The Rip by Holly Craig

Our Rating
Author: Holly Craig

Category: Thriller / suspense

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

ISBN: 9781662508189

RRP: $36.99

Western Australians are familiar with Rottnest Island, a place of white sand, limestone and blue-green sea some 30 minutes from the mainland. Many of us have memories there from childhood, a place for holidays, sun and salt, and where nothing terrible ever happens. Or does it?

This novel begins with Penny arranging a birthday party on the island for her husband, Kavan. She is the perfect mother. Nothing is ever too much trouble. She is poised, loving and capable. She has some conflict with her teenage daughter, which is almost to be expected, but her younger adopted son is happy and safe, and life is wonderful.

Among the guests are Scott and Eloise, her husband’s best friend and his wife. Eloise is an influencer, with huge numbers of followers on social media, who praise her image of the perfect family lifestyle and mothering of her two children. But, of course, nothing is what it seems, and the two women are very different – Eloise admires Penny and aspires to be like her, and Penny dislikes Eloise who she sees as fake. Then, amid the partying, in the dark, a child goes missing. No-one sees anything, but surely someone must know something?

The entire island swings into action and the reader immediately feels the palpable and building anxiety of every parent who has ever lost a child, perhaps in a shopping centre, even for a moment. Memories begin to surface, of things long past, that are perhaps related to the disappearance, but is it something more tangible, a snake, a cliff, the pounding surf? This is genuinely tense stuff, with a satisfying ending.

I would have liked to know more about the lives of the central women, but this is a ripper read, one for the beach, at Rottnest perhaps?

Reviewed by Lesley West


Read a book review of The Shallows by Holly Craig


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