Nathaniel Barondale is hell bent on finding his missing brother, a search that has led him to the ancestral home of his family, Silver Woods, on the isle of Port Hood. His parents seem to have given up, but he won’t rest until he finds the truth.
Whilst searching for any evidence on his brother, Nathaniel registers at a new school, struggles with his estranged parent’s quarrels and finds himself falling in love. Throughout this, his character is consistently portrayed as a brooding adolescent, angry with the world around him.
“Like I said, I don’t care about fitting in here. Could also care less what people thought about me too. I sort of do my own thing, what I want, whenever I want. I don’t ask questions or for permission.”
The story is full of intrigue but, alas, it comes with its fair share of cliches. Nathaniel quickly explains that power on the island is split between the founding families, of which he is from one, and we are given an ultimate Cluedo set up. With an added, wait for it, forbidden romance between him and the daughter of another founding family. Whose father is one of Nathan’s prime suspects.
Cliches aside, the mystery suspense still enthrals and Nathaniel’s strong characterisation helps pull the reader in, despite his angst.
The content has been purged of most typos and reads well, but throughout the story the tense inadvertently and sporadically switches to present.
I balled my hands into fists. I’d really like to punch something right about now.
I smiled as I await her response.
All that aside, there isn’t much more to say. The story is extremely short and reads as more of a prologue than a prequel, with no real resolution for the reader. I can only presume that the mysteries are revealed within Crichlow’s Whimper series, but if so, then it seems that the readers gain nothing from this small extract that’d perhaps be better placed within the main book.