I always have a pile of books to read. I’m a primary school teacher and during term time I find it difficult to find time to read a book which isn’t for children or about teaching! At the start of the holidays I made a conscious effort to tackle the pile.
Then this came through the letterbox. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews for The Sun or my blog then you know how much I adore this author. After an initial squeal of delight, all other books were cast aside so that I could give it priority.
Let’s start with the cover. Sometimes this is overlooked but Diamond’s are always a great ‘hook’, as I would say in the classroom, a pictorial insight into what lies ahead: a tantalising teaser.
In ‘The Promise’ we are reunited with DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles. They are investigating a serial killer who befriends women online before savagely killing them.
In a desperate attempt to capture the killer, DS Grey is used as bait. As part of a carefully organised operation, she is given a fake online profile and begins to build up a ‘relationship’ leading to video calls to the killer in an attempt to capture them.
Meanwhile, a father and teenage son return to England from the U.S.A. Their relationship is fraught and the son, Connor, feeling like a fish out of water in a strange country, begins to spend time alone in the treehouse in the garden. From his vantage point high amongst the branches, he starts to notice the comings and goings of his neighbours-not everything he observes makes for comfortable viewing.
Parts of this are written with the story switching from the past to the present in order to give another perspective. In some books this doesn’t work-it becomes confusing. Here it works well because it relates clearly to the main story and gives some clarity to the plot while still maintaining an air of mystery. If that makes sense?! She’s hella clever this author!
Sometimes, when an author creates a series, by book four the plots starts to wear a bit thin, the characters hold less appeal and it can seem like they’re writing it just for the sake of it. This is absolutely not the case with ‘The Promise’ if anything, this is the best so far.
With this series, I feel invested in the characters. I’ve been on the journey through the previous books with them (you don’t need to have read the previous books to get a grasp on this one, they work as well as a stand alone text). I have felt the highs & lows that Grey & Miles have experienced. Furthermore, I’m not ashamed to admit, I care about them, this is because of the writer’s exquisite characterisations: I would say this is categorically the solid foundation of this author’s incredible work.
I’ve said it before, Diamond is an expert storyteller. She weaves her ‘slightly disturbing’ story web, sits back and waits. Bit by bit she reels you in, leading you this way and that while you experience a myriad of emotions: fear, sympathy, anger, horror, hope-at one point I was crying my heart out over one of the character’s situations-I think that takes an exceptional skill, to evoke that kind of emotion with the written word. Finally, just when you think you’ve got it worked out she pulls you in another direction.
I’ve sat here and tried to present a balanced review of ‘The Promise’. I’ve tried to think of a negative because, to be fair, this seems like a gushing review but I genuinely can’t. Read it, if you find one let me know but be prepared to have graphs, data and a full on PowerPoint to back up your claim because otherwise I just won’t believe you!
An engaging, terrifying masterpiece, perfectly paced and thrilling to read. 5⭐️
Published by Avon books, September 2018.