Saturday, 27 September 2014

Review: The Far Side Of The Sun by Kate Furnivall

**** 4 Stars

As a cover junkie, I just had to share two of these books gorgeous covers with you. Both are so beautiful and having read the book totally capture the exotic location of the Bahamas.
I am a big fan of historical fiction that is set in more recent times, particularly books that are set during the Second World War. I am also a big lover of crime fiction so The Far Side Of The Sun being a murder mystery set against the backdrop of World War 2 ticked a major box for me. I have read a number of Furnivall's previous books and she never disappoints.
Thanks to NetGalley & Sphere for the ARC.

The Blurb

Bahamas, 1943. Twenty-two-year-old Dodie Wyatt has escaped her turbulent past and now lives in a shack on a beach near downtown Nassau, where she works in a hotel. But one night her peace is shattered when she tries to help a man she finds stabbed in an alleyway.

On the other side of town, wealthy diplomat's wife Ella Stanford is content keeping her husband out of Britain and away from his Nazi friends in Germany while she throws herself into charitable work for the town's poverty-stricken community and entertainment for the military troops.

But when one of the richest men in the world is found killed in his Nassau mansion, these two very different women - Dodie, a shy introvert, and Ella, a confident socialite - are drawn together. The gruesome death spirals the already unstable island into violence, deceit, greed and death, and Dodie and Ella have only each other to rely on as their ordered lives are blown apart...

My Thoughts

The year is 1943, the location is the exotic island of Bahamas, the world is at war and two very different women are brought together under unusual circumstances.

Dodie Wyatt, is a 22 year old hotel worker who has not had the easiest of starts in life and now lives a peaceful life in a small shack. One evening on her way home from work she finds a man dying on the street. That man, Mr Morrell, has been stabbed and refuses to be taken to the hospital, something has scared him and Dodie decides to help him taking him home to treat where he later dies. Dodie reports his murder to the police with devastating consequences.

Ella Stanford, is married to a British diplomat and is living the high life in Nassau. She is known for her charitable work on the island and the luxury in which she lives is a total contrast to that of the poverty stricken islanders. Ella frequently attends high society events that bring her into contact with the Duke of Windsor, who has been given the post of Governor of the Bahamas to keep him out of trouble and his wife, Wallis Simpson. One night, Ella, inadvertently witnesses something she shouldn't that raises her suspicions and sends her on a search for answers.

Both women are unaware of the danger that they have put themselves in, they have both witnessed two different incidents that tie them together in a bid for survival. The murder of the richest man on the island , Sir Harry Oakes just adds to the mystery and the drama and the women are thrown into the murky world of the mafia.

I was totally swept along with the mystery and intrigue of the plot, the fact that the story was loosely based on real life events helped add to that intrigue. I loved the location and Furnivall did a wonderful job of bringing the Bahamas to life for me, it was intoxicating and sultry, an island paradise. In the previous year there had been riots on the island and the unrest and racial tension are palpable, add into that the involvement of the mob and the suspense just keeps building.

I became so involved with what was going to happen to the central characters, they were both such strong and independent women who were not prepared to sit back and do nothing when faced with danger. The books is full of conspiracies, lies and betrayal plus a murder in paradise and the contrast between the lives of the islanders and the British who are living there pulls you in and doesn't let you go until long after the book is over.

The book is well written with plenty of twists to keep you hooked, I will admit that I was left totally shocked by some elements of the plot and that is what made it the perfect murder mystery to me.

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