The Pact Review
Title: The Pact
Author: Amy Heydenrych
Publication Date: 28 November 2020
Source: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Rating: 3 Stars
What if a prank leads to murder?
When Freya arrives at her dream job with the city's hottest start-up, she can't wait to begin a new and exciting life, including dating her new colleague Jay. However, Nicole, Jay's ex and fellow employee, seems intent on making her life a misery.
After a big deadline, where Nicole continually picks on her, Freya snaps and tells Jay about the bullying and together they concoct a revenge prank. The next morning, Nicole is found dead in her apartment...
Is this just a prank gone wrong? Or does Freya know someone who is capable of murder - could she be next?
After reading Shame on You, the authors debut novel, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this. It has taken me a while to actually read it but I thought, there was no time like the present. I am not entirely sure what to expect from this book. I really enjoyed the way in which Shame on You was tackled even if it was very triggering when it came to the way Holly felt about her body. I am hoping that this one will be another hit.
Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball Publisher for providing me with a copy of this book! Just a quick disclaimer for those reading this review. I have received this book for free. Please note that this does not affect my opinions in any way. All thoughts are my own.
The writing in this book was very enjoyable. In Shame On You the writing felt as if it was missing something, but in this book it didn't feel like it. The writing was well paced and the dialogue flowed really well. The only downside was the long chapters that, despite the well-paced writing, seemed endless. I definitely think that the chapters needed to be shorter to add to the growing tension of the plot.
The premise of the book sounded really interesting but I felt as if the execution was off. The book, whilst great as a concept, just didn't meet my expectations. Not only were the chapters long but what happened in them seemed slightly unbelievable. It also got quite catty between Freya and Nicole which is something that I didn't really enjoy. The main character, Freya, is beyond grateful for the opportunity that she got at this incredible tech company but I feel as if we never really got the full scope of her ability as a software engineer? (I'll be honest and admit I can't remember what she studied). The pacing of the events in the novel also didn't work for me. We had three timelines to follow, one to explore the friendship between Freya and her best friend in collage (these chapters were too few and far between to really add any substance to the plot), the timeline in which it is a couple of days/ weeks from Nicole's murder and then lastly, the present in which Nicole's murder investigation is on going. Beyond the three timelines, there are also two perspectives. I don't know this book didn't really work for me.
Freya's character was not substantial enough for me, especially when compared the to other perspective we are given. Freya's character seems to be solely built on her gratitude and need to be loved or at least acknowledged by everyone. She is nothing more than that. We don't know about her work other than she is passionate which is seen by the amount of hours she may work. However, Isla was a more concrete character. I preferred her plotline over the rest of the book and would have loved to see more from her. In fact, I would have preferred if this entire book was from her perspective.
Overall, I was a disappointed by this book. I liked Shame On You because it was fast paced and had me on the edge of my seat. The Pact did none of that. The chapters were long and there were so many of them. There was nothing in the book that really caused me to keep flipping the pages beyond that hope I had that this book would get better. I felt as if the author had taken two steps back with this one. It had so much potential but I think it should have been reworked a bit more. Freya and the other characters weren't believable enough for me. The actual plot points of the book seemed unrealistic. The writing was probably the only think that didn't change from her debut novel but the long chapters made the book seem even longer and more dragged out. However, at the end of the day, I liked the ending because it was so unexpected. And I guess that is one thing that everyone wants from a thriller that this book delivered. I am still interested to see what else this author has up her sleeve. On the one hand, whatever Shame On You didn't have, this book definitely had but what this book didn't have Shame On You excelled at. Thank you to Jonathan Ball Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book.
Yours in Reading,