REVIEW: The Blue Pool by Siobhan MacDonald

Series: N/A

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: psychological thriller, suspense, inter-personal drama, tense whodunnit

Quick Review: A quick but incredibly satisfying thriller about a missing person and the secrets surrounding them; definitely pick this one up.


Twenty-five years ago, four university friends go to a remote cabin by the Blue Pool to relax for a weekend during summer vacation. Only three return. Now, twenty-five years on, the three remaining friends have tried to move on with their lives. But they are suddenly thrown back into the case when a man turns up claiming to have knowledge about the disappearance of Sarah. What really happened at the Blue Pool?

THE BLUE POOL is the second stand-alone novel written by Siobhan MacDonald. It’s quite similar to TWISTED RIVER (her first), in that she achieves fantastic levels of tension, using the small-scale interpersonal relationships to create suspense and drama.

THE BLUE POOL centers around the complex relationships between the four university friends at the heart of the story; Ruth, Charlotte, Kathy and Sarah have a difficult and shifting relationship filled with problems that arise from little dramas in their lives. It’s these little dramas that drive the story, and make it believable.

You can quite easily picture the lives of these girls, attending university, partying too hard, sharing a house together, trying to pass their classes and deal with their boyfriends and never having quite enough money to cover everything they need. It’s so normal, and it makes the nature of Sarah’s disappearance seem surreal. That, in turn, actually makes the novel feel more real, because it’s hard to imagine anyone taking such a horrible event in stride. The guilt the girls feel, and the glimpses into how it still affects their lives even twenty five years later, makes the story compellingly realistic.

These intense little dramas are compounded by the time jumps. MacDonald switches the narrative back and forth from the lead up to Sarah’s disappearance to the dread about new evidence that the three remaining girls are feeling twenty-five years later. As she folds the storylines together, you are desperate to find out both the circumstances around Sarah’s disappearance, and any potential underlying motives, and what the new evidence is that came to light and caused so much panic.

Even the ending was fairly satisfying, which is pleasant for a psychological thriller. The motive for the crime was fairly plausible, and the circumstances that led to Sarah’s disappearance were actually quite believable. The scene is vivid and horrifying, and it is so convincing that it chills you to think about.

While the book itself is not long, it’s a very intense read that you will want to devour as quickly as possible. Definitely pick up a copy of THE BLUE POOL for your end-of-summer reading!

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