🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 / 5
Sanctuary by V. V. James
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Four women with a secret.
The death that will unravel their lives.
The small town of Sanctuary is rocked by the death of its star quarterback. Daniel’s death looked like an accident, but everyone knows his ex-girlfriend Harper is the daughter of a witch – and she was there when he died.
Then the rumours start. When Harper insists Dan was guilty of a terrible act, the town turns on her. So was his death an accident, revenge – or something even darker?
As accusations fly and secrets are revealed, paranoia grips the town, culminating in a trial that the whole world is watching…
This book includes scenes and discussions of rape, death of a son and intense grief.
Okay, it’s time for a confession. When I saw this book mentioned as a hyped book release, I took one look at the cover and decided I didn’t particularly like it. I read the synopsis and thought it sounded relatively interesting but not attention grabbing. However, when Gollancz offered me a copy to review, ‘I thought why not? I’ll give it a go’ as I’d never read anything by V. V. James before.
Well, am I glad I was offered the opportunity to read this book! It has honestly astounded me with how brilliant it is. I actually met the author at YALC and she was so passionate about her writing that I was desperate to dive into Sanctuary!
This author is so clearly a writing veteran, her previous books are published under the name Vic James, and it really shows in the details of the novel. Although the story of Sanctuary starts off slow, I was sucked in from the very first page! I was fully invested in this mystery infested town, as more secrets were revealed and uncovered with every new chapter.
The story focuses on the lives of four women and their teenage children. One of my favourite elements of the story is the broad range of emotions each character feels and portrays across the page. When the son of one of the women dies, friendships turn sour and the community show their animosity. Was it murder or an accident, fate or revenge?
There are so many themes and details subtly included within the bigger picture of this story; witches and their magic, a rape victim, vicious rumours, slut shaming, the blameless dead, secret affairs, intense grief and so much more! It’s such a complex mystery with no end in sight, keeping you turning the pages into the late hours of the night.
If you enjoy twisted and dark (but not frightening) murder mysteries, then this is the book for you. Sanctuary is a town full of secrets, but some have proved more deadly than others.
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I was sent a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my review in an way.
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