June is almost here, and summer is invading Norway on all fronts. It’s so lovely! I’ve finished a new psychological thriller for another blog tour, and if mysterious sects are your kinda thing then keep reading!
After her parents’ sudden death, a grieving Melissa falls back on her faith and into the welcoming arms of a religious sect. Captivated by their leader, Dominic, she leaves her old life behind and moves to the countryside to join them. But life in The Brotherhood is not as safe as it first appeared. When engineer Mark joins The Brotherhood, Melissa finds herself conflicted between her growing feelings for him and her crush on
Dominic. With their leader’s initial encouragement, Melissa and Mark grow close.
But as her haven becomes a prison, Melissa’s newfound happiness is destroyed by Dominic’s jealousy. How can she escape and save the ones she loves?
The Brotherhood starts with a pang! There’s a lot of action going on and we immediately get the sense that something is amiss. The author has portrayed her characters in a somewhat sneaky kind of way. I got a completely different vibe from the characters at the beginning of the book than what I was left with at the end. This to me indicates that the author has a plan for the characters development, and I like that! I didn’t like all their traits, but that is a completely different story! The character I became the most curious about was the quiet Tina, who becomes close with Melissa during her stay at The Brotherhood. I know there is a sequel to The Brotherhood (I’m reading it as I write this), and I hope to learn more about Tina in that book.
This is a good storyline, although at times stuttering. I know that this is Fenton’s first book, so I won’t spend too much time mulling over that, and I can confirm that it improves immensely in The Refuge (I can barely put it down!). My experience of reading this book was kinda like Sullivans in the dancefloor scene in Monster Inc. University (see link below and ignore his grumpy face in the beginning). It took me some time to get into this story because I didn’t quite see where it was going, and at some point, I got completely engrossed! It builds up quite nicely, and I was very excited to see how it was going to end because I had such expectations. I was at first very annoyed by the ending. I felt like a child who lost its balloon because somebody took it away, but then I was given a new balloon, aka a change in the story, and I accepted my balloon. We can’t always get the balloon we wanted after all, but the ending is the main reason for my mark 4/6.
What I enjoyed most about The Brotherhood was my inability, shame as I am a psychology student, to see certain personality traits among the characters. I didn’t directly forget that I was reading a psychological thriller, but I overestimated my ability to point out the personality traits in relation to the story. When they were revealed I felt somewhat stupid haha, and that made me ponder more closely on the writing style. I know I claimed it to be stuttering at times, and I stand by that, BUT the big but here is that Fenton makes her readers think while reading the story. I tried to map out the storyline several times and failed miserably from time to time, but it was fun when I got a new little plot twist I didn’t expect and this kind of writing made me enjoy the book way more than I probably would have if it had been written in a different way!
The Brotherhood is a good debut novel, and I’m already excited to see where The Refuge takes me. This book may not be suitable to everybody as it contains certain graphically describe scenes that are horrible, but if you enjoy horrible scenes with a psychological twist then this is up your alley! I’ll come back to you when I’ve finished The Refuge, which probably won’t be long, haha.
Genre: Psychological thriller
Theme: Sect, abuse, friends, mental health
About the author
Jo Fenton grew up in Hertfordshire. She devoured books from an early age, particularly enjoying adventure books, school stories and fantasy. She wanted to be a scientist from aged six after being given a wonderful book titled “Science Can Be Fun”. At eleven, she discovered Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer and now has an eclectic and much-loved book collection cluttering her home office.
Jo combines an exciting career in Clinical Research with an equally exciting but very different career as a writer of psychological thrillers. When not working, she runs (very slowly), and chats to lots of people. She lives in Manchester with her husband, two sons, a Corgi and a tankful of tropical fish. She is an active and enthusiastic member of two writing groups and a reading group.
Social Media Links
– The Book Reader