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The Swell

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Point Break meets And Then There Were None in a pulse-pounding beach read that explores the dangerous ties between a group of elite surfers who are determined to find the perfect waves at any cost…even murder. The waves are to die for. Three years ago, passionate surfer Kenna Ward lost her two great loves—after her boyfriend drowned, she hung up her surfboard and swore off t Point Break meets And Then There Were None in a pulse-pounding beach read that explores the dangerous ties between a group of elite surfers who are determined to find the perfect waves at any cost…even murder. The waves are to die for. Three years ago, passionate surfer Kenna Ward lost her two great loves—after her boyfriend drowned, she hung up her surfboard and swore off the water for good. But she is drawn back to the beach when her best friend, Mikki, announces her sudden engagement to a man Kenna has never met—a member of a tight-knit group of surfers. Kenna travels to a remote Australian beach, entering a dangerous world far from civilization world where the waves, weather, and tides are all that matter. Kenna is tempted back into the surf, and drawn into the dazzling group and the beach they call their own. But this coastal paradise has a dark side, and members of the group begin to go missing. Kenna realizes that in order to protect Mikki and learn more about the surfers, she must become one of them…without becoming one of their victims. What follows is an adrenaline-fueled thriller packed with twists and turns, exploring the dangerous edge between passion and obsession.


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Point Break meets And Then There Were None in a pulse-pounding beach read that explores the dangerous ties between a group of elite surfers who are determined to find the perfect waves at any cost…even murder. The waves are to die for. Three years ago, passionate surfer Kenna Ward lost her two great loves—after her boyfriend drowned, she hung up her surfboard and swore off t Point Break meets And Then There Were None in a pulse-pounding beach read that explores the dangerous ties between a group of elite surfers who are determined to find the perfect waves at any cost…even murder. The waves are to die for. Three years ago, passionate surfer Kenna Ward lost her two great loves—after her boyfriend drowned, she hung up her surfboard and swore off the water for good. But she is drawn back to the beach when her best friend, Mikki, announces her sudden engagement to a man Kenna has never met—a member of a tight-knit group of surfers. Kenna travels to a remote Australian beach, entering a dangerous world far from civilization world where the waves, weather, and tides are all that matter. Kenna is tempted back into the surf, and drawn into the dazzling group and the beach they call their own. But this coastal paradise has a dark side, and members of the group begin to go missing. Kenna realizes that in order to protect Mikki and learn more about the surfers, she must become one of them…without becoming one of their victims. What follows is an adrenaline-fueled thriller packed with twists and turns, exploring the dangerous edge between passion and obsession.

30 review for The Swell

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    What a heart pounding, wild ride, adrenaline rush! Such a delicious Lost meets Point Break mystery with lots of action packed, exciting short chapters end with freaking cliffhangers! Welcome to Sorrow Beach: such a private, secluded, remote Australian Beach provides a different world which is so far from civilization, a beach is owned by the Tribe of six people. Kenna, sport therapist who suffers from loss of her boyfriend Kasim who was drown in the ocean. The day he died she swore off the water What a heart pounding, wild ride, adrenaline rush! Such a delicious Lost meets Point Break mystery with lots of action packed, exciting short chapters end with freaking cliffhangers! Welcome to Sorrow Beach: such a private, secluded, remote Australian Beach provides a different world which is so far from civilization, a beach is owned by the Tribe of six people. Kenna, sport therapist who suffers from loss of her boyfriend Kasim who was drown in the ocean. The day he died she swore off the water, leaving her surf pedal and her adventurous soul behind. But now she finds herself in the middle of the wilderness because her best friend Mikki gives her impression she’s been abused by her boyfriend and she’s still adamant to get marry with Jack in hurry. When Kenna flies to Australia to stop the wedding, Jack invites him to join them at the beach: only reserved for their tribe! When Kenna takes her first step into the Sorrow Beach, she gets all those haunted vibes not only from the nature and creepy atmosphere but also from tribe members: Jack: flirty from the beginning, using drugs to lessen his back pain, Clemente: charismatic Spanish man with lots of secrets, Victor: a talented swimmer suffers from PTSD, Sky: bold, relentless leader of the group with extreme methods to deal with people’s fears and Ryan: the creepy tourist whose photos cover the missing person ads, silent observer who might be running from something! Kenna just wants to convince Mikki to return back to home with her but she finds herself drawn into this mystic, enigmatic also ultra dangerous community and beautiful beach which keeps a lot of buried secrets! But one of the tribe members is more harmful than the others who might be related with missing backpackers! But who and why! Keep reading and measure your heart rates! This adrenaline pumping, mind bumping, action fueled book is way too much exciting to put it down! It absolutely kept me in my toes and I stayed up all night to finish it! I cut half point because I wish we didn’t have an early clue about the culprit’s identity. Learning it at the last pages might have been more shocking! But I’m still rounding up 4.5 stars to 5 WT actually heck I just read, I barely gather my wits stars! Special thanks to NetGalley, PENGUIN GROUP PUTNAM, G. P. Putnam’s Sons for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts and so many thanks to Allie Reynolds for creating this heart throbbing, crazy wild ride!

  2. 4 out of 5

    GirlWithThePinkSkiMask

    Thank you Putnam books for the beautiful gifted hard copy in exchange for an honest review. IYKYK, my reviews are always honest. Writing: 3/5 | Plot: nonexistent/5 | Ending: I mean I guess??/5 SYNOPSIS Kenna flies to Australia to rescue her friend Mikki, who she suspects is being abused. Instead, she ends up joining The Tribe, a group of questionable folks (including Mikki) who are fiercely protective over their secret surf spot. But when bodies start to appear, Kenna is more desperate than be Thank you Putnam books for the beautiful gifted hard copy in exchange for an honest review. IYKYK, my reviews are always honest. Writing: 3/5 | Plot: nonexistent/5 | Ending: I mean I guess??/5 SYNOPSIS Kenna flies to Australia to rescue her friend Mikki, who she suspects is being abused. Instead, she ends up joining The Tribe, a group of questionable folks (including Mikki) who are fiercely protective over their secret surf spot. But when bodies start to appear, Kenna is more desperate than before to get Mikki out of this surf cult. MY OPINION LE SIGH. I requested this book because my husband loves surfing, so I wanted to learn more about his interest in a way that's enjoyable to me (reading). I really wanted to like this at least enough to slap a good ole Honda Civic Reliable rating on it, but Allie Reynolds was really fighting against the current (see what I did there har har har) and I landed on a two star rating. The writing quality itself wasn't bad, hence the 3/5, but the content left a lot to be desired. For one, this was not a thriller. This was a surf drama with no plot. Dead ass nothing happened until the last 15% or so of the book. Just Kenna going around being rude and tactless. Everyone was unlikeable, even Kenna, the alleged protagonist. She should work for US customs and border protection the way she was so pressed about everyone's immigration status. Damn. Also, she was the most boring adrenaline junkie ever. She had the personality of a wet cardboard box. The only thing I knew about her was that she was DTF (down to fornicate). She literally was eye-fking every guy, including Mikki's man. Every 30 pages Kenna reminded us how she wanted to climb Mikki's man like a jungle gym. WE GET IT!!! YOU'RE A BAD FRIEND WITH NO STANDARDS!! SPOILERS SO SCROLL AHEAD IF YOU PLAN ON READING THIS I had many questions when the book finally ended: how did Sky become the leader when she was grandfathered into the group? Why was Clement so chill about two of his lovers dying and Sky (actually Greta) assuming his dead wife's name? If Mikki was willing to murder to keep Kenna all to herself, why was she so resistant to leave and drive off in the sunset with her? Did Ryan even have a family or was he just a big time scammer? If Mikki was so obsessed with Kenna, why did she treat her like shit? I had a hard time believing these two were BFFs. PROS AND CONS Pros: I did learn some new stuff about surfing I guess so I can flex on my husband now Cons: no plot, juvenile drama, everyone sucked, the ending didn't math

