Wreck by Fleur Ferris
Random House Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780143784319
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended, Shipwrecks, Sibling rivalry, Crime, Survival. When eighteen year old Tamara leaves her holiday work at the local paper, ready for uni the next day, she finds her house torn apart by someone's manic search. But grabbed and threatened by a man asking about a note, she escapes and runs for her life, only to be grabbed by another who kidnaps her. Returning to the office for the note, they stumble onto the bodies of the two men she worked with, and her kidnapper Zel, steals her away in his car. There she hears a story about the note she found, a note in a bottle from Zel's cousin, Christian, stranded on a beach after the family's yacht sank five years ago. His step brother, Knox, is after them, and will stop at nothing to remain head of the family business and married to Christian's ex fiancee, Portia.
Wreck is a page turner of a thriller, a crime story which forces the reader to be suspicious about everything anyone says, deciding for themselves who is speaking the truth and who is lying.
The opening sequence of the storm is breathtaking and will ensure readers keep going with this fast paced story.
When Tamara meets Knox at the police station where she has told her story, she becomes convinced of his duplicity, but his words create lingering doubts over Zel's sanity. The police and the Chisel family are all convinced that Knox is the sane one, with Zel a dangerous killer on the run. Tamara gets to Sydney to try and speak to Christian's parents, aware of the power that Knox has, having some police in his sway.
The readers like her will be constantly looking over their shoulders, not sure of where the next attack on her credibility will come from, aware that people in the past have been killed to keep the notes from Christian being made public.
A climactic scene on the island ends with more deaths and Zel having to fly a helicopter back to Australia after only four trips on a simulator, only one of which was successful.
The author of two other crime thrillers for young adults, Risk and Black, Fleur Ferris is an ex police officer, using her expertise to ground her novels with a concrete base founded on knowledge and experience.
Wreck is a great escapist read for a wintry afternoon by the fire, and I also loved Risk, detailing the ease with which girls can be seduced over the internet, and look forward to more by this author.