Surprise! It’s a double review week thanks to the lovely Isabelle Kenyon recruiting me for a blog tour. This time, I’ve got a riveting story for y’all, and I think you’re really gonna love it.
Let author Nikki Dudley take you on an adventure through London–and briefly abroad–on the trail of a potential murderer in her new book Volta. It’s a tale of suppressed memories, hidden secrets, drama, a little romance, and more!
By the way, here’s the link to my vlog!
In poetry, the “volta” is a turning point, usually in the theme or argument, and let me tell you, this is one story full of twists and turns. We start out with Briony, who’s suddenly woken up with blood on her hands and no memory of what happened. She then goes to her therapist, Mari, for comfort and direction, but is quickly whisked away to the local police station, where Mari’s brother works as a detective. Aris, the detective, ropes in his best friend and defense lawyer SJ, and so begins our story.
No one’s sure if they believe Briony and her story of conveniently not remembering the crime… or another tragic event that shaped her early on. Aris is clearly skeptical, Mari feels a nagging suspicion, and SJ, for the most part, believes her innocence. These four characters are at the center of the story, and so are their secrets.
Without giving too much away, we soon learn that Briony remembers more than she’s letting on; we also learn that Mari and SJ have the hots for each other, and SJ has some secrets of his own. It’s only Aris who really seems to be an open book with nothing to hide.
Oh my goodness, it’s so good though! I really don’t want to spoil it because I highly recommend–it’s well written, clearly well thought out, the pacing was excellent, I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what happened next, when someone would remember their past, if Mari and SJ would ever develop beyond adorably snarky flirting…I was hooked.
Dudley is clearly a talented author, she knows how to set up future scenes and sprinkle clues throughout so that as readers, we’re on the edge of the seat shouting at the characters, “OMG, if only you knew, when will you find out, ahhhh!” It’s so good. I loved the plot and how it unfolds, I’ve said before that I forget how much I enjoy mystery/crime, and this simultaneously fits the bill while feeling totally unique.
This uniqueness largely comes from the characters themselves–they’re all very well developed, realistic, and interesting. I found myself struggling to decide if I really did believe Briony or if I was as skeptical as Aris was. Somewhat similarly with SJ, the whole time I felt like there was more to his tragic past, and I so badly wanted to find out more. I suppose Mari and Aris are arguably the “least developed,” due to the fact that they don’t have any earth-shattering events that push them toward complex character development. Even so, I loved reading the interactions between them and the others, seeing how their friendship (and more) influenced SJ, for example.
Needless to say, it’s an excellent book. If murder is triggering, or mental health, this might not be the easiest book for you–there are also a number of f-bombs–but I don’t think it’s so graphic that you should avoid it entirely. So, if you want a thrilling who-done-it, this is definitely an excellent candidate!
That’s all I’ve got for now! See you next Thursday with my regularly-scheduled reviews.