The dark side of paradise is exposed when a terrified couple reveals their daunting experience on a remote island to their rescuers—only to realize they’re still in the grips of the island’s secrets—in this intense and startling debut in the tradition of Into the Jungle and The Ruins.
When a Navy vessel comes across a yacht in distress in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, Captain Danial Tengku orders his ship to rush to its aid. On board the yacht is a British couple: a horribly injured man, Jake, and his traumatized wife, Virginie, who breathlessly confesses, “It’s all my fault. I killed them.”
Trembling with fear, she reveals their shocking story to Danial. Months earlier, the couple had spent all their savings on a yacht, full of excitement for exploring the high seas and exotic lands together. They start at the busy harbors of Malaysia and, through word of mouth, Jake and Virginie learn about a tiny, isolated island full of unspoiled beaches. When they arrive, they discover they are not the only visitors and quickly become entangled with a motley crew of expat sailors. Soon, Jake and Virginie’s adventurous dream turns into a terrifying nightmare.
Now, it’s up to Danial to determine just how much truth there is in Virginie’s alarming tale. But when his crew make a shocking discovery, he realizes that if he doesn’t act soon, they could all fall under the dark spell of the island.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
An island paradise becomes hell on earth in Emma Bamford’s pulse-pounding thriller. After gravely injured British couple Jake and Virginie are rescued by a Malaysian navy ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean—a thousand miles from absolutely anywhere—we get the horrifying story of how their dream yacht vacation went awry. Bamford, a marine journalist writing her first novel, draws you right in to the allure and dangers of shipboard life. This scarily immediate thriller is a great vacation read.
At the start of Bamford's outstanding debut, a Royal Malaysian Navy captain is alerted to a yacht in distress in the Indian Ocean, "one thousand nautical miles from land in any direction." On board are a London couple badly injured Jake Selkirk and his wife, Virginie Durand, who keeps repeating "I killed them" as she relates their nightmare journey. Newlyweds Jake and Virginie invested their life savings in a sailboat to visit exotic lands on an idyllic years-long honeymoon. They had planned to first visit Thailand until they heard about Amarante, a tiny, remote island with unspoiled beaches "pure nothing, and yet everything." Jake and Virginie aren't alone when they reach Amarante Pete and Stella, a nice Canadian couple, and Roly, an old salt from Australia, are already there in their respective boats. They're soon joined by the mysterious Vitor and his standoffish girlfriend, Teresa. The near paradise's isolation brings out people's worst behavior, including betrayal, jealousy, and violence. This suspenseful high seas adventure moves briskly, delivering evocative, tense scenes on and under the water. Thriller fans will eagerly await Bamford's next. Agent: Camilla Bolton, Darley Anderson Agency.