Saturday 28 December 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Beyond the Hill by Sheldon Peart

Beyond the Hill
Author: Sheldon Peart
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Publication Date: 26th September 2019

Book Description:
Detective Inspector James Chisolm embarks on an extensive search to find fifteen-year-old Kathy Shackleton, who disappears after leaving school one afternoon. The trail ends with Lloyd Robins, her biology teacher, and the inspector’s best friend. But he denies knowledge of Kathy’s whereabouts.

When police intelligence leads to an abandoned house, perched on top of a heavily wooded hill, chilling evidence is discovered which suggests that Kathy could be the latest victim in a spate of child abduction and murders. One piece of the evidence stuns Inspector Chisolm. But no one besides him knows of the intimate connection to Lloyd Robins. Will loyalty to his friend supersedes the inspector’s commitment to honesty and justice?

The detectives draw on their vast experience but find themselves enmeshed in a helix of possible perpetrators. With time running out, they unravel vital pieces of the mystery and in the nick of time, Inspector Chisolm announces the discovery of the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

But the drama is far from over. The police are caught in a vicious tailspin. And Inspector Chisolm faces decisions he has never had to make in his twenty-five-year career.

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When 15-year-old Kathy Shackleton vanishes without a trace, Detector Inspector Chisolm vows to find out the truth behind her disappearance, but when news surfaces that his friend of twenty years could be involved in Kathy's disappearance, will Detective Chisolm be able to abide by the code of ethics and do the right thing, even if it means investigating his best friend?

Beyond the Hill was full of intrigue and adrenaline and just the right amount of mystery that allowed readers to partake in piecing the puzzle together to solve the crime. The hints the author threw in here and there did the job of inciting inquisition, albeit some of the clues gave too much away, which made it too easy at times to predict what was coming. Nonetheless, it was certainly a thrilling read that incited my passion for solving crimes. It would have been an even more enjoyable read if the characters had been as compelling as the mystery surrounding Kathy disappearance. I wouldn't say they were completely unfavourable, as the author portrayed these characters to an extent where you were able to evaluate their motives, making you feel more invested in their story. However, I didn't feel any emotional connection towards any of the characters, negative or positive, which I believe to be the primary reason for why I couldn't get into the story as much as I wanted to. Having said that, one thing I found rather thought-provoking when it came to certain characters that weren't necessarily deemed villains or portrayed to have ill intent, such as Kathy's doctor and Detective Chisolm (particularly the latter character), were the inappropriate and monotonous remarks about Kathy's appearance to the point where it appeared they were merely objectifying a child, particularly considering that the readers have been with the main character the entire as he attempted to solve Kathy's disappearance.

This was an enjoyable read. Albeit I did have some reservations about certain elements, the story captured my attention and held it to the very end.


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Source: Author

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