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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner

Title:  The Lost Swimmer

Author: Ann Turner
Publisher: 1st June 2015 by Simon and Schuster Australia
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC ebook
Genre: thriller, mystery, suspense
My Rating: 1.5 crowns


Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, traces the past for a living.

But suddenly, truth and certainty is turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects – she knows – that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair.

Desperate to find answers, Rebecca leaves with Stephen for Greece, Italy and Paris, where she can uncover the conspiracy against her, and hopefully win Stephen back to her side, where he belongs. There’s too much at stake – her love, her work, her family.

But on the idyllic Amalfi Coast, Stephen goes swimming and doesn’t come back.

In a swirling daze of panic and fear, Rebecca is dealt with fresh allegations. And with time against her, she must uncover the dark secrets that stand between her and Stephen, and the deceit that has chased her halfway around the world.
My thoughts:
I was excited and intrigued by this book - eager to see what Aussie Ann Turner would produce. My expectations of this novel were not fulfilled and describing it as, 'thriller and suspense' were not substantiated in my humble opinion. It really wasn't what I expected given that 'thriller' element stated in the synopsis.
There are many endless, overly detailed descriptions of settings and people that one starts to skim read over them. So much to be superfluous and lacking the necessary depth for it to be engaging. Interactions are not smooth and transitions, at times, disjointed. Overall the book could be described as being 'overwritten', I mean how many times can the author use the word 'gossamer'?  
The author gets lost in trying to construct ultimately, neither a suspenseful or literary fiction as they both fail to deliver. The build up to the event takes so long, is over in a blink of an eye, then back to endless descriptions. Unrelated events or 'reminiscences' are bought up that don't seem to link in with the storyline and are a source of confusion. The necessary twists of a suspenseful tale are noticeably absent here. Especially considering the key event does not occur until well into the book.
Overall characters lack depth, development and complexity. Parts of the narrative border on being clunky, the style being such that it is difficult to engage with. I found the main character to be frustrating, her actions at time questionable and readers may hold little empathy for her husband.
The Lost Swimmer was a book I wanted to like, but found it so frustrating in its pace, lack of character development and depth of intrigue that I came away sorely disappointed. 
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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