After the Storm

Written by Jane Lythell

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group.

After the Storm
Head of Zeus
RRP: £7.99
Released: June 4, 2105

Rob and Anna are a young British couple fresh off the plane for their holiday in South America. On their first day they meet Americans Owen and Kim, who own a small boat and who offer them a charter. Anna is reluctant to give all their money to a couple they’ve only just met, but when she and Rob are pursued by a would-be mugger on their first night, they decide to take up Owen and Kim’s offer and escape on the boat. And so this unlikely group set off on an adventure together, which promises to be the holiday of a lifetime. But some of the characters harbour secrets, and things don’t go as planned.


Each chapter of the book relays the events of the twenty-one days the characters spend together, one day at a time. The point of view jumps about between all four characters. Although this ‘head hopping’ is slightly annoying, it does help the reader to understand all four characters better. I found myself most sympathetic with Anna, who finds that life on a cramped boat with no shower takes some getting used to. In her position I would feel exactly the same way. Anna’s boyfriend Rob, however, embraces life on the boat with enthusiasm.  


Owen and Kim have been sailing around the world in their boat for three years. Kim, an excellent cook, now yearns to go back home and set up the restaurant she dreams of running, but Owen is not ready to sell his beloved boat and return to America.


The first half of this book is a narrative about the interaction between these two couples on their holiday together. There is the hint of a mystery fairly early on, though. Why does Owen not sleep, lying awake on deck restlessly every night? And why is the only knife on board the one that Kim keeps in her hip pouch at all times?


Eventually though, there is a murder, and the identity of both the victim and the killer are unknown to the reader for long enough for things to get interesting.


This is not exactly a fast-paced book, and you have to stick with it a while until the action gets going. However, the characters are engaging enough that you will be happy to keep reading about them until the murder story starts. Though not a conventional murder mystery, there is much to like in this engrossing novel.

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