Review: The Split by Sharon Bolton



A year ago, in desperation, Felicity Lloyd signed up for a lengthy research trip to the remote island of South Georgia.

It was her only way to escape.


Freddie Lloyd has served time for murder. Out at last, he’s on her trail.

And this time, he won’t stop until he finds her.


Tense, gripping and with a twist you won’t see coming, Sharon Bolton is back in an explosive new thriller about a woman on the run…

Felicity Lloyd is a glaciologist who’s taken a job at the ends of the earth to escape her past… but living in the harsh and unforgiving climate has been futile… because he’s found her. Freddie Lloyd, now out of prison after serving jailtime for murder, just wants to talk to Felicity… so why is she so scared of him? With the help of her psychologist, Dr. Joe Grant, Felicity uncovers a buried history of abuse… and it’s clear if Freddie gets his hands on her again, he might just kill her.

I mainly read this book in one sitting. It subtly reeled me in; at one point I was at 35% and then I was suddenly at 70%.

Bolton weaves a plot of misdirection very well to even make an armchair sleuth like me, doubt in my ability to predict plot turns. I really enjoyed it and was excited to unravel the story.

The book’s structure is divided into 4 Parts, with 5 alternating perspectives – Felicity, Freddie, Bamber, Joe and Shane – split across 2 timelines. And beyond these main perspectives, the side characters are likeable, especially Joe’s mum, Delilah, and Jack.

Felicity and Joe offer their own interesting character arcs – I liked following Joe in his role as a therapist to other vulnerable people, tip toeing the line of good practice and going to far in the relationship between patient and doctor. And as Felicity dove deeper into her past, and the unexplained occurrences happening around her house, thus increasing Felicity’s fear of Freddie, sent my brain buzzing with theories and my own sense of fear for her.

Joe and Felicity together in therapy sessions was beyond thrilling. Every time a session happened, it increasingly became a game of psychological warfare for dominance of their interactions.

However, I have to say, the inclusion of Shane’s perspective here and there, was completely unnecessary. His perspective only served to disrupt the storytelling and make the plot far more predictable. Similarly, I really didn’t feel the romance angle was necessary either. But hopefully it’ll be more effective for other readers.

I felt the first half of the book was like wading through murky water trying to workout what’s going on and like trying to find something in the dark, leading to that frustrated feeling of “going nowhere fast”. By the second half of the book, the plot line becomes much clearer and the endgame is clear to workout, and the pace increases, making the read really enjoyable.

The Split is an engaging psychological thriller that becomes unputdownable the more you read on. I do feel some of the plot turns were made too obvious by the clues / specific wording used. Did this make the book any less enjoyable? Nope. Not at all. It was still great fun to read, and just what Dr. Joe orders for everyone to read in quarantine. I’ve preordered a hardback for my own collection, so I’d definitely recommend 🙂

Thank you to Trapeze, Orion Books and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC, in exchange for this honest review.


Buy It Now

The Split by Sharon Bolton
Published April 2020
Genre: mystery/thriller, psychological thriller


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