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    3.5 rounded up Kenna’s arrival in Australia to visit her best friend Mikki has an inauspicious start when she’s almost accosted by a desperate mother looking for her missing daughter. However, this is just the beginning of what can only be described as a tidal wave of ever worsening events. First of all Kenna is concerned about Mikki as she fears she may be controlled by her fiance Jack and certainly the vibe she gets are tense, weird and the dynamics are off. If she thought this is strange then 3.5 rounded up Kenna’s arrival in Australia to visit her best friend Mikki has an inauspicious start when she’s almost accosted by a desperate mother looking for her missing daughter. However, this is just the beginning of what can only be described as a tidal wave of ever worsening events. First of all Kenna is concerned about Mikki as she fears she may be controlled by her fiance Jack and certainly the vibe she gets are tense, weird and the dynamics are off. If she thought this is strange then it takes a deep dive into the downright bizarre when Jack and Mikki take her to a remote, isolated Sorrow Bay where she meets The Tribe. They are an odd, aggressive, rude bunch of adrenaline junkies addicted to surfing big waves, the bigger the better and goading and pushing each other to take bigger and bigger risks. They’re a disparate bunch who have washed up from all around the world but the alpha seems to be Sky. What has Mikki got herself involved in? What has she dragged Kenna into ? Are there any links to the missing girl? The story is principally told from Kenna’s point of view but each character has one chapter which works well. The first three quarters of the book is really good and I really enjoy the focus on surfing. Allie Reynolds has created a very odd jarring bunch of characters who are mostly unlikable and via them you get hold your breath tension, several jaw droppers and behaviour that makes you gulp in shock so you can’t decide if they’re brave, stupid or both. It’s really intriguing, there’s a cracking pace, the undertones ooze menace, there’s suspense, intimidation and danger as power is exerted. These are all damaged souls and The Bay is a magnet for them, bringing out their darkness and then binding them together with secrets. Kenn’a growing suspicions flip-flop between the various characters which keeps you invested in the plot. However, the last 20% also becomes overly dramatic with too many twists. It gets repetitive especially on Kenna‘s desire to extract Mikki from the group and Kenna herself gets irritating as it’s like she’s constantly picking as a scab. The ending feels unfinished, it’s sort of fizzles out which is a huge pity as most of it is really good. Overall, it’s a well written thriller and I like the short sharp chapters which perfectly match the plot/mood and dynamics. With a more punchy ending it would’ve been a 4 to 5 star read. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Headline for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    Fear is fuel. Panic is lethal. This new book from Allie Reynolds takes you to an isolated bay in Australia. You can taste the salt and see the waves. You are there with a group of dedicated surfers who call themselves The Tribe. I got some Survivor vibes as the group was put through various challenges by Sky, the self-proclaimed leader of the pack. Most of the story is from Kenna's perspective as a newcomer to the group. We also get occasional chapters showing us the motivations and secret activi Fear is fuel. Panic is lethal. This new book from Allie Reynolds takes you to an isolated bay in Australia. You can taste the salt and see the waves. You are there with a group of dedicated surfers who call themselves The Tribe. I got some Survivor vibes as the group was put through various challenges by Sky, the self-proclaimed leader of the pack. Most of the story is from Kenna's perspective as a newcomer to the group. We also get occasional chapters showing us the motivations and secret activities of others. I did not find any of the players to be particularly likable, but the sense of place was incredible. I am not a fan of the water and will never be a surfer, but I found it fascinating to spend time with this flawed bunch. I don't think I liked this one quite as much as Shiver, but it was close. Also brought the book Stranded to mind. Thank you to G.P. Putnam's and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    "The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun." - Phil Edwards Kenna Ward lost her boyfriend to the ocean two years ago and gave up surfing. But when she believes her best friend, Mikki is being abused by her fiancé, she heads to Australia. She is invited to join them and their tight knit group of surfing friends on a remote hidden beach. Kenna knows that there is more to this group than meets the eye. They are skeptical of her and not too welcoming. This is their beach, and the w "The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun." - Phil Edwards Kenna Ward lost her boyfriend to the ocean two years ago and gave up surfing. But when she believes her best friend, Mikki is being abused by her fiancé, she heads to Australia. She is invited to join them and their tight knit group of surfing friends on a remote hidden beach. Kenna knows that there is more to this group than meets the eye. They are skeptical of her and not too welcoming. This is their beach, and the waves and beach are all that matter to them. They will do whatever it takes to keep this beach, their very own hidden paradise. But are they the happy cohesive group that they present to be? There are those who have gone missing.... This was such an enjoyable and gripping read. I love books where there seems to be no escape, no way out and you are left to face the elements and those you are with. The beach offered freedom, but it also offered danger. Everyone there had secrets, something they were hiding from, and their own reasons to be there. They did dangerous activities and faced their fears in very scary ways. When a storm hits, it means big waves, but it also means there are stuck and must face each other and the elements. Captivating and riveting, I could not put this book down. I was glued to the pages, wandering who could be trusted and fearing that perhaps no one was entirely safe to be around there. Was I right? You will need to read to find out! I loved Shiver and was anxious to see what Reynolds came up with next! Another great engrossing read, and I can't wait to read what she writes next. Thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, G.P. Putnam's Sons and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!"

