Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Sun Damage by Sabine Durrant @SabineDurrant @HodderBooks #SunDamage #BookReview


The heat is intense.

The secrets are stifling.

She just needs to escape . . 

Nine guests arrive at a remote villa in the south of France.

They know each other well. Or think they do.

But at least one of them has plenty to hide - and nowhere to run.

Under the relentless sun, loyalties will be tested, secrets revealed, and tensions pushed to the point of no return.

Sun Damage by Sabine Durrant was published on 2 June 2022 by Hodder. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

I always look forward to a new book from this talented author, and Sun Damage lived up to every expectation. It was my final read during my recent holiday in Corfu and the descriptions of the searing heat of the French setting was exquisitely done, especially as the temperatures in Greece soared that week too. 

I'm not sure why Sabine Durrant doesn't get as much exposure as other crime fiction authors, her books are intelligently written with characters who the reader will love to hate, and cleverly structured plotting that never fails to impress me. 

Ali is a con artist, pure and simple, and she's very good at it. She's teamed up with Sean who also makes his living from manipulating the rich, and a very good source of income it is proving to be, as they polish their tricks, becoming more daring with every scam they pull off. 

However, even a con artist can have a heart, and when their latest scam goes seriously wrong, Ali flees. She finds herself working as a live-in cook to a group of wealthy Brits who are holidaying together in the South of France in a large house. How she ends up there is a journey in itself, and a very bumpy one at that. She assumes a different name and identity and within days has become a much relied upon staff member. 

Ali is an observer, and she sees just what these people are. She sees their failings, and their deceptions and she remember them all. However, there are other observers there too and Ali needs to be one step ahead in order to keep up her story. Sabine Durrant has such a finesse with character creation, each one of these people have multiple flaws and they are delicately introduced, there's so much depth here. 

Can you con a con artist though? This is the main theme of the plot, and when Sean catches up with Ali, she realises that the scam she thought was so awful, was in fact even worse than she could ever have imagined. 

Sun Damage sizzles with suspense, it is an excellent look at Brits on holiday, domestic dramas and a first class thriller too. Highly recommended from me. 

Sabine Durrant is the author of three psychological thrillers, Under Your Skin, Remember Me This Way and Lie With Me, a Richard & Judy Bookclub selection and Sunday Times paperback bestseller.

Her previous novels are Having It and Eating It and The Great Indoors, and two books for teenage girls, Cross Your Heart, Connie Pickles and Ooh La La! Connie Pickles.

She is a former features editor of the Guardian and a former literary editor at the Sunday Times, and her writing has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines.

She lives in south London with her partner and their three children.

Twitter @SabineDurrant

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