her sister perished in the accident, Erin returns to Fiji in search of answers. When I saw the book cover for The Castaways I knew I had to read it. It's exactly the kind of story I love — an exotic location, a terrifying accident, hidden secrets and a search for the truth. I really enjoyed it. The dual timelines of 'Then' — as told by Lori — and 'Now' — Erin's search for answers — work incredibly well. The plot is multifaceted, suspenseful and gripping. The horrors of survival on an inhospitable island are excellently portrayed and I felt included in their struggles. Characters are fully developed; but be prepared for some nasty, self-centred dispositions. The plot is fabulously twisty but try as I might, I just couldn't figure out how it would end. It's pure escapism and I loved every moment. Book Source: Review copy from the publisher Read my review on my blog: https://bit.ly/37ku9ng

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Howells

    Smart, twisty and unpredictable, The Castaways hooked me from the start. The settings are beautifully drawn, the characters intriguing, while told between two timelines, the plot kept me turning the pages. Highly recommended!

  12. 4 out of 5

    The Cookster

    Rating: 4.2/5 The official description of this book is somewhat misleading and had me expecting a "locked room" style murder mystery. That is certainly not the premise of this at all and, if anything, it does the writer an injustice. This novel has far more in common with William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" than it does with a murder mystery. Erin and Lori are sisters. The cards that life has dealt them has led them to have a particularly close bond. Following a traumatic event, the two sisters Rating: 4.2/5 The official description of this book is somewhat misleading and had me expecting a "locked room" style murder mystery. That is certainly not the premise of this at all and, if anything, it does the writer an injustice. This novel has far more in common with William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" than it does with a murder mystery. Erin and Lori are sisters. The cards that life has dealt them has led them to have a particularly close bond. Following a traumatic event, the two sisters decide to get away from it all and jet off on a paradisiacal holiday to Fiji - but events do not quite turn out as planned. The story operates across dual timelines - the present day and the time of the holiday, a couple of years earlier - and the narrative alternates between the POVs of the two sisters. I don't want to go into great detail here, as I have no wish to ruin your enjoyment by disclosing too much of the plot or by giving away spoilers. However, this does make for an absorbing read. It felt considerably shorter than its 416 pages, as I found myself eagerly devouring chapter after chapter and wondering which of the possible avenues the plotline was going to take. The pacing of the story is excellent and Lucy Clarke captures the atmosphere of the setting extremely well. The result is not just a compelling mystery, complete with some quality characterisation, but also a piece of fiction that is, by turns, tense and emotional. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for supplying an ARC in return for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kath

