The Scorched Earth by Rachael Blok had an intriguing start. Two years ago brothers Ben and Leo went camping. In the morning there was no sign of Leo and Ben was covered in his brother’s blood. Now Ana, Ben’s girlfriend, hears that a freshly buried body has been found in her local graveyard – can there possibly be a connection? And did Ben really kill his brother – he is currently in prison for that offence.
The book explores this story in a “then and now” format looking at the time Ben went camping on the one hand and the things that are happening to Ana now. The local police led by DCI Jansen are investigating the case. There are twists and turns and maybe the odd red herring or two just to keep us guessing. The big question is, if Ben didn’t kill Leo, who did?
At times The Scorched Earth was atmospheric but it is not without flaws for me. The character of Ana comes over reasonably well. However a number of other characters lacked depth for me and in some cases were not that good. I found some of the writing rather over hyped at times in a way that felt engineered. For example I often found the last sentence in a chapter seemed overly planned.
On one level I enjoyed this story – the actual story kept me reading – other aspects of this left me tutting at times. Certainly one aspect of this I found quite literally incredible. I’m not a fan of spoilers so I’ll let others make up there own minds. In some senses this really isn’t a bad read but for me the story was good and the book could have been better.
Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review