    My thanks to Penguin Group/Putnam, Allie Reynolds and Netgalley. I loved this story. The fact that I read in on 2 days or less says something! The location was fantastic. Who wouldn't want to find a private surfing beach in Australia? I cared about the characters and loved the very descriptive setting. In all honesty though, this wasn't much of a mystery or suspense kind of story. I had a feeling who the dastardly ne'er do well was. Still, I believe the waves and Australia should be counted as a cha My thanks to Penguin Group/Putnam, Allie Reynolds and Netgalley. I loved this story. The fact that I read in on 2 days or less says something! The location was fantastic. Who wouldn't want to find a private surfing beach in Australia? I cared about the characters and loved the very descriptive setting. In all honesty though, this wasn't much of a mystery or suspense kind of story. I had a feeling who the dastardly ne'er do well was. Still, I believe the waves and Australia should be counted as a character!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    The Bay You can’t get much different from a thriller in the snow as a thriller in the ocean. The Bay was one of my most anticipated reads for 2022 and I was thrilled to get an early copy to read, thanks to Hachette Australia. Once you start to read it you will not want to put it down, just like Shiver. Allie Reynolds sure knows her stuff on surfing! This was an addictive of friendships, secrets and lies. There was so much going on, and ai was forever needing answers. It was clear from the actions The Bay You can’t get much different from a thriller in the snow as a thriller in the ocean. The Bay was one of my most anticipated reads for 2022 and I was thrilled to get an early copy to read, thanks to Hachette Australia. Once you start to read it you will not want to put it down, just like Shiver. Allie Reynolds sure knows her stuff on surfing! This was an addictive of friendships, secrets and lies. There was so much going on, and ai was forever needing answers. It was clear from the actions of these characters that there was a lot under the surface, just waiting to come to to light. Who could be trusted? Who is lying? And who is willing to go to extreme lengths to protect themselves? Kenna is worried about her best friend Mikki, who has just announced she is marrying fellow surfer, Jack, in Australia. Kenna feels something is wrong, so she jumps on a plane to find out what nod to help her friend. Pretty much as soon as she arrives in Sydney l they head up the coast to Sorrow Bay. This is their own little bit of the world, and they join their tribe there. The tribe are very wary of strangers, and Kenna gets the feeling that they don’t want her there. But she is determined to find out what is going on with her friend. Asking questions is not endearing her to anybody. All of these surfers have their demons, and things in their past that would rather keep there. Will Kenna we able to get her friend back on the plane to England before it is too late. So many questions! i love a book that has me intrigued and questioning everyone. There are plenty of reasons to suspect them all of the strange things that are happening around them. Who is it? If you loved Shiver, you will love The Bay. Highly recommend

  8. 5 out of 5

    chantalsbookstuff

    The storyline was good, but the plot not strong enough to carry it through. The characters were well developed and the ending was surprising but needed a bit more for a good solid twist.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    Kenna who lives by herself in Cornwall has been alone for two years nursing a broken heart since she experienced a great tragedy which she blames herself for. Kenna receives news from her best friend Mikki who is living in Australia that she is getting married so Kenna feels she much fly out there to support her friend while wondering about this sudden marriage news. Both young women have been friends since children and they are both hard-core surfers, well, Kenna used to be. When Kenna arrives Kenna who lives by herself in Cornwall has been alone for two years nursing a broken heart since she experienced a great tragedy which she blames herself for. Kenna receives news from her best friend Mikki who is living in Australia that she is getting married so Kenna feels she much fly out there to support her friend while wondering about this sudden marriage news. Both young women have been friends since children and they are both hard-core surfers, well, Kenna used to be. When Kenna arrives Mikki appears tense and her fiancee (Jack) seems nice enough although not quite husband material. The couple invites Kenna to come to meet their friends that they live with on a beach called "Sorrow Bay" which they claim is all theirs and the waves belong only to this so called tribe. Kenna is bewildered by this group who seem aloof and rather unwelcoming and thinks Mikki might be in over her head with this tough group of super, competitive surfers yet she is happier than Kenna has ever seen her. Kenna feels she must stay for awhile, against her better judgement to make sure Mikki is making the right decision and to find out why this group lives almost year round on this private beach which really is part of a national park. The tribe are not young teenagers that you would think would act this way they are all at least thirty years old and had professional careers so it seems very odd to Kenna that they live this way and consider themselves a tribe. After a few days Kenna knows something is very wrong with this group and Mikki has changed as well. There have been a couple of deaths before Kenna arrived and danger brews around every corner with the wild ocean, wild animals, the insects that are continuously biting or stinging, poisonous spiders and snakes are everywhere one walks especially in the forest immediately behind the beach. If a person was injured the nearest town is hours at away and of course there is no phone reception. The tribe are living in a dangerous environment but Kenna finds out they all thrive on danger and it is a very contagious feeling which was unexpected. What Kenna doesn't know is that people will continue to die at "Sorrow Bay" and if she doesn't watch her step she will find out that there is someone who wants her gone or maybe even dead because there are are few people that never wanted Kenna or anyone new to come to their beach. This was a fun and entertaining locked room (beach) thriller which keeps you guessing. I found this story a fresh type of mystery which was atmospheric and so descriptive with the wonderful environment details that the author captured so vividly. I learned a lot about surfing and the information about the waves was so interesting. I also wondered if Allie Reynolds(author) was a surfer herself. This book also reminded me somewhat of the movie "The Beach" which of course I loved. I am a big fan of locked room mysteries so this story really appealed to me and didn't let me down. The parts I didn't care for involved Kenna, I liked her a lot in the beginning but then she got on my nerves with her persistent and insensitive questions and how she jumped to inaccurate conclusions with every person and the way she hovered over Mikki really bothered me yet it was fun to see how the others would respond to her nosy nature. I also thought a major clue to the mystery was given way to early about halfway through the book and that was a little disappointing although there were many different pieces to the puzzle that I hadn't foreseen and that made the book so enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this book to other mystery/thriller lovers! I want to thank the publisher "Penguin Group Putnam" and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book and any thoughts or opinions expressed are unbiased d and mine alone! I have given an overall rating of 3 1/2 ADRENALINE FUELED SURFING 🌟🌟🌟🌠STARS!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Colleen-Is on Semi Hiatus Will Engage When Able