    Sisters Lori and Erin have gone on holiday together to Fiji. But they fall out the night before a plane journey to one of the many islands and Lori takes the journey alone. But she never makes it as the small plane crashes on route. It fate and the fate of the passengers and pilot unknown. Erin is beside herself wracked with guilt and, when the investigation peters out due to lack of evidence, starts her own in earnest. And then, two years later, the pilot turns up alive, well barely as he was r Sisters Lori and Erin have gone on holiday together to Fiji. But they fall out the night before a plane journey to one of the many islands and Lori takes the journey alone. But she never makes it as the small plane crashes on route. It fate and the fate of the passengers and pilot unknown. Erin is beside herself wracked with guilt and, when the investigation peters out due to lack of evidence, starts her own in earnest. And then, two years later, the pilot turns up alive, well barely as he was rushed into hospital. Erin, like the other relatives, is sent the transcript of the police's "chat" with him but is convinced he is lying so, and here her job in media helps, travels back to Fiji, determined to get the truth of what really happened once and for all. Whilst Erin is investigating in the present, meeting the pilot's family, talking to him and following a couple of clues, we also go back to the past. To the moments leading up to the crash and what followed thereafter. Don't worry, no spoilers here but suffice to say that some of the stories you will read here are a bit juicy and there are a lot of secrets and lies and more than sufficient duplicitous behaviour! What I really loved about this book was reading about how they fared on the island. I'd love to wax lyrical about things I loved and what made me chuckle, but I fear spoilers so I can't. Suffice to say that that side of things held me completely rapt all the way through. Actually, all the way through I did have half an eye on wondering how on earth the author could possible wrap it all up? What was her end game? Obviously I can't say here but I do have to say that I did have a very negative knee jerk reaction to something which could have sent this book down the three stars route but then I went with what I was reading and by the very end I realised I was over reacting and wound my neck in and accepted the ending for what it actually was... perfect. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com The Castaways is one of those novels that very quickly sucks you in and doesn’t let you go until the very last page. I found it absolutely addictive reading. The synopsis does not give much away, and I found that reading it without knowing much at all about the plot itself added to my intrigue, so I’ll aim to avoid spoiling the suspense by revealing too much here. The plot centers around sisters Lori and Erin, who have a bad argument the night before they’re du Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com The Castaways is one of those novels that very quickly sucks you in and doesn’t let you go until the very last page. I found it absolutely addictive reading. The synopsis does not give much away, and I found that reading it without knowing much at all about the plot itself added to my intrigue, so I’ll aim to avoid spoiling the suspense by revealing too much here. The plot centers around sisters Lori and Erin, who have a bad argument the night before they’re due to take go on holiday to Fiji together. Erin misses the flight, which goes missing with Lori on it. Fast forward to a few years later, and Erin is newly invigorated to try and find out exactly what happened to the plane. The story is told in two parts – ‘now’, following Erin in the present day, and ‘then’, following Lori as she embarks on the doomed plane journey. The plot is fairly slow to start with, but no less interesting, and picks up pace as we find out more and more about what happened. There’s plenty of tension in both storylines and I found I couldn’t put it down, I just wanted to know exactly what had happened to Lori! The Castaways is a fun, enjoyable and, at times, moving read. There’s some satisfying twists which I really enjoyed and which felt believable too. I have already read a few other books by Lucy Clarke and really enjoyed them too, and the addition of The Castaways has cemented this author as a new favourite for escapist, fast paced thrillers.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steve ** Black Country Short Thoughts **

    I needed this. After a couple of disappointing books in a row, I needed a cracker and I'm glad to say Lucy Clarke has delivered one. Ive read a few 'stranded on a island" books which all seemed to lack something (and I was kinda burned with the 'genre' with Lost......) but wow. Written in two timelines which are remarkably easy to follow, the book grabs you and DEMANDS you read more to find out what happens... Oh and that twist? Didnt see that coming at all! Buy it upon release day. I needed this. After a couple of disappointing books in a row, I needed a cracker and I'm glad to say Lucy Clarke has delivered one. Ive read a few 'stranded on a island" books which all seemed to lack something (and I was kinda burned with the 'genre' with Lost......) but wow. Written in two timelines which are remarkably easy to follow, the book grabs you and DEMANDS you read more to find out what happens... Oh and that twist? Didnt see that coming at all! Buy it upon release day.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Absolutely stunning.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lucii Dixon

