Tuesday 25 April 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Steps by Iveta Redliha

The Steps
Author: Iveta Redliha
Genre: Thriller / Suspense

Book Description:
"Shivers ran down Reyna's spine. For a moment she thought his last words were meant as a threat. The stranger's look had been so sharp and penetrating, horrifying and exciting at the same time. She embraced herself and shuddered once again. This time it was due to the pungent wind that was becoming stronger as the evening grew closer. For a while she stood there watching Lucas walk away, then finally looked away."

Bradbury is a gorgeous property that stands amidst dark secrets. One fine day a young reckless woman Leonora, driven by desire for easy money that a rich couple would offer their surrogate mother, comes to live at the mansion, unsuspecting of the paths this seemingly carefree life and lust for money will bring to.
Meanwhile, Reyna’s steady life is turned upside down the moment her mother dies in suspicious circumstances and leaves her an unknown property and dark secrets from her turbulent past. Around that time handsome yet secretive Lucas comes into Reyna’s life. At the end the truth about the young man and the horrors of his past that haunt him, not allowing him to give in to his feelings, serves a final blow to Reyna.

Iveta Redliha (b. 1977) is a Latvian writer. With great passion she unravels in writing destinies of people of different walks of life, and their entangled feelings. “The Steps” was born out of the writer’s imagination and built on inspiration from gothic love and detective novels.

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The Steps was certainly a surprise. It didn't sound like a book I would have picked up on my own, but I'm glad the author contacted me, because once I started reading, the story dragged me in and took me on a thrilling ride. I would say I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second half as a lot of the suspense was utilised in the earlier chapters and then it became a point of you realising the situation and waiting for the characters to clock on so you can observe their reactions.

The story conveys the life-changing consequences people's decisions can have on one another. The moment young Leonora Watson stepped foot inside the Bradbury Mansion, her life changed forever, as did the lives of those she encountered throughout her time at the mansion. Desperate to start a new life away from her family, Leonora agrees to be the surrogate mother for a childless couple, a job that comes with a lot of money. A lot takes place over the coming months that cause a lot of strain in the Bradbury household, one that threatens to break the bond between husband and wife, Kurt and Nelly, particularly when Nelly suspects Kurt and Leonora to be having an affair.

The story takes place over two different timelines, the one with a young, pregnant Leonora and the present day events surrounding Leonora's daughter Reyna Watson and her creepy new stalker friend Lucas. When Reyna discovers she had inherited the Bradbury Mansion, she goes about trying to piece together her connection to the family not knowing that her persistence is leading her right into the path of danger.

I'm not going to lie. I found many of the characters to be rather annoying, Kurt and Leonora, to be precise. Kurt came across as an indecisive child while Leonora struck me as a spoiled brat with daddy issues. While Reyna didn't annoy me, her gullible nature somewhat dampened her role as leading lady. The most intriguing character for me was Lucas. His depiction as a disturbing young man was well portrayed and very convincing. I found him to be very engaging.

There were numerous issues I found that prevented me from enjoying the story fully. About two thirds of the story, I started to lose interest as the reveal was taking so long to come to light. I just wanted Reyna to know the truth so the story could get going. It just kept dragging on. The suspense was good and kept me on my toes. The mystery wasn't easy to unravel, which was fun as it was challenging. Numerous grammatical errors were a little intrusive. The other problem I found was that there was no sense of time, of when these events were taking place. An indication would have better helped to develop the story in my head. There was too much overwriting that it occasionally bogged down the story's progress. There were various occasions where the author head-hopped within scenes and I found it a little disorientating.

All those issues aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and would recommend it.


Award: Gold
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Source: Author

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