    The Swell (also known as The Bay) is a very slow paced Psychological Thriller that some may appreciate, but this reader was not impressed. In fact I was so unimpressed I’m feeling a bit unmotivated to even do this review. So forgive me friends if it’s a little blah. This was a tough one for me. 😐 Kenna travels all the way from England to Australia to surprise and check on her best friend Mikki. Kenna flies in when Mikki tells her she is getting married to Jack, a man she barely knows and someone The Swell (also known as The Bay) is a very slow paced Psychological Thriller that some may appreciate, but this reader was not impressed. In fact I was so unimpressed I’m feeling a bit unmotivated to even do this review. So forgive me friends if it’s a little blah. This was a tough one for me. 😐 Kenna travels all the way from England to Australia to surprise and check on her best friend Mikki. Kenna flies in when Mikki tells her she is getting married to Jack, a man she barely knows and someone Kenna has never met. She’s excluding everyone from home from attending the wedding, claiming it’s going to be a very small affair. What’s going on? Why is Mikki being so secretive? Is she being abused or controlled for her money? All those concerns and more are running through her head and Kenna is there to find out. She arrives just in time as the couple are leaving town and headed to a “secret” secluded beach where the waves are good and no one’s around to steal the surf. It’s just them and their tight knit friends that make up a group called The Tribe. Kenna gets to know a whole new side of Mikki that she’s never seen. She’s not sure that she likes it nor is she sure if she likes Mikki’s new friends. The Tribe consists of Mikki, Jack, Sky, Victor, Ryan and Clemente. They are a group of surfers who have all had some sort of troubles in life, feeling solace in having found Sorrow Bay. Their very own private beach, that they diligently keep tourists away from. Sorrow Bay gives them time to surf alone, work on their fears and “heal” from their personal demons. All their talk sounds good but Kenna doesn’t trust anyone in the group when she notices they each have a shifty side. She sees how far they will go to keep others away and how dangerous they push themselves and each other to conquer their fears. Kenna inserts herself into the group trying to figure out a way to protect Mikki from these dark, elusive strangers. But her worry turns to panic when “accidental” deaths start occurring and the deaths of several previous Tribe members come into question. Can Kenna save Mikki, let alone save herself? It actually starts out with an interesting beginning and once again I got my hopes up I found a good read. But it quickly turned into a annoying, repetitive and quite a boring book. The story is a psychological thriller and readers are following Kenna’s character pretty much the whole way through with light sprinkles of POV’s from the other characters. That was the first mistake. Kenna was insanely annoying (really they were all annoying). First of all Mikki is a grown ass woman and if she says she wants to marry someone and she has no plans of going back to England than she needed to respect that. She was trying to play psychologist (big fail) by probing everyone trying determine more about them, but it came off as nosy and annoying. Way to much cross examination and not enough action. This was about 80% of the book, Kenna’s irritating thoughts and interactions with others. She consistently talked about how important her and Mikki’s relationship was, but I felt a very weak connection between them. It was if they were acquaintances instead of BFF’s. She also had an unhealthy curiosity about everyone’s immigration status. Unless you secretly work for the Australian government Kenna, who cares, it’s not your problem! When the action does finally start to happen it’s too little and too late. It would have been better if the answers to what was going on were disbursed out in small increments throughout the book and not thrown at me all at once. And the reason behind everything was pretty lame in my opinion. Another issue I had was a lot of unanswered questions. AR introduces situations with the characters that bring up a lot of questions, that you think will be addressed eventually, but then she just left me hanging..very frustrating. I feel like The Swell was trying to be a smart, well thought out psychological thriller but instead I got a whiny, slow paced high school like drama that just left me with a whirlwind of a headache trying to figure out how it got such a decent rating.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    4.5* The Bay (also published under the title The Swell) is a compulsively readable thriller from the pen of British-Australian author Allie Reynolds - in fact I stayed up half the night to finish reading it! English physical therapist Kenna arrives in Sydney, Australia intending to pay a surprise visit to attend the imminent wedding of her best friend Mikki, who's lived down under for over a year. But Mikki doesn't seem entirely overjoyed to see her, and Kenna is picking up alarming vibes from Mik 4.5* The Bay (also published under the title The Swell) is a compulsively readable thriller from the pen of British-Australian author Allie Reynolds - in fact I stayed up half the night to finish reading it! English physical therapist Kenna arrives in Sydney, Australia intending to pay a surprise visit to attend the imminent wedding of her best friend Mikki, who's lived down under for over a year. But Mikki doesn't seem entirely overjoyed to see her, and Kenna is picking up alarming vibes from Mikki's Australian fiancé, surfer Jack. Why are they marrying so quickly? Is he only interested in Mikki's (considerable) inheritance? Is Mikki the victim of coercive control, or even physical violence? Kenna has grave misgivings, but reluctantly accompanies Mikki and Jack as they set out north on the Pacific Highway towards a secret location where they like to surf with a very select group of friends. "Who knows? You might like where we're going so much that you never want to leave." Kenna's hackles are further raised when they arrive at a remote and very basic campsite above Sorrow Bay, and she receives a distinctly unenthusiastic welcome from the other surfers, led by the enigmatic Sky. Kenna is worried by the creepy atmosphere and the risk-taking behaviour that the group engage in, but overcomes her own traumatic past experiences to surf again herself. And then the deaths begin... "... there's nobody here. Nobody except us. We have to face it: there's no faceless stranger to blame this on. One of us killed ..." The Bay is a high-octane thriller, drawing evocatively upon Allie Reynolds's considerable personal experience of both surfing culture and the pressures of the competitive sporting circuit (she is a former professional freestyle snowboarder). Reynolds creates a menacing atmosphere against the backdrop of the Australian coastal bushland setting, with the impact of natural phenomena upping the tension. The cast of characters are varied and enticing, keeping readers guessing as to the identity of the villain right up to the bitter end. Reynolds uses suspenseful foreshadowing, shocking twists and clever misdirection to build a complex and thrilling plot. She also successfully employs techniques such as occasional flashback chapters and short changes in narrative perspective, drip-feeding the reader with pertinent information. When a friend asked me to describe it the other day, the best I could come up with was "Point Break (1991 film) meets Lord of the Flies"! I'd highly recommend The Bay to readers who enjoy twisty and immersive thrillers. This is a worthy successor to Allie Reynolds previous title, the highly popular Shiver.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Arthur (Ms. G's Bookshelf)

    ⭐️4.5 Stars⭐️ Allie Reynolds has delivered yet another winning Aussie thriller, The Bay was one of my most anticipated reads for 2022! I zipped through the pages of The Bay, I couldn’t put it down late into the night. This is a gripping whodunit mystery set in a remote surfing location in Australia. Kenna travels from England to Sydney, Australia to visit her best friend Mikki unannounced. Mikki is now living with fellow surfer and fiancé Jack and Kenna’s surprised they’re getting married in a few ⭐️4.5 Stars⭐️ Allie Reynolds has delivered yet another winning Aussie thriller, The Bay was one of my most anticipated reads for 2022! I zipped through the pages of The Bay, I couldn’t put it down late into the night. This is a gripping whodunit mystery set in a remote surfing location in Australia. Kenna travels from England to Sydney, Australia to visit her best friend Mikki unannounced. Mikki is now living with fellow surfer and fiancé Jack and Kenna’s surprised they’re getting married in a few weeks. They’re about to go on a trip so Mikki and Jack take Kenna along with them to a secluded surf spot. The location is Sorrow Bay and their close knit group of friends ‘The Tribe’ camped there are wary of outsiders and aren’t happy they’ve brought Kenna with them. They don’t want the public to discover their surfing hideaway paradise, they’re always up for their next thrill and they’ll go to any extreme to get it. Kenna doesn’t trust Jack and along with some strange occurrences she has a bad feeling about the place and wants to get her friend back home to England away from the tribe and away from Jack! When surfers go missing everyone seems a suspect, the mysterious characters are intense and creepy and the story addictive. I loved the atmospheric setting, the ocean, the surfing lingo and discovering why each member had come to The Bay along with their secrets. Note: This book is titled THE SWELL in the US. Publication Date 15 June 2022 Publisher Hachette Australia Thank you so much Hachette Australia for a copy of the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    ARC received! Thank you, Penguin Group Putnam!!! I have really been looking forward to getting more from Allie Reynolds since I finished Shiver late last year. I loved the competitive sporting aspect she included in that one and am looking forward to more of the same here, but with surfing instead of snowboarding. Bring it on! ARC received! Thank you, Penguin Group Putnam!!! I have really been looking forward to getting more from Allie Reynolds since I finished Shiver late last year. I loved the competitive sporting aspect she included in that one and am looking forward to more of the same here, but with surfing instead of snowboarding. Bring it on!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Frank Phillips