    This has to probably be my absolute favourite book from this author. She has produced some incredibly addictive stories, and this one was no exception. I was hooked from the very first page and gobbled up each and every word like a greedy castaway myself. The characters They were a mix of nice, bad, confusing, heartbreaking, raw and intense personalities. Each one has their own endearing feature, faults that were openly exposed and described so well that I read this like they were real people who This has to probably be my absolute favourite book from this author. She has produced some incredibly addictive stories, and this one was no exception. I was hooked from the very first page and gobbled up each and every word like a greedy castaway myself. The characters They were a mix of nice, bad, confusing, heartbreaking, raw and intense personalities. Each one has their own endearing feature, faults that were openly exposed and described so well that I read this like they were real people who I knew, people that I social with or people that I would love to be friends with. The descriptions and the way their personalities come across is amazing. This author is truly talented. Lori - this character had my heart from the beginning, she was a little uptight but she also had her head screwed on. She knew what she wanted in life and where she wanted to go. Although things didn’t go to plan, she still held strong. She was warm and kind, lovable and fresh. She also had her faults. In places, though understandable, she had a temper, but there was always a reason for it. She was also very critical of her sister in ways that could be seen as quite harsh. Lori definitely came across as uptight sometimes, like she maybe thought of herself as better than her sister. ERIN:- Lori’s younger sister. These two had a special bond, losing both parents can be unimaginably difficult, and, ultimately, they only had each other. Erin was loyal through and through. Lori was her everything. Erin didn’t have many, if any, friends, and tended to flit through life like she was a fairy, and as Lori pointed out.. lived like a student. But when Lori goes missing, Erin puts her everything into looking for her and feels hollow and lost without her sister at her side. She’s racked with guilt and anguish over what happened before the event. She’s a lovable character with a young personality and steely determination that’s definitely endearing. Through the whole book, I routed her on, silently begged for her to keep going. She was a great character and was well described. MIKE, DANIEL, FELIX:- other characters that are crucial in this story. They’re mixture of eclectic personalities, but they’re not necessarily likeable. Each had horrible faults that made it hard to like them, Daniel being the absolute worst. Felix was the nicer of the three, more appealing and gave off more a bad boy persona, but had done bad things. These three play big parts throughout this story as you’ll come to see. You won’t like them, but the story wouldn’t be the same without them. THE STORYLINE Faultless. Though these was something on page 348 where Erin gets her dress on twice. But otherwise this story is jam packed with epic drama, moving scenarios, heart-in-your-throat moments and adrenaline pumping acts and with each chapter, there’s something more exciting, or another piece of the puzzle is given to us. I couldn’t stop turning those pages and drinking in the words. This book makes you NEED, not want, the next piece, the next dramatic unfolding of events, the next ‘hit’. It was definitely like a drug, highly addictive and hard to put down. The storyline flowed easily from scene to scene, it’s shrouded in mystery and it makes you question everything.. Just like Erin. I love how this author sets her stories in exotic and beautiful countries. I honestly feel I live precariously through this author (I’ve never been to any of the places she’s written about - only gloomy England as I live there). Fiji sounds incredibly stunning with white sands and crystal clear seas. I felt like I could smell the ocean, feel the heat of the sand between my toes and smell the heat from the sun as it lashed down to tan my skin. It’s incredible how this author has a knack for this, making you feel part of the story, drawing you into exotic countries and their unique cultures. My favourite books from this author are ones from different countries. This one and sea sisters are my two favourites (though this one has just topped the table). I felt like I was on the craziest rollercoaster I’ve ever been on, and I’m not even exaggerating. Crazy storyline! THE STYLE This author’s style is unique, enticing and gritty, really descriptive and she definitely knows how to draw her readers in and keep them there. Lucy Clarke is my favourite author and this is my favourite story produced and published by her. I love all these stories in exotic and exciting places and this one was no exception. I’m addicted to the style as much as I am to the story. I look forward to seeing what other exotic countries us readers will be taken to, where our next adventure will begin and end. So excited for what comes next! I couldn’t recommend this book highly enough. If I could give this book more than 5 stars, it’s would be completely limitless. Incredible book! And I’m definitely in a book hangover.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for the arc of The Castaways by Lucy Clarke. 5 stars- This follows Lori and her sister Erin, they had lost their own mother at a young age and had always been close to each other since that dreadful day.. even ending up living together as Lori's husband had sadly cheated on her. To try get over what had happened Lori had booked and planned a trip for herself and her sister to Fiji, but sadly the night before their lovely trip, Lori ends u Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for the arc of The Castaways by Lucy Clarke. 5 stars- This follows Lori and her sister Erin, they had lost their own mother at a young age and had always been close to each other since that dreadful day.. even ending up living together as Lori's husband had sadly cheated on her. To try get over what had happened Lori had booked and planned a trip for herself and her sister to Fiji, but sadly the night before their lovely trip, Lori ends up boarding the plane on her own... BUT the plane ended up going missing and Erin is a journalist so she is trying to piece together what actually happened to the point she had found out the pilot of that plane is actually living under a new alias/identity in FIJI ITSELF! This follows in two timelines one the past the other being present day as they end up discovering what happened between the two sisters and why Erin didn't board the plane... This had me so gripped start to finish and kept me guessing what was gonna happen but completely knocks you off guard this is such a tense edge of seat!! Highly Recommend 5 STARS⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Another brilliantly immersive novel from Lucy Clarke, a tense and emotional psychological thriller featuring a missing plane, a deserted island and an emotive compelling sibling relationship at the heart of it. Told in both past and present we have one sister, Erin, endlessly searching for answers after a flight carrying her sibling disappears from radar. A long time after all are declared lost the pilot suddenly appears, very much alive... This is so intriguing and beautifully written that you de Another brilliantly immersive novel from Lucy Clarke, a tense and emotional psychological thriller featuring a missing plane, a deserted island and an emotive compelling sibling relationship at the heart of it. Told in both past and present we have one sister, Erin, endlessly searching for answers after a flight carrying her sibling disappears from radar. A long time after all are declared lost the pilot suddenly appears, very much alive... This is so intriguing and beautifully written that you devour it pretty much in one sitting. The reader here understands more than the characters do but it is wonderfully unpredictable and I really wasn't sure where it was going. A cleverly thought provoking ending puts the icing on the cake and the relationship between the two sisters is complex and fascinating. Overall a terrific read. Recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Wow wow wow! I’ve enjoyed The Castaways more than any book for years! It kept me awake at night, intrigued, scared, and wondering in what direction Lucy Clarke would take the story. She made it believable (in as much as it could be) and highly thrilling. A must read, and - to turn an over used phrase - completely unputdownable! It is set around a tiny plane crash on a remote island in the middle of the ocean, a needle in a haystack of thousands of tiny uninhabited islands. It disappears from trace Wow wow wow! I’ve enjoyed The Castaways more than any book for years! It kept me awake at night, intrigued, scared, and wondering in what direction Lucy Clarke would take the story. She made it believable (in as much as it could be) and highly thrilling. A must read, and - to turn an over used phrase - completely unputdownable! It is set around a tiny plane crash on a remote island in the middle of the ocean, a needle in a haystack of thousands of tiny uninhabited islands. It disappears from trace leaving its five survivors stranded. The story surrounds what happens and flicks back and forth to the run up to the fated flight, and modern day when the pilot suddenly turns up, but dying from a brain tumour. The race is on for one of the passengers sisters, who should have been on the flight with her sibling, to reach the truth behind what happened to the missing plane and its passengers. Highly recommended read indeed. I’ve devoured Lucy Clarke’s books since her first, but love that fact that she’s gone back to her travel roots of her earlier novels. This was great, and up there with my personal favourite ‘The Blue’. Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sue Frances

