5 November 2012

Review: BEYOND FEAR, Jaye Ford

Synopsis (Author site)

Imagine if your worst fears came true. . . Again.

At seventeen, Jodie Cramer survived a terrifying assault at the hands of three strangers. Her schoolmate Angie was not so lucky…

Now thirty-five, Jodie is a teacher and mother of two – and her past is a horror she’s buried deep. When she sets out for a weekend in the country with three friends, all she has in mind is a few laughs and a break from routine.

However, unknown to the four women, their secluded cabin was once the focus of a police investigation and, like Jodie, it nurtures a dark secret.

As her friends relax, the isolation reawakens Jodie’s terrifying memories. When she finds evidence of trespassers, she is convinced they are being watched.

But no one will believe her and as her past threatens to overwhelm her, she begins to doubt herself – and her sanity. Until two men knock at their door …

My take

The setting is rural New South Wales, an isolated barn, newly renovated as a country weekender, and far enough out of town to reinforce the feeling of isolation. Out of mobile phone connectivity range too, always enough to make holiday makers worried. The weekend does not start well when Jodie's car is forced off the road near their destination and things begin to go down hill from there.

Here friends don't share Jodie's suspicion of strangers and they don't understand what makes her so hostile when two men turn up on their doorstep. But Jodie has met them before...

BEYOND FEAR is certainly a nail biter. The tension builds well and I thought most of the scenario was quite realistic. Ford is good at putting the reader into Jodie Cramer's mind and letting us feel the apprehension that Jodie feels when the planned weekend away begins to go wrong.

I felt the book was just a little too long, particularly with the violent scenes towards the end, but then I guess we had to find out why these two men had turned at the barn. By the last 50 pages much of the mystery had been solved and so the author was left with the problem of how many of the main characters could be extricated safely.

That said, if I could write half as well as Jaye Ford I'd be happy. It did keep me reading far into the night.

My rating: 4.4

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