Book: “Before the Ruins” by Victoria Gosling
Rating: 4-/5 Stars
Blogger’s Note: Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review!
Book Synopsis: (From Amazon)
“It’s the summer of 1996 and school’s out forever for Andy, her boyfriend Marcus, her best friend Peter, and Em. When Andy’s alcoholic mother predicts the apocalypse, the four teenagers decide to see out the end of the world at a deserted manor house, the site of a historic unsolved mystery. There they meet David―charming and unreliable, he seems to have appeared out of nowhere.
David presents an irresistible lure for both Andy and Peter and complicates the dynamics of their lifelong friendship. When the group learns that a diamond necklace, stolen fifty years ago, might still be somewhere on the manor grounds, the Game―half treasure hunt, half friendly deception―begins. But the Game becomes much bigger than the necklace, growing to encompass years of secrets, lies, and, ultimately, one terrible betrayal.”
The writing in this one was excellent, filled with details and imagery that placed me there in the mansion. This novel has a gritty tone to it that I wasn’t expecting. The story opens with Peter (one of the characters) missing and Andy trying to track him down. Then the book flashes back to earlier in their youth when the pair joined with their other friends entered into the mansion to track down the missing diamond necklace. The vivid descriptions of the upbringing of the characters and their interactions set the scene for the mystery that unfolds in the mansion. So although I felt that the first 8-9 chapters were slow moving, I do feel like there was a purpose for this and I can understand why it was written in that manner. Once the scene was set, the characters start to face obstacles and they enter into situations that are twisted with lies, secrets and ultimately betrayals.
Overall, I enjoyed this one but it just was not my typical go-to read. The book kept me on my toes and had me eagerly waiting to find the answers to all of my questions. Well written and detailed, this one would be a great addition to any mystery lover’s library!
Recommendations: This book would be a great fit for someone who likes thrillers and mysteries!