    What a brilliant book! I loved it. I have read a few of Lucy Clarke's books and enjoyed them all but I couldn't put this book down. A deserted island, fresh fish and fruit, spring water and sunshine, what's not to like? It sounds ideal, like a dream but dreams can quickly become nightmares. I loved the relationship between the two sisters, the way they felt about each other. It brought a lump to my throat. I can't recommend this book enough. Read it, it is amazing. Thanks to NetGalley and the auth What a brilliant book! I loved it. I have read a few of Lucy Clarke's books and enjoyed them all but I couldn't put this book down. A deserted island, fresh fish and fruit, spring water and sunshine, what's not to like? It sounds ideal, like a dream but dreams can quickly become nightmares. I loved the relationship between the two sisters, the way they felt about each other. It brought a lump to my throat. I can't recommend this book enough. Read it, it is amazing. Thanks to NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to read this amazing book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    A flight carrying a handful of people takes off from Fiji heading for a remote island resort... then disappears off the radar. No wreckage, no sightings, no black box recording, no evidence of any survivors. So far, so Oceanic Flight 815. Erin’s sister Lori was on that plane, and Erin should have been, too. Although all the evidence suggests Lori is dead, Erin can’t let it go - she has to find out what happened. The story follows both “now” and “then” timelines as we see Erin in the present day, a A flight carrying a handful of people takes off from Fiji heading for a remote island resort... then disappears off the radar. No wreckage, no sightings, no black box recording, no evidence of any survivors. So far, so Oceanic Flight 815. Erin’s sister Lori was on that plane, and Erin should have been, too. Although all the evidence suggests Lori is dead, Erin can’t let it go - she has to find out what happened. The story follows both “now” and “then” timelines as we see Erin in the present day, and Lori in the past - recounting what really happened on that flight, and after, stranded on a distant Pacific island. Lori’s account in particular makes for increasingly gripping reading - the stakes felt high, and I couldn’t imagine where it was going to end. I’m a sucker for castaway type stories - I can also recommend Stranded by Emily Barr, on a similar theme - and The Castaways was a thoroughly engaging read. Maybe a few more crash survivors might have added breadth, but it works well the way it is. Can the castaways survive the island... and each other?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This really is a superb thriller and mystery! You'd think in the modern world that there would be no island left unknown, where a plane could crash and be lost, with survivors having to fend for themselves in a treacherous and unwelcoming place despite the golden sands and palm trees. Lori is one such survivor who learns that being away from the confines of civilisation means that danger brings out the best in some people while others revert to savage. This book is set in two time periods which ev This really is a superb thriller and mystery! You'd think in the modern world that there would be no island left unknown, where a plane could crash and be lost, with survivors having to fend for themselves in a treacherous and unwelcoming place despite the golden sands and palm trees. Lori is one such survivor who learns that being away from the confines of civilisation means that danger brings out the best in some people while others revert to savage. This book is set in two time periods which eventually collide - Lori's begins immediately after the crash two years ago, and in the present her sister Erin, who was meant to be on the plane, is left searching for clues. The characterisation is true-to-life with realistically portrayed behaviours and emotions, and the settings are incredibly atmospheric. The plot is certainly tense and there are some unexpected twists and surprises. One to look out for if you enjoy thrillers, adventure, mysteries, or just good writing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kupersmith

