You made a promise to your sister. It could destroy your daughter. The Pact is a chilling psychological thriller about the lies we will tell to save our children.
The Pact by Susie Lynes Review
An Unnerving Psychological Thriller Every Parent Should Read
It’s not unusual to find a psychological thriller that will have you up all night. It’s not even so unusual to find a thriller that will leave you feeling slightly unnerved, or even disturbed by the conversations being had. It is, however, unusual to find a novel that can harness all of that whilst wrapping up the story in the warmest of characters, the most loving of stories and the most thoughtful of family dilemmas.
The Pact, by S.E. Lynes, is a book that had me on the very edge of my seat, whilst holding my duvet up covering one eye from the horrors I was reading, but at the same time not able to turn the pages quick enough.
You made a promise to your sister. It could destroy your daughter.
15-year-old Rosie lies in hospital fighting for her life. She’s trying to tell her mother what happened to her, and how she got there, but she can’t speak the words out loud.
Rosie’s mother Toni has a secret. She had a traumatic childhood, and she and her sister Bridget made each other a promise thirty years ago: that they could never speak the truth about what they went through as children, and that they would protect each other without asking for help from others, no matter what…
Rosie was Toni’s second chance to get things right: a happy, talented girl with her whole life ahead of her. Having lost her husband in a tragic accident, Toni has dedicated her life to keeping Rosie safe from harm.
But Rosie has plans that her mother doesn’t know about. She has dreams and ambitions – of love, of a career, of a life beyond the sheltered existence that her mother has created for her. But the secrets Rosie has been keeping have now put her life in danger.
In order to save Rosie, Toni may have to break her lifelong promise to her sister… and open doors to her past she hoped would remain closed forever.
We all make promises as kids, don’t we? We make promises we intend to keep, and promises we know we never will… Rosie has made a few promises to her mum. Promises she knows she will not keep, but has no idea the danger she has put herself in. But Rosie is not the only one keeping a secret. Toni and Bridget made a promise, no… they made a pact, but neither of them realised just how dangerous sticking to that pact could be. For everyone involved.
The thing that separates this thriller from most, is the heart and emotion you find at the centre of the story. While most psychological thrillers focus on dissecting the murky mind of serial killers, or disturbing family events, The Pact explores something much more real. You find yourself dissecting a loving family rather than analysing the thought process of the villain. You find yourself asking ‘how could this happen to such a normal kid’ but then become terrified that this scenario could happen to each and every one of us.
This is a psychological thriller that brings the evil right to your door, welcomes it inside and offers it a cup of tea.
The twists and turns within the book are not hidden under camouflage. The writing has been so effortlessly crafted that you know what is happening before it happens. The parental hairs stand up on the back of your neck and you will be screaming at the pages of the book as you turn them. Unable to pull away, but desperate to warn the characters you have so easily fallen in love with.
The twists in the novel are not scary or groundbreaking, instead, they are far more sinister than that. They are subtle and real. This could be real life, and that alone makes it the most terrifying of all thrillers.
Evil is not hidden under the bed or lurking in the closet but strides around in plain sight. These are the real dangers we face each and every day. The dangers that seem so normal, we don’t even think twice.
The most remarkable aspect of this book, for me, is the relationship between mother and daughter. Their story so closely reflects the worries of modern parents and the fears we face in such a social-media-heavy world. The words on the page could have very well been formed on the tips of my own tongue far too many times.
The situations explored in the novel may not be close to us all personally, but it’s highly likely someone we know has been touched by a situation not dissimilar.
The truth is, as much as we can hope to protect our loved ones from the horrors that lurk outside the front door, we can never really see true evil, because most of the time, true evil can be right under our noses the whole time.
The Pact is an incredible novel, one that all parents should read. One that all fans of phycological thrillers should read. I would go further and say it is one that everyone should read. It is an enlightening, terrifying and real portrayal of the life we now live, surrounded by the trappings and dangers of social media.
The Pact is published by: Bookouture