Beneath the Surface: Sibel Hodge

Holly Gold left the glitz and glamour of London to return to her hometown. After accepting a job writing for her small town’s newspaper, she finds herself covering fluff pieces and events. While she yearns for a harder-hitting story, her life’s monotony is shattered when her childhood best friend, her husband, and her son are all found dead.

By all accounts, it’s a horrific murder suicide. When Holly knew them, they were the picture perfect family. Two doting parents and a son living in a beautiful home with successful careers aren’t the type of people one reads about in the headlines. Holly can’t accept that Dean would kill his parents and then himself. She isn’t the only one who refuses to accept it as fact.

Barbara, Dean’s maternal grandmother, implores Holly to do some off-the record, investigative work. But, when Holly begins digging into the family’s life and the circumstances are it, she finds secrets, lies, and realizations that she never expected.

When ‘Beneath the Surface’ began, I was convinced that I was starting a perfect 5 star novel. It was suspenseful, fast-paced and well-written. While the latter two adjectives remained a truth until the end, the suspense was quickly dissipated. Within a few chapters, the author clearly revealed the causes of the ‘mystery’.

I had initially hoped for a different turn of events in the plot. Without spoiling the book for those who haven’t read it, I will simply say that the plot ended up being less thriller and more of a statement against big industry. I can’t say I disagree with Sibel Hodges views. I actually do
agree. However, I was expecting more of a mystery and thriller than what was delivered.

Holly started off as a champion- fighting for truth and justice. She was a character that made you want to throw your fist in the air and cheer. By the middle, she seemed reduced to a weak, victim-mentality dependent. That was also unfortunate.

These criticisms aside, ‘Beneath’ is a good book. It could’ve been great. However, many readers have/may view it differently and as always, I encourage readers to draw their own conclusion by giving it a go. For me, my initial mental rating dropped to a 4 star one.

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