    How does is happen that one can absolutely love one book by a particular author, but find her other books so mediocre? Obviously, the explanation cannot be lack of talent or application, though reading the author’s afterword made it appear that Lucy Clarke and her support team (how I wish I had one like that) applied a lot of effort hammering this one into shape. The basic plot of The Castaways is very much like that of The Blue, my initial favourite. That was a yacht, and the principal characte How does is happen that one can absolutely love one book by a particular author, but find her other books so mediocre? Obviously, the explanation cannot be lack of talent or application, though reading the author’s afterword made it appear that Lucy Clarke and her support team (how I wish I had one like that) applied a lot of effort hammering this one into shape. The basic plot of The Castaways is very much like that of The Blue, my initial favourite. That was a yacht, and the principal characters were two young Englishwomen best friends, Lana and Kitty. They embarked together on the yacht, which went missing after they quarrelled and Lana left the boat, the story being told in two different time sequences. The Castaways uses the same then and now structure, but our characters are sisters this time, Lori and Erin on holiday in Fiji, planning to fly in a small passenger aircraft to a small island resort. This time the falling-out leads to Erin’s missing the flight, which disappeared somewhere into the Pacific. Two years later, the pilot of the aircraft reappears in Fiji. Erin goes out from England to find out what happened, telling her story in first person. Meanwhile, we find out what happened to Lori and the other passengers, who crash landed and had to survive on a tiny remote deserted island. They don’t have any discs but they do have a mobile smart phone useless for communication but good for photos. Unhappily, this story sagged badly in the middle. The expected Lord-of-the-Flies stuff (though not so extreme) happens amongst the crash survivors on the island and to add pathos one of them is an infant—fortunately Lori has a strong maternal instinct. The final twist to the plot will be one most readers should anticipate, although I found it simultaneously both implausible and too easy. I fear I may have to add Lucy Clarke to the list of authors who have never lived up to their promise. Which is a shame because I loved The Blue so much.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    The cliche says we should never judge a book by its cover, which is both true and easy with this one because, at the time of reading, it basically has a picture of an island, a few words about sand, and the title along with an attempt an ominous thought that people can't leave - which you stand a good chance of figuring out from the title. I mean, it's pretty and kind of intriguing, but it tells you nothing. if you're in a shop with a physical copy right in front of you as you consider the appea The cliche says we should never judge a book by its cover, which is both true and easy with this one because, at the time of reading, it basically has a picture of an island, a few words about sand, and the title along with an attempt an ominous thought that people can't leave - which you stand a good chance of figuring out from the title. I mean, it's pretty and kind of intriguing, but it tells you nothing. if you're in a shop with a physical copy right in front of you as you consider the appeal just ignore any urge to flick through some pages and see how it grabs you. No really, I'd totally do the same as you, but it would be a mistake. One I was thankfully saved from by the magic of books via the Internet and blind faith in a recommendation. So, with that in mind, I'm not suggesting you put the book back on the shelf - that would also be a mistake. I'm saying take it straight to someone who works there and just buy it. if you really want to know more about it just keep reading your phone and I'll try to explain the whole thing without explaining the whole thing. Two sisters, Lori and Erin, head off to a small resort in Fiji for a holiday. They both take up different parts of the story in converging storylines, Lori handles the "Then" while Erin tells us about "Now". Which all sounds very simple I know, partly because it is. This book starts out like that, pretty simple and straightforward. It's a nice pleasant read with surprisingly little drama given a title that tells you there will be some trapped on an exotic island lot coming your way. You don't even have to wait that long to reach it either. But you do have to wait a little longer to buy into the mystery yourself. That simple introduction makes for more of a curiosity than a full-blown mystery. But hang in there, I promise! It's a book that builds very cleverly. You drift along merrily for a short while before realising you're actually pretty invested in the whole thing. And it does that to you again, and again, and again. It somehow manages to drop a huge plot point that captures your attention, it gives you something to ponder as you drift a little longer not really noticing that nothing more of it until suddenly it becomes another huge plot point and jolts you (in a good way) back into asking "So what did happen then?" Before you know it you're on the home stretch and new information is coming thick and fast, and for a long time that just makes the whole thing cloudier. Yes, if you're one of those people who turn to the back of a mystery to solve it before you start you'll probably land right in the middle of the peak intrigue, the story has pushed most of the mystery as far back into the book as it can go while still leaving time to answer all the questions. If the start of the book is a lazy read on a lounger sipping mai tais, the end is when you wake up the next day and discover you booked yourself in to go parasailing and don't even have time for breakfast. And it works. Yes, it all seems a bit frantic but afterwards you have a huge grin on your face and lots of great memories. Sign up for the adrenaline rush, and read this book too. Although maybe not if you're going on holiday to a small island in Fiji - in that case do the parasailing first and read the book when you get home, it'll be worth the wait.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fay Flude

