* Thank you to Zaffree Books for sending me a gifted copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Title: The Pact
Author: Amy Heydenrych
Publication date: 28 November 2019
My rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads rating: 380
Genre: Fiction, thriller
What if a prank leads to murder?
When Freya arrives at her dream job with the city’s hottest start-up, she can’t wait to begin a new and exciting life, including dating her new colleague Jay. However, Nicole, Jay’s ex and fellow employee, seems intent on making her life a misery.
After a big deadline, where Nicole continually picks on her, Freya snaps and tells Jay about the bullying and together they concoct a revenge prank. The next morning, Nicole is found dead in her apartment . . .
Is this just a prank gone wrong? Or does Freya know someone who is capable of murder – and could she be next?
Okay, let’s start with this. This is a thriller unlike most on the market at the moment. If you are looking for something that is really fast-paced, this one is not for you. I have seen some describe it as ‘slow’ and ‘boring’ but those words didn’t come to mind when I was planning out this review. That’s not to say that I didn’t have any issues with the book, but that the positives definitely outweighed the negative.
The Pact is very much on trend at the moment. We’ve seen an upsurge in the number of books tackling topics that have plagued real-life women for decades but have been so rarely spoken about in this kind of media – sexual harassment and bullying. There of course is a content warning for sexual assault and harassment, so if this is something that you struggle with, just bear that in mind.
I found the characters were well formed and experienced things that I found myself identifying with in some way or another. I definitely saw Freya’s life echoed some of my own experiences, albeit in a much lesser way. The way that Isla’s voice explained in more detail how we had gotten to that point really filled out the plot for me and her determination was evident from the very start. She was probably my favourite character in the whole book.
I particularly enjoyed the investigation into the death *no spoilers here* as it so closely relates to my real-life work (criminal justice) and I’m a sucker for things like that. I also found the bullying in the book to be very realistic and left my pretty angry to be honest – I suppose that is what Amy was hoping for!
I found the short chapters and alternating time-lines to be thrilling and kept me engrossed in the story, even during some of the less action-packed moments. I did not see the ending coming and I almost started reading the book from the beginning again to see if I could pick up on clues that I’d clearly missed the first time around!
Peace and pages