    Yet another great, atmospheric suspense by my absolute favorite new author, Allie Reynolds. Man, can this woman write a novel that ends up being EXACTLY what I needed to read at the time I pick it up!! 4.5 Stars, rounded up for this summer edition, which will undoubtedly stick with me for quite some time! When Kenna Ward shows up on her childhood BFF Mikki's front door, unannounced, there is a palpably awkward and inexplicable tension that had me instantly intrigued. Mikki, who lives across the Yet another great, atmospheric suspense by my absolute favorite new author, Allie Reynolds. Man, can this woman write a novel that ends up being EXACTLY what I needed to read at the time I pick it up!! 4.5 Stars, rounded up for this summer edition, which will undoubtedly stick with me for quite some time! When Kenna Ward shows up on her childhood BFF Mikki's front door, unannounced, there is a palpably awkward and inexplicable tension that had me instantly intrigued. Mikki, who lives across the world from Kenna in Australia, has recently announced that she's engaged to a man Kenna has never even spoken to, much less actually met. Although their communications have been via phone, Kenna can sense that this new man, named Jack, may not be the best match for her friend and has traveled to her in an attempt to convince her to quickly reconsider and just come back home to the U.K. with her. Within a few minutes of meeting Jack, Mikki announces they're off to a remote beach, and when Jack invites Kenna to join them she reluctantly agrees, thinking she'll have that much more time to convince her bestie she's making a horrible mistake marrying a virtual stranger. Boy, is she in for a surprise! When the three arrive at the isolated coastal paradise of Sorrow Bay, Kenna meets the other members of 'The Tribe,' all of which are an equally peculiar, and unlikable group of die-hard surfers, who prefer to keep the Bay all to themselves, and Kenna is an uninvited guest. This tight-knit group has a dark side to them, which Kenna is unprepared for. What ensues is a lightening-quick paced tale that I could not put down! As events get darker and darker, I desperately hoped that somehow she would find an unlikely ally and make it out of there alive...but unfortunately, a predator walks among the group, one who will stop at nothing to keep the secrets of what has transpired on the Bay deeply buried! Once the sinister secrets of each tribal members were revealed, followed by an ever increasing stack of dead bodies, I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough, wanting to scream through them and say 'KENNA, YOU IN DANGER, GIRL!!' This was such a great read! While reading, I picked up on vibes of Lord of the Flies, The Beach, The Perfect Getaway, and pretty much any other tropical nightmare survival scenario that's been told, all combined into one epically executed novel. The only thing that I would come close to a gripe on would be that some parts of the ending were left what some people might consider 'open-ended,' and perhaps not like..but I loved that aspect of it - that's life!! That aspect also made me wonder if Reynolds is considering continuing this story further down the line, perhaps...pretty please??!! This will most definitely be in one of my 'Best of 2022' lists, much like Shiver was in 2021 - there's just something about this author's writing that really resonates with me, and I love it! This is a uniquely wicked thriller/suspense/horror/mystery that I highly recommend for those looking for something to sink their teeth into, I know you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne (The Coycaterpillar Reads)

    The Bay promises a tranquil visit, it promises clear oceans, it promises sandy beaches, it promises murder. Reading this story promises you such emotion you feel as though you have run a marathon. You’ll sweat, you’ll ache, and you’ll feel out of control. Endorphins galore, this is the best kind of story and when you find one with such pleasurable pain you are going to want to shout about it! Allie Reynolds captures the beauty of Australia without scrimping on the danger because with all beautifu The Bay promises a tranquil visit, it promises clear oceans, it promises sandy beaches, it promises murder. Reading this story promises you such emotion you feel as though you have run a marathon. You’ll sweat, you’ll ache, and you’ll feel out of control. Endorphins galore, this is the best kind of story and when you find one with such pleasurable pain you are going to want to shout about it! Allie Reynolds captures the beauty of Australia without scrimping on the danger because with all beautiful things, the threat will also be creeping in the shadows. There’s no Ying without the yang. Kenna arrives in Australia, her friend, Mikki is worrying her. Both characters were the perfect candidates to survey. Kenna seems meek and mild but has a will of steel when it comes to protecting those she loves. She’s learned from the past even though it still haunts her waking hours. A lost love that has changed everything she was. Surfing used to be the air she breathed; it was her passion until an accident broke her into a million pieces. Now she’s existing with a heart pieced together with Sellotape. A sports therapist, now she mends those who have wrecked their bodies. Allie Reynolds uses reality to mold a story so dark that you’ll be searching for the flashlight in five seconds. The characters aren’t perfect – they are all flawed. They have experienced loss, traumatic childhood, and made mistakes that are forever etched in stone. They were all drowning in stormy waters until they were introduced to The Bay. Mikki and her fiancé, Jack introduce Kenna to this surfing spot that no one else knows about. They have the waves to themselves, and they can bask in its solitude. It’s a surfer’s dream. She meets Sky, Ryan, Victor, and Clemente. They appear to be hostile to her arrival, but why? And why have they all dropped off the face of the earth, why are they so keen to leave civilisation behind? They spend all day training for that huge wave to hit whilst living off the land as much as they can. Kenna has her reservations and wonders why she recognises one of the tribe as a missing person? Does The Bay harbor more than secrets? The story is full of grey areas, and I was in my element wondering why Kenna just won’t leave. The tribe members all act suspicious, and I found myself asking why a lot! Things with Mikki don’t add up. She seems to be rushing into marriage with Jack, not that he doesn’t seem like a nice guy. He’s knackered his back from professional surfing and seems to be living off Mikki’s inheritance. She has this ugly tattoo of a moth on her wrist, when she is scared of moths and never liked tattoos, it seems like a huge change. She needs to convince her to come home to Britain before it’s too late. The Bay doesn’t let up for a second. A visceral portrait of friendship and obsession, Allie Reynolds takes you into the darkness of the hearts of her characters and leaves you with only a match to make your way out.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Much like the rest of the country, where I live it has been brutal this summer with temperatures at or near 100 for weeks on end. Saturday we were granted a one day reprieve and I flat out told my family . . . . Somehow I ended up with three books that were all fairly similar in a search for . . . . This one even moreso than the other two. Kenna has traveled to Australia on a mission to stop the impromptu wedding of her best friend Mikki to Jack – a dude who might be an abuser, and defin Much like the rest of the country, where I live it has been brutal this summer with temperatures at or near 100 for weeks on end. Saturday we were granted a one day reprieve and I flat out told my family . . . . Somehow I ended up with three books that were all fairly similar in a search for . . . . This one even moreso than the other two. Kenna has traveled to Australia on a mission to stop the impromptu wedding of her best friend Mikki to Jack – a dude who might be an abuser, and definitely appears to be a user who is quickly milking Mikki of her trust fund. Surprised by Kenna’s visit, Mikki and Jack invite her to tag along to a remote beach where their “Tribe” surf some of the wildest waves known to man – a place where it also appears was the last place various backpackers have visited. Aside from Kenna’s random insta-horniness towards potentially dangerous dudes I really dug this one. Please note before going in that it is not a thrilling thriller. Readers need to be interested in the atmosphere and the surfing to truly dig The Swell. I'll allow the Point Break comparison due to all of the surfing, but And Then There Were None is a pretty big stretch. 3.5 Stars - rounded up for the sheer escape.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of this book to review. Loved this book. It was so relatable for me as we have a surfer in the family and we live in a surfing town. Allie, - you nailed it with the "local" spot and the surfing language. I loved how it was set in Australia at the beach and it had the mixture of overseas and Australian characters. I loved how each character brought a different element to the story with their different personalities. I couldnt work out who the t Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of this book to review. Loved this book. It was so relatable for me as we have a surfer in the family and we live in a surfing town. Allie, - you nailed it with the "local" spot and the surfing language. I loved how it was set in Australia at the beach and it had the mixture of overseas and Australian characters. I loved how each character brought a different element to the story with their different personalities. I couldnt work out who the toxic person was , my mind changed with every chapter. I loved your writing style. The story was told by the main character Kenna. Your story just kept flowing. The timeline flips back to previous incidents which relate to why the characters are like they are now. Short chapters are my pick and this certainly had them. It was a captivating book that I will always recommend and wont stop talking about.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com ‘Sorrow Bay,’ Jack says. ‘But we just call it the Bay.’ Allie Reynolds has produced another exciting and tension filled thriller, following the success of her debut novel Shiver. The Bay is a swirling suspense tale, filled with mystery, darkness, tense moments and rapid turns. The Bay is an unmissable thriller. A stunning Australian coastal idyll is the focal point of The Bay. Featuring a friendship group who love surfing, a trip to a treacherous but perfect s *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com ‘Sorrow Bay,’ Jack says. ‘But we just call it the Bay.’ Allie Reynolds has produced another exciting and tension filled thriller, following the success of her debut novel Shiver. The Bay is a swirling suspense tale, filled with mystery, darkness, tense moments and rapid turns. The Bay is an unmissable thriller. A stunning Australian coastal idyll is the focal point of The Bay. Featuring a friendship group who love surfing, a trip to a treacherous but perfect surf spot calls to this circle. But there are people who wish to keep the remote surfing spot at Sorrow Bay a closely guarded secret. With this secretive group keeping a close eye on their perfect surf spot, what lengths will they go to when a set of newcomers make their presence known? As the thrill seeking and risk-taking behaviour starts to ramp up at this dangerous locale, truths will be exposed and lives will be changed. What deadly hazards await at Sorrow Bay? Former professional freestyle snowboarder and now accomplished author Allie Reynolds returns with a cracking new thriller. The Bay is an intoxicating and eye-popping tale that kept me completely engaged from the open to the close. Sorrow Bay is the core location point for the second novel by Allie Reynolds to unfurl. Vividly portrayed, generously described and deeply situational, I loved the opportunity to travel to this stunning coastal locale. Equal parts dangerous and beautiful, the dark allure of this remote location is portrayed very clearly on the pages of The Bay. Immersive and with a strong sense of place, I lapped up the ocean images generously provided by Reynolds. I also wish to applaud Reynolds for her knowledge of surfing, it was fantastic. I definitely gained a lot more insight into this world thanks to The Bay. A character directed novel from the get-go, Reynolds ensures that we remain inside the minds of the eclectic cast set of The Bay for the duration of this tale. It was great to be a part of their unravelling and to see how each protagonist handled the various situations thrown at them over the course of this story. This really is a tale that unveils a bevy of secrets, admissions, lies and underhanded dealings. It pulls you in directions as the points of trust are turned in many different locations. Short and succinct chapters help propel The Bay in a strong forward direction. Although this book poses and adds many questions to the reader, the overall process is well worth it. Brace yourself, who knows what Allie Reynolds will grace us with next, thanks to this current top-notch thriller. *Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Behring

