ARC REVIEW: Hell Bay by Kate Rhodes

Hell BayTitle: Hell Bay by Kate Rhodes
Pages: 432
Published by: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication date: 25th January 2018
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: eBook
Amazon UKWaterstones


Trapped in a storm, with no way out …

DI Ben Kitto needs a second chance. After ten years working for the murder squad in London, a traumatic event has left him grief-stricken. He’s tried to resign from his job, but his boss has persuaded him to take three months to reconsider.

Ben plans to work in his uncle Ray’s boatyard, on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher where he was born, hoping to mend his shattered nerves. His plans go awry when the body of sixteen year old Laura Trescothick is found on the beach at Hell Bay. Her attacker must still be on the island because no ferries have sailed during a two-day storm.

Everyone on the island is under suspicion. Dark secrets are about to resurface. And the murderer could strike again at any time. 

My review:

Thank you to NetGalley for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest view.

This is the first book I have read by Kate Rhodes and I absolutely loved it! It was so addicting and I couldn’t stop turning page after page. Her writing is so gripping and she writes such awesome characters you can easily fall in love with. The story was very realistic and it completely sucked me in – I was hooked from start to finish!

I truly loved the main character. From the very first page I could tell I was going to love him. He was just so likeable and so easy to connect with. He has a dog called Shadow and I wanted to lift him out of the book and claim him as my own. Shadow is such a free spirit, he literally does whatever he wants and only returns to Ben for food. Dream life for a dog!

One thing I didn’t like about this book was the lack of grief Ben was showing for the traumatic event he went through in London. He’s apparently returned to the island he grew up on to mend his shattered nerves, but it honestly feels like he didn’t have any shattered nerves to begin with. He acts and appears to be fine so that part of the story is a mystery. In my opinion, if you didn’t read the synopsis then you wouldn’t know he was grief-stricken because it’s hardly talked about. Even when it is talked about, it’s briefly mentioned and then the character moves on. This disappointed me because I wanted it to be at the centre of the story.

I loved all of the characters on the island – they were all so different and interesting. I loved how they all had these different backstories and some of them had their own dreams they wanted to chase. Some of the characters were very empowering because when they got knocked down they pulled themselves back up and prepared themselves for round two. Despite being trapped on an island with a killer they were so uplifting and carrying on with their every day routine. Would love to have some of those characters for my neighbours (Obviously not the killer though!).

The plot was very slow going, not a lot was happening. Obviously you can’t except him to immediately find the killer but it did drag at times where nothing was really happening. This didn’t really matter though because the characters who lived on the island made this story work. Even when it felt like the murder investigation had stalled, the characters kept me interested and turning the pages. Also, there was quite a few instances when Ben was threatened or snuck up on and attacked which was exciting and added some more suspense to the plot.

I really loved how Kate kept it all hush, hush who the kill was. Even when she went into a lot of details with the other characters and really fleshed them out I still had no idea which one of them was the killer. I’m not sure if there was any foreshadowing but if there was, I completely missed it like usual! So when it was revealed who the killer was I was shocked! Shocked! The ultimate betrayal right there, folks. Backstabber. It was completely unexpected for me and I was honestly so surprised. All of the characters just seem so good and kind, you’d never guess which one of them was capable of murder! But then BANG the most unsuspecting character was the killer. I’ve read a similar ending like this before in another crime thriller and every time it just leaves me gobsmacked. I should expect this more but I keep forgetting!

I only read this book in December but it made it onto my list for my favourite books of 2017. This book was just phenomenal to me and easily one of the best thrillers I read last year. I was absolutely devastated when I finished this book and was like now what? I believe this is a series so I am going to be impatiently waiting over a year for the second book!

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