Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Trust Me by Zosia Wand blog tour. Many thanks to Head of Zeus for having me – I hope you like my review, and I’m also fortunate enough to be able to provide you with an extract from the book. Enjoy!
Lizzie is a 27-year-old, with a 53-year-old boyfriend (Jonty) who has a 17-year-old son (Sam). Their family dynamic is unusual, but it works. Until Sam starts to act strangely. Lizzie is doing everything she can to keep their little family together, but everyone else thinks she’s to blame. How can she fix this when she doesn’t understand how it broke?
Although this book falls quite comfortably into the thriller category, it’s actually more of a family-drama and let me tell you, I was HOOKED. Lizzie is a great character. She’s relatable and real, and it was very easy to sympathise while her whole world fell apart around her. Jonty was the only real anomaly in the story because he was just generally an arse and I didn’t get why Lizzie was with him (I was actually rooting for the inappropriate Lizzie/Sam relationship, which I’m not sure we’re meant to). And then Rebecca. Just, ugh. Read the book and you’ll get it.
I really loved the way this book was written. The story unfolded kind of slowly, but this added a lot of depth and reality to it, and really built the tension. It was an easy and engaging read, full of excitement, confusion and drama. I would recommend Trust Me as a good introduction to the thriller genre, for those who don’t want something too intense or violent.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sam works quickly, methodically, concentrating, eyes squinting, forehead lined. He’s competent. Masculine and adult. No longer a boy. I like watching him. The graceful sweep of his limbs, these strong, confident movements. Jonty lets him take the helm and he rests his hand on what I now know is the tiller, which somehow steers us. His faded blue T-shirt is billowing below his buoyancy aid, offering glimpses of a taut stomach above the waistband of the shorts I teased him about this morning. Feeling the cling of damp denim against my flesh, I can see the sense now.
This is Sam’s environment: the lake, the mountains, the wind. He could be one of those beautiful young men from that other world, gliding into a continental marina, ready to disembark for an evening of cocktails with a pretty girl.
It was Sam who suggested we take the boat out today, swallowing the last of his tea and taking the stairs two at a time to gather the kit. I grabbed the coolbag and threw in anything that might lend itself to a picnic, because I knew once we got to the lake we’d be here until sundown. Days like this can be rare. We might be lucky and have weeks of sun right through spring and summer, but that’s the thing about Cumbria, you can never predict the weather. If the sun is out and it’s at all possible, everyone drops what they’re doing and heads for the lake. The weather forces even the most reticent to be spontaneous because it rains a lot in the Lake District. I knew that before I moved here and I wasn’t looking forward to it, but what I didn’t know is what happens when the clouds part and the sun breaks through. It’s like someone has picked up a paintbrush and splattered the world with colour. Indigo lake reflecting the sky, mountains of lavender and mauve, grey blue slate. Today the first early buds are appearing on fragile branches; in a matter of weeks there will be green on green added to this palette, khaki through to lime, the purple hum of bluebells between. Our slice of paradise.
Sam’s body stiffens. He straightens up. I follow his gaze. Ahead of us the sky looks darker. There’s a menacing grey cast across everything.
Jonty laughs. ‘We’ll be fine!’ But he’s on his feet, taking the tiller from Sam, preparing for something.
The shining mirror of the lake has shattered, offering a broken reflection of the sky. The surface of the water is changing in texture, becoming rougher, matt. I shiver, suddenly chilled. ‘What’s happening?’
Sam is focused on Jonty. ‘We should reef, Dad. That wind from the valley is strong.’
Jonty laughs. He’s in his element, the wind on his face, his body alert, but Sam is nervous.
‘We should reef the sails while we’re still calm.’
‘We’ll be fine.’
I can hear the familiar edge to his voice and ask, ‘What’s reefing?’ to distract them from one another.
Sam explains. ‘We reduce the sail. It gives a smaller surface area and makes it easier to cope with the wind.’
‘Reefing’s for wimps!’ Jonty fixes his eyes ahead. ‘Let’s show you some proper sailing!’
My gut clenches. I want to say something, but I’m in a foreign place, without the experience or the words.
Sam gives me a reassuring nod, but he looks worried. ‘Just do what I say.’
I take comfort from the fact that there are other boats braving the wind, and half a dozen windsurfers riding the gusts like giant butterflies flexing their wings, but as we get closer I notice the boats ahead of us are leaning over, their masts conspicuously tilting away from the wind. They seem to be lowering their sails. I look back at Sam.
‘It’s all right. He knows the lake. If it gets too much we’ll turn around.’ But I can hear the anxiety in his voice. He guides me down to the front end. ‘We need to distribute our weight evenly across the boat.’
Stumbling, I fall against him as we pitch to and fro. He lowers me on to the bench along one side and sits opposite. Goosebumps pepper my arms, my hands are trembling. As the boat shifts this way and that, Sam leans back and then forward, following the rhythm, using his body to steady us.
‘What’s happening?’ I’m trying to understand. To prepare.
‘The air flow is more turbulent up this end of the lake. It’s disturbed by the landscape as it rolls over Torver Common – the contours of the ground, buildings, trees.’ Water sprays over the side of the boat as we pitch alarmingly to one side. Cold seeps through the seat of my jeans. Sam leans back to compensate and has to shout over the rush of the wind. ‘The further up the lake it goes, the more agitated it gets.’
‘Should I rock backwards and forwards like you?’
He shakes his head, leaning towards me, but Jonty barks, ‘Sit still! I’ll keep the boat steady.’
‘I know how to sail a boat!’
Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!