    At first I had a hard time getting into this book, I'm not very interested in the sport of surfing and it was rather boring for the first half of the book. Then it started getting interesting and towards the end I was fully invested. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. At first I had a hard time getting into this book, I'm not very interested in the sport of surfing and it was rather boring for the first half of the book. Then it started getting interesting and towards the end I was fully invested. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Peterson

    It’s really hard for me to write this review. Allie Reynolds is amazing and I loved her first book Shiver. I was anxiously awaiting the chance to read The Swell (or The Bay depending on where you’re located) and was pumped when I was approved for the arc on NetGalley. It was a miss for me. I wanted to like it more, I hoped it would pick up and I even contemplated rounding up to three stars for the sheer fact I like the author and her previous book, but that would go against my promise to be an h It’s really hard for me to write this review. Allie Reynolds is amazing and I loved her first book Shiver. I was anxiously awaiting the chance to read The Swell (or The Bay depending on where you’re located) and was pumped when I was approved for the arc on NetGalley. It was a miss for me. I wanted to like it more, I hoped it would pick up and I even contemplated rounding up to three stars for the sheer fact I like the author and her previous book, but that would go against my promise to be an honest reviewer and so I’m just biting the bullet and saying I honestly didn’t enjoy this one. I’m not going to sit here and pick this apart piece by piece—there’s no need for that. I will say my biggest problem was with the characters. I disliked all of them and had a hard time connecting to them or the situation in any way. I was frustrated and annoyed for a majority of the book and the ending was confusing and flat. I almost didn’t finish it but had hoped it would pick up in the second half and unfortunately it didn’t. With that being said, this is already getting rave early reviews and I’m clearly the odd voice out in my thoughts on it. If it’s one you’re excited to read definitely still go for it. I hope you’re experience with it is different than my own. Thank you to NetGalley and Putnam Books for the arc of this book

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Another twisty thriller from Allie Reynolds, with another claustrophobic setting that ironically is also vast, featuring a group of weirdly interconnected characters all hiding various issues. One of whom has obsessive, murderous intent..but which one? Therein lies another character driven mystery where you really can't trust anyone, cleverly plotted with an intelligent realistic finale. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Another twisty thriller from Allie Reynolds, with another claustrophobic setting that ironically is also vast, featuring a group of weirdly interconnected characters all hiding various issues. One of whom has obsessive, murderous intent..but which one? Therein lies another character driven mystery where you really can't trust anyone, cleverly plotted with an intelligent realistic finale. Thoroughly enjoyed this.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    The Swell is Allie Reynolds' sophomore novel, and while I liked it just a bit less than Shiver, it was still a very solid slow-burning thriller. I loved the setting of the Australian beach, and even though I was expecting a deserted island for some reason, I was not disappointed. Just like with Shiver and snowboarding, I feel like I learned a lot about surfing from this book which was great! It's also nice that Reynolds doesn't bombard you with too much detail, so you can still learn but it isn' The Swell is Allie Reynolds' sophomore novel, and while I liked it just a bit less than Shiver, it was still a very solid slow-burning thriller. I loved the setting of the Australian beach, and even though I was expecting a deserted island for some reason, I was not disappointed. Just like with Shiver and snowboarding, I feel like I learned a lot about surfing from this book which was great! It's also nice that Reynolds doesn't bombard you with too much detail, so you can still learn but it isn't like reading a manual. I love that she writes what she knows, and I am interested to see what direction she will take with her next book. The Swell makes the water come alive, and I felt a great connection to Kenna even though there are multiple viewpoints! I was also a big fan of the audiobook since a full cast narrates it. Samara MacLaren, Nicolette Chin, Joe Eyre, George Greenland, Helen Keeley, Sid Sagar & George Weightman did such a wonderful job with their characters, and you know I love a different narrator for each viewpoint so that was already a win to begin with. I will say that I wasn't quite sure of the point of the past timeline, as it didn't really add much to the story for me. I think I needed a bit more of it to really be able to appreciate it, but that was basically the only thing I wasn't sure about with The Swell. The pacing is on the slower side, but I was very invested in the story and was quite surprised by the ending! I am definitely in the autobuy camp for Reynolds, and I can't wait to see what she will write next. Thank you to the publishers for my advanced listening and reader copies of this book. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Danielle B