    This book is a definite MUST read! It is tense and so incredibly well written that it is hard to stop reading. The idea of being stranded on a desert island with nothing but the vast ocean and an endless horizon is intimidating in itself. Add to that the uncertainty that you will ever be rescued, the arduous nature of battling to survive with little food, and you have a chilling thriller that has nothing to do with adventure but everything to do with desperation, resilience and the dark side of This book is a definite MUST read! It is tense and so incredibly well written that it is hard to stop reading. The idea of being stranded on a desert island with nothing but the vast ocean and an endless horizon is intimidating in itself. Add to that the uncertainty that you will ever be rescued, the arduous nature of battling to survive with little food, and you have a chilling thriller that has nothing to do with adventure but everything to do with desperation, resilience and the dark side of being human. Join Erin and Lori, two sisters from London ready to embark on an idyllic getaway to a luxury resort on a tiny island. Mike Brass is the pilot and there are seven other passengers, including a 4 month old baby and the stewardess. What happens next is captivating. Fraught with danger, shockingly twisty and the kind of thriller to produce a quickening heart rate and nail bitten fingers, being castaway will make you think about the bonds that tie us to one another. Written following a now and then timeline with wonderful depth and detail to each character, this is a brilliant race to discover who, if anyone, survives. Made me appreciate lockdown; not going anywhere is infinitely safer than planning a holiday! Thanks to Lucy Clarke for an INCREDIBLE read and to Pigeonhole for the chance to read the book. One NOT to miss!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Nikolic

