Publication Date: 2/18/2020
Rating: 3 / 5
I received a complimentary advance listener copy of SAINT X by Alexis Schaitkin for an honest review from Macmillan Audio through Libro.FM. I also was lucky to receive a copy in the mail as well from Celladon Books!
When Claire is seven years old her family takes a tropical vacation on the Caribbean island of Saint X. On the last night of their resort stay Claire’s older sister Alison disappears. Alison is found dead several days later and two employees at the resort are accused of her murder. Without any evidence against them they are released and the murder remains unsolved.
Many years later, Claire is now all grown up though her sister’s death still haunts her. Claire is living in New York when she happens to run into Clive, one of the men who was accused in her sister’s death. She becomes obsessed with her sister’s life and death, following Clive around New York and delving into the journals her sister left behind. She is determined to find out answers to all of her unanswered questions.
This book begins with some beautiful descriptions of the island of Saint X and the resort life. Initially the book gives a very strong sense of the place where Alison’s death takes place. I really enjoyed the author’s descriptive language and the background she creates for the characters.
While the primary focus is on Claire’s POV, the author shifts between multiple POVs (which is assisted in audio by the use of a very large cast of narrators). At times I felt that there may have been a few too many perspectives, some of my favorite parts of the novel were hearing about Clive’s history. We get to hear quite a bit about his early life and his relationship with his childhood friend, the man accused along with Clive in Alison’s death.
While there were some portions of the story that I did enjoy, overall it felt like the novel was taking on too many perspectives and this at times made the narrative hard to follow. Though this comes up with mystery and thriller genre tags, it really is more of a character study of the various players. For me, this wasn’t a mystery with a satisfying reveal in the end.
I was left with some mixed feelings on this one, but it definitely had an interesting premise that drew me in. SAINT X will be released on February 18, 2019.