    Kenna Ward travels to Australia to visit her life-long friend, Mikki, who is engaged to Jack. While there, Kenna is swept away as all head to a remote private island to surf along with Mikki and Jack's other friends that are part of their tribe. Everyone is very mysterious and clearly has secrets. They "share" everything. Kenna finds herself caught up in a situation that is hard to get out of! This was a great book. I would consider the first half to be slow burn, but around the 60 percent mark, Kenna Ward travels to Australia to visit her life-long friend, Mikki, who is engaged to Jack. While there, Kenna is swept away as all head to a remote private island to surf along with Mikki and Jack's other friends that are part of their tribe. Everyone is very mysterious and clearly has secrets. They "share" everything. Kenna finds herself caught up in a situation that is hard to get out of! This was a great book. I would consider the first half to be slow burn, but around the 60 percent mark, the pacing picked up and I had a hard time putting it down. All the characters were unlikeable and I had a hard time understanding the motivation for their actions. I was lucky enough to buddy read this with my friend Natasa (@itsallaboutbooksandmacarons) and we discussed this book in great detail. Overall, I recommend it if you are a patient reader and don't mind a slow burn story. Thank you NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for my ARC in exchange for my honest review. This review will be posted to my Instagram Blog (@coffee.break.book.reviews) in the near future.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aya

    I loved Shivers by Allie Reynolds so I knew that I had to read The Bay. I had high expectations as Shiver was well written with great characters. I didn't mind the snowboarding and the details about it. Too bad, Allie Reynolds failed to deliver here. Her characters weren't as well-developed, I couldn't relate to them. The book started well with Kenna needed to rescue Mikki from The Tribe. I wasn't impressed with the middle, just alot of drama with a group of people. The last few chapters were bet I loved Shivers by Allie Reynolds so I knew that I had to read The Bay. I had high expectations as Shiver was well written with great characters. I didn't mind the snowboarding and the details about it. Too bad, Allie Reynolds failed to deliver here. Her characters weren't as well-developed, I couldn't relate to them. The book started well with Kenna needed to rescue Mikki from The Tribe. I wasn't impressed with the middle, just alot of drama with a group of people. The last few chapters were better as the truth was revealed. 3.5 stars, I had fun reading about the waves and the sun. It wasn't much of a thriller just a group of people trying to survive on The Bay.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim Loves Reading!

    I have mixed feelings about this book, it is combination of the movie Point Break and toxic relationships. This is the only way I can explain it. There is a lot of back stories to understand each character and how they came together in this group. I felt like each one was relatable, and could see why they wanted to escape. However, once you start to feel bad, you are second guessing them. Who in this group can be trusted?? Kenna lost her boyfriend in a drowning accident, then her best friend Mikk I have mixed feelings about this book, it is combination of the movie Point Break and toxic relationships. This is the only way I can explain it. There is a lot of back stories to understand each character and how they came together in this group. I felt like each one was relatable, and could see why they wanted to escape. However, once you start to feel bad, you are second guessing them. Who in this group can be trusted?? Kenna lost her boyfriend in a drowning accident, then her best friend Mikkie moves to Australia. If that couldn't be hard enough on her Mikkie tells her she is engaged to a man, she has never met. Kenna decides to travel to Australia to this remote beach to find out what is really going on with her best friend. Once she gets there she senses her friend is some kind of danger and wants to save her. As things come to light Kenna believes there is more to the story, and she could also be in danger. This story is a slow build and picks up about the middle of book then you're hooked. Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam for a copy of this book for my honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kori Potenzone

    There is nothing more satisfying than an approval email from netgalley… Or a Big Mac At least netgalley doesn’t add to my waist line . I love surprises . I had no idea that one of my recently discovered favorite authors was putting out her second novel . Yet, there it appeared all shiny and sparkly before my big blue eyes . I read Shiver last year and the only part I didn’t gravitate toward was the cold weather … I hate hate hate the cold weather but it was so skillfully done and I loved that it There is nothing more satisfying than an approval email from netgalley… Or a Big Mac At least netgalley doesn’t add to my waist line . I love surprises . I had no idea that one of my recently discovered favorite authors was putting out her second novel . Yet, there it appeared all shiny and sparkly before my big blue eyes . I read Shiver last year and the only part I didn’t gravitate toward was the cold weather … I hate hate hate the cold weather but it was so skillfully done and I loved that it combined both thriller and knowledge of competitive snowboarding. I never wanted to pick up a snowboard so bad in my life . So when The Swell, was released and it surrounds beaches and surfing I knew Allie Reynolds was speaking straight to my thrill loving little black heart . This book was meant for me and I’m sure it’s going to be meant for all of you as well . This book was excellent and surpassed all expectations (very high ones) I had had . The character development was perfect , the plot was skillfully done and played out right before your eyes . Twists ? Well duh ! The passion ! The obsession ! I ate it all up and devoured this book without even one bathroom break ! This is one of those books that will leave you thinking about it long after you conclude . The best advice I will ever give you … Pre-order the book . I would LOVE to see both Shiver and The Swell made into movies . What book have you recently read that you would love to see on the big screen ?

