Book Review: To the Sea by Nikki Crutchley

About the Book:

Keep a secret. Tell a lie. Protect the family. At all costs.

A compulsively readable suspense thriller from Ngaio Marsh Award shortlisted author, Nikki Crutchley, which will keep you guessing and reading up until late into the night.

Iluka has been the only home that 18-year-old Ana has ever known. The beautiful wild pine plantation overlooking the Pacific Ocean where her grandfather builds furniture, her aunt runs an artists’ retreat and her uncle tends the land, is paradise, a private idyll safe from the outside world.

But the place holds a violent secret and when a stranger arrives, Ana will need to make a choice: to protect everything – and everyone – she holds dear or tell the truth and destroy it all.

An atmospheric, suspenseful, dark, and twisty thriller in the tradition of Daphne du Maurier, Paula Hawkins, Anna Downes and JP Pomare.

Published by HarperCollins Publishers Australia

Released December 2021

My Thoughts:

This is without doubt one of the most sinister psychological thrillers I have read in an awfully long time. It’s one of those novels that mines a very dark terrain: control, coercion, intimidation, brainwashing, violence, and murder. This is one family whose secrets you do not want to dig into.

Hurley, the patriarch of this family, was a seriously deranged individual. However, it was his daughter, Anahita, who frightened me more. There was something missing in that child that allowed Hurley to take over her mind and nurture her into the destructive woman she became. This area of the story put me in mind of cults and how leaders can reshape the minds of their followers and influence them in ways that seems incredible to an outsider.

I do recommend this, particularly to those who like a very twisted and sinister psychological thriller. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before, and it would make a brilliant movie within the right hands.


Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

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