Book Review: After the Storm by Jane Lythell

Posted January 20, 2015 by thischickreads in review / 0 Comments


Some secrets destroy you.

Rob and Anna have only just met Owen and Kim. Now they’ve boarded their handsome old boat to travel to a far off island in the Caribbean.

With only the four of them on board, it should be paradise: lazy afternoons spent snorkelling; long nights enjoying the silence and solitude of the sea.

But why does Owen never sleep? Why is he so secretive about his past? And why does Kim keep a knife zipped into her money-belt? Anna can usually get people to talk… but this time, does she want to?

*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Writing a review for this book is going to be so hard. It’s the second book by Jane Lythell, but the first one from her I’m reading. Bearing in mind I haven’t read her previous book, I really had no expectations. Some of my friends have read her previous book though, and they have recommended it to me, so when I got the opportunity to review this title, I jumped at the chance.

Seeing my rating you might think I really disliked this book. Which is only partially true, however after much pondering over the rating and comparing it to some other thrillers which I’ve read so far, I had to go for 5/10.

The story is basically centered around two couples, Owen and Kim, and Rob and Anna. Owen owns an old wooden boat and after meeting Rob and Anna (who are on a vacation) he suggests renting out their boat to them. Rob thinks this is a great idea, they could use some adventure on their hols. However, Anna is not too keen on the idea, since the boat is really tiny (so not much privacy for them) and is not in best shape. Not to mention Kim and Owen are total strangers!

At the end, Rob and Anna decide to do some traveling with Kim and Owen, though Anna is still very suspicious about the couple. As each day goes by, they discover some things about each other, and some secrets might be revealed.

Sounds good? Yes, but I still have some stuff to say in defense for my rating. Basically, my problem was the pacing. It was way too slow for my liking. I kept reading and reading, waiting for something to happen, waiting for that climax which will turn events into an unexpected direction. I mean, after all it’s everything each of us expects from a psychological thriller. However, even when the story reached its climax, honestly, I was too tired to fully enjoy the events. Point number two, most of the story is happening on the boat and all the characters are doing is chit chat, and eventually some stuff that will intrigue you is added. Something like, why does Kim carry a knife everywhere with her, or why does it seem Owen never sleeps? All of this I knew already, as it was written in the blurb, but I waited and waited for far too long to see some action in the book. Point number three (which is totally subjective), I wish there were more characters in this book, just to make the book more alive, ya know? They could maybe add to the story or make things move faster. I don’t know… I was bored to read just about these two couples, which in a way made them feel more boring than they were.

However, all is not lost and I’m certainly willing to give Jane’s other book ‘The Lie of You’ a chance. There were some things which I liked, like the characters. I didn’t love them, but I liked them. The situations they were in made them feel a bit dull at times, but while reading I could close my eyes and imagine Anna standing in front of me. Uptight attitude and a big mole between her eyes, making her look a bit like Frida Kahlo. This I liked, the fact these characters differed strongly and one could tell the author really tried (and managed) to portray them well. Having all of this said, my problem was the story and it’s slowness. These characters had potential, interesting backgrounds, secrets they hide, but they needed the situations and setting to show what they’ve got.

I really tried to write a somewhat balanced review, as though I didn’t enjoy it that much, it’s certainly not a bad book either. Based on the writing, it’s obvious the author has a lot of potential and suitable writing background.


My rating: 5/10


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