  27. 5 out of 5

    LianaReads blog

    I haven't read Shiver yet, but I have it high on my list now. The story focuses on Kenna and her trip to Australia. A group of friends are going on a trip to a well-isolated place, perfect for surfing and out of the peeing eye. Like any other young adults, they like to party and enjoy the moment. But not everything is so easy or carefree as it seems. They all have secrets and some will do anything and everything in their power to keep those secrets buried. This was such an immersive experience o I haven't read Shiver yet, but I have it high on my list now. The story focuses on Kenna and her trip to Australia. A group of friends are going on a trip to a well-isolated place, perfect for surfing and out of the peeing eye. Like any other young adults, they like to party and enjoy the moment. But not everything is so easy or carefree as it seems. They all have secrets and some will do anything and everything in their power to keep those secrets buried. This was such an immersive experience overall. I loved how the author is describing each detail with easiness and captivating at the same time. The suspense is building up slowly, and the ending is definitely a twisted one. There are still many loose ends that I don't think we will ever get the answers, but that's ok. Overall, it's such a great story many readers will enjoy! 🆓📖Very grateful to the publisher for my review copy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2022/08/01/... Allie Reynolds has done it again! Last year, her spectacular debut Shiver took me on a wild ride of a locked-room murder mystery in the French Alps, and this time she takes us to the coastal paradise of a remote beach in southern Australia in The Swell. The story begins as our protagonist, British sports therapist Kenna Ward, travels to Sydney to visit her best friend Mikki who had recently announced her engagement. But K 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2022/08/01/... Allie Reynolds has done it again! Last year, her spectacular debut Shiver took me on a wild ride of a locked-room murder mystery in the French Alps, and this time she takes us to the coastal paradise of a remote beach in southern Australia in The Swell. The story begins as our protagonist, British sports therapist Kenna Ward, travels to Sydney to visit her best friend Mikki who had recently announced her engagement. But Kenna has not arrived in a celebratory mood. In fact, she’s suspicious about Jack, Mikki’s fiancé. Kenna is worried that her friend is about to rush into a marriage with this strange man she barely knows, and that Jack is only after Mikki’s family fortune. She has come to Australia hoping to find proof of her suspicions and warn Mikki off before it is too late. Unfortunately, Kenna’s arrival could not have come at a more inopportune time. The couple were just about to take off on an extended surfing trip, but then out of the blue, Jack extends an invitation to Kenna to tag along. Thinking it would give her more time to work on Mikki, Kenna accepts, even though she has sworn off surfing and everything to do with the water ever since her boyfriend drowned three years ago. Along the way, Jack tells Kenna about their destination, a remote beach and an apparent hidden surfer’s paradise called Sorrow Bay, where they will be meeting up with other members of their tightly knit surfing group. As soon as they arrive though, Kenna is met with hostility from the other “tribe” members, which include Victor, Ryan, Clemente, and the group’s leader, Sky. None of them are too thrilled to have an outsider share in their secret of Sorrow Bay, though eventually, Kenna is considered for membership. As our protagonist slowly begins to rediscover her love for surfing, she finds Sky’s training methods and the group’s grueling initiation process threatening to push her to her limits. There’s also a certain cult-like quality to the tribe in the way they conduct themselves, and with horror, Kenna soon discovers just how far they’re willing to go to protect their secrets. If you enjoyed Shiver and were hoping The Swell is similar, well, it is and it isn’t. There’s certainly murder and mystery involved, since one of the elements introduced early on in the story is a case of a missing tourist from Europe who had come to Australia to catch some waves before disappearing without a trace. The plot thickens as we discover that she is not the only surfer who has gone missing in recent weeks… We also go from the snowy mountains of Shiver to the sandy beaches and heavy waves of Australia, but the camaraderie we get between the characters is surprisingly familiar. Instead of snowboarding though, surfing is the theme of The Swell. Reynolds has experience competing in professional snowboarding which clearly showed in Shiver, where she deftly portrayed the cutthroat competitive athlete culture and mindset. Her author bio now states she sticks mostly to surfing these days, and while you can certainly glean her avid interest in the sport through her writing, she doesn’t get too technical and the story is still very accessible and easy to follow. The selling point of The Swell though, is the atmosphere and sense of unease. The story is revealed gradually through multiple POVs, and the questions begin right away starting with the relationship between Kenna and Mikki. They claim they are best friends, but there is just something off about their dynamic that points to some unspoken history. And then there’s Jack, whom you are immediately made to suspect, but could that be just misdirection. Once the trio arrive at Sorrow Bay, the relationships get even more complex. There’s almost a cult-like obsession with the way the tribe views their little hideaway as sacred ground or revere the act of surfing as something that goes beyond just a sport or hobby. If you’ve ever read Alex Garland’s The Beach, there is something here that is very reminiscent of that. Plus, Allie Reynolds just has a wonderful gift with words. If I wasn’t a huge fan already, I am now. You can practically hear the ocean waves and smell the salt coming off the water; I just loved the way her writing brought the setting to life. The story was also suspenseful— though perhaps not as thrilling or filled with harrowing action as her previous book, but still addicting and compulsive, not to mention the ending had one hell of a twist! If you want to know whether The Swell is a great book for summer, the answer is a resounding YES.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I hated to leave The Bay and each time I did I wondered if something would happen. Like when I used to watch Love Island, I couldn't wait to catch up with the couples daily goings on! Only this is far from Love Island. The beautiful Vista is the closest thing. I'd love to spend time on a beautiful Island like this where I could read in peace! On 'Sorrow Bay' I would need lots of clean underwear and I don't think that I would leave my tent. Kenna is the main narrator who's concerned for her friend, I hated to leave The Bay and each time I did I wondered if something would happen. Like when I used to watch Love Island, I couldn't wait to catch up with the couples daily goings on! Only this is far from Love Island. The beautiful Vista is the closest thing. I'd love to spend time on a beautiful Island like this where I could read in peace! On 'Sorrow Bay' I would need lots of clean underwear and I don't think that I would leave my tent. Kenna is the main narrator who's concerned for her friend, Mikki, who she's known since childhood. Even though she hasn't seen Mikki for a long time she still cares for her friend and doesn't want her to make a mistake in marrying her mystery man, Jack. Kenna doesn't plan to stay for long, just a few days, and she intends to take Mikki with her, but do they leave - alive? Each character has their secrets and some have serious flaws - one I wouldn't have gone within a mile of! I felt that Kenna and her friend, Mikki, were the only two I could trust. Despite the bay looking idyllic, it has a creepiness about it. Why is it called 'Sorrow Bay'? and why are there rumours that no-one leaves there? Some backpackers have gone missing - where are they and what has happened to them? I like it as we occasionally hear from another characters point of view and I love how the author has cleverly woven the threads of the story together that led me to an ending so shocking that I never, once, expected it! It takes all kind of characters to be a part of a decent story and this bunch smashed it! I'm not going to lie and say that they were all close and lovey-dovey, no, they were warped and strange and this is partly why I liked them so much. The author has created these brilliant characters who act out the story in the perfect setting and I loved the contrast. I have never Surfed, nor do I ever intend to, but I really enjoyed the Surfing scenes and the author has put her own experiences into them which helped me understand and visualise them better. Come the ending and it all made sense to me - I came to understand each character and I didn't want to leave (some) of them. I absolutely loved every minute of this book: I felt sad, I felt confused, I felt scared, I was shocked, I was gripped, and I couldn't wait to see where the story would lead me to next. Again, I was very impressed with the ending! This is a fabulous read that I highly recommend! This is my honest and unbiased review

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Shields

    The first 30% took me forever to read as I found it to be insufferably boring. It seemed to be all surf talk with no real movement in the plot or character development. Finally, the action picked up, and the rest of the book was really twisty and unexpected. If it had started with a bang, like how it ended, my review would have been much higher. I liked the Australian setting, but the characters came across as flat. I wasn't really invested in any of them. I didn't read the author's previous boo The first 30% took me forever to read as I found it to be insufferably boring. It seemed to be all surf talk with no real movement in the plot or character development. Finally, the action picked up, and the rest of the book was really twisty and unexpected. If it had started with a bang, like how it ended, my review would have been much higher. I liked the Australian setting, but the characters came across as flat. I wasn't really invested in any of them. I didn't read the author's previous book SHIVER, so I'm planning to read it to compare the two. Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for this early read.

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