    A SECRET BEACH. A HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME. WISH YOU WERE HERE? THINK AGAIN… This is the story of Erin and Lori, two sisters who adore each other, then tragedy strikes and Erin is left fighting for the truth and won't give up until she gets it... That is all I will say about the story itself, because there is very little synopsis and I don't want to spoil it for future readers. The Castaways is told across two timelines and from two perspectives; THEN by Lori and NOW by Erin. It is an intriguing and ver A SECRET BEACH. A HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME. WISH YOU WERE HERE? THINK AGAIN… This is the story of Erin and Lori, two sisters who adore each other, then tragedy strikes and Erin is left fighting for the truth and won't give up until she gets it... That is all I will say about the story itself, because there is very little synopsis and I don't want to spoil it for future readers. The Castaways is told across two timelines and from two perspectives; THEN by Lori and NOW by Erin. It is an intriguing and very descriptive tale of love, loss and survival that enveloped me completely from the start, when real life got in the way I was itching to get back to it, desperate to know what happened next and loving Lori and Erin more and more at every turn of the page, the bond they had was unbreakable, I also fell in love with Felix but didn't take to any of the other characters. It's the first I've read by this author but I'm sure it won't be the last. I'd like to thank HarperCollins UK and Netgalley for the approval and will post my review on Goodreads and Amazon.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Morris

    The Castaways is an edge-of-your-seat thriller full of mystery that grips you from start to finish. An immensely enjoyable read, you won’t be able to catch your breath until the final page. Although you may have read a book about a group of characters being castaway on a remote island before, you won’t have read anything like this. Alternating between the past through Lori’s narrative of the events on the plane and the present through Erin’s narrative as she attempts to find out what happened to The Castaways is an edge-of-your-seat thriller full of mystery that grips you from start to finish. An immensely enjoyable read, you won’t be able to catch your breath until the final page. Although you may have read a book about a group of characters being castaway on a remote island before, you won’t have read anything like this. Alternating between the past through Lori’s narrative of the events on the plane and the present through Erin’s narrative as she attempts to find out what happened to her sister, the two stories work side by side to reveal why these sisters were arguing the night before, what happened to the plane and its passengers, and how Erin will find out the truth. But what will that truth be? Will it be a tragic ending that rips your heart out just when you start feeling a sense of hope? Or will the path to Erin and Lori meeting again be full of shocking twists that will leave you breathless? Of course, I’m not going to tell which one it is, but you will be drawn into both sister’s stories and desperate for their narratives to clash in the hope of a positive outcome. Brilliantly written with well-developed relationships and a tightly-knitted plot, you will be completely taken over by The Castaways and won’t be able to guess what’s coming. This is definitely a book that you should read this year.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shelagh Wadman

    At the beginning of the book we meet Lori Holme who is in an airport lounge in Fiji waiting for an inter island flight to a small island for a two week holiday in paradise with her younger sister Erin. However, during a heated argument the evening before Erin storms off and didn’t return to their hotel. In the morning Lori arrives at the airport alone hoping Erin will turn up for the flight. When she doesn’t arrive Lori reluctantly boards the plane alone a decision that will change both their liv At the beginning of the book we meet Lori Holme who is in an airport lounge in Fiji waiting for an inter island flight to a small island for a two week holiday in paradise with her younger sister Erin. However, during a heated argument the evening before Erin storms off and didn’t return to their hotel. In the morning Lori arrives at the airport alone hoping Erin will turn up for the flight. When she doesn’t arrive Lori reluctantly boards the plane alone a decision that will change both their lives forever. The Casterways is a very thrilling read full of trauma, tragedy, resilience, hope and fateful repercussions. Thank you Lucy Clarke and Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read this book in ten staves.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julie Lacey

    This is a great read. There was no blurb that I could find so I went in blind and really enjoyed it. Erin and Lori are in Fiji and on the morning of the connecting flight to their destination, Erin is nowhere to be seen. Lori gets on the plane without her but then the plane disappears. We then fast forward two years and Erin has not got over the fact that her sister has disappeared. There’s no evidence of a plane crash and it’s driving Erin mad, not knowing. Erin then receives news that the pilo This is a great read. There was no blurb that I could find so I went in blind and really enjoyed it. Erin and Lori are in Fiji and on the morning of the connecting flight to their destination, Erin is nowhere to be seen. Lori gets on the plane without her but then the plane disappears. We then fast forward two years and Erin has not got over the fact that her sister has disappeared. There’s no evidence of a plane crash and it’s driving Erin mad, not knowing. Erin then receives news that the pilot had been found and he’s quite ill but she’s determined to speak to him. We then have chapters from Lori after the crash and Erin trying to work out what happened. This is a refreshingly different read and one that I really enjoyed. Thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

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