I hadn't read a book by Sharon Bolton for a while, so I treated myself to The Split. I am extremely glad I did. What a clever story.
SHE'LL NEVER STOP RUNNING.
BUT HE'LL NEVER STOP LOOKING.
A year ago Felicity Lloyd fled England to South Georgia, one of the most remote islands in the world, escaping her past and the man she once loved. Can she keep running her whole life?
Freddie Lloyd has served time for murder - and now he wants her back. Wherever she is, he won't stop until he finds her. Will he be able to track her to the ends of the earth?
TOGETHER THEY'LL FIND THEMSELVES TRAPPED ON THE ICE AND IN DANGER. WHO WILL SURVIVE?
I was interested in The Split from the very moment I read the blurb, because the story is predominately set in the South Atlantic, around The Falk;and Islands and South Georgia. I have never been there, but became aware of that part of the world during the Falklands War in the 1980s. The rest of the story is set in Cambridge, England.
The main character, Felicity, is a noted scientist who specialises in ice and glaciers. She is respected within her field, but within herself, she has demons to fight.
It is not surprising that she has demons as she feels badly betrayed by the man she once loved, Freddie, and seeks psychological help from the othe man in her life, Joe Grant.
Joe is an interesting character. Apart from his paid professional work he spends much of his free time checking up on the homeless in Cambridge. he knows them, their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. He grieves when they disappear or die. His mother, Delilah is a senior police detective and warns Joe against getting too involved withis patients, but he cares deeply for them all, Felicity and the homeless included.
However, when Felicity becomes afraid that Freddie is stalking her, she accepts a posting to the South Atlantic Island of South Georgia but even going to the other side of the world is not far enough for her to escape Freddie.
This story is cleverly and intricately woven and I would not want to insult the author by revealing too much about the struggles that plague Felicity, Freddie or Joe. However, I am sure The Split would provide excellent conversation and debate in any book group. It is a gripping mystery that deserves wide acclaim. I highly recommend it.
Sharon Bolton (previously S. J. Bolton) is the critically acclaimed author of some of the most bone-chilling crime books ever written. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. In 2014 she won the CWA Dagger in the Library for her whole body of work.
Sharon lives near Oxford with her husband and son.