THE SPLIT by Sharon Bolton

From the publisher:

Tense, gripping and with a twist you won’t see coming, The Split is an explosive new stand-alone thriller from Sharon Bolton about a woman on the run.

No matter how far you run, some secrets will always catch up with you…

The remote Antarctic island of South Georgia is about to send off its last boat of the summer – which signifies safety to resident glaciologist Felicity Lloyd.

Felicity lives in fear – fear that her ex-husband Freddie will find her, even out here. She took a job on this isolated island to hide from him, but now that he’s out of prison, having served a term for murder, she knows he won’t give up until he finds her.

But a doctor delving into the background of Felicity and Freddie’s relationship, back in Cambridge, learns that Felicity has been on the edge for a long time. Heading to South Georgia himself to try and get to her first is the only way he can think of to help her.

The author presents a very well done story of the results of a split personality. That is the inhabiting of one body by two or more separate identities that may not be aware of the existence of the others. The setting for the novel includes the Antarctic island of South Georgia, among the most remote and lonely places on the earth.

Felicity is a young woman living a complicated life which has just become more complex when she learns that her ex-husband has just been released from prison where he was incarcerated for murder. She is under the belief that he is coming to kill her and lives in terror that he will find her and do just that.

Felicity works for an agency that administers details involved in working for an island located in Antarctica and has been consulting with a psychiatrist due to the many fears that she confronts. Among these is the possibility that she has killed two people that were inhabitants of a homeless group living on the streets. By coincidence Joe, her psychiatrist, does pro bono work with homeless people trying to get them back into a normal routine.

In spite of the many constraints involved in the doctor-patient relationship between Felicity and Joe, each is beginning to develop feelings for the other. But a separation between the two comes up when Felicity, in order to escape her ex-husband lands a position working on South Georgia for two years.

The second half of the novel involves her ex-husband taking a cruise to Antarctica in order to find her. Felicity, now working on South Georgia, keeps her eyes on cruise ship passenger manifests and when she spots her ex-husband’s name on one docking shortly runs away from her South Georgia base towards an outlying camp about 60 miles out from it.

Bolton has obviously done a great deal of research on glaciers and glacial movements in setting up one of the most exciting final sequences for this book that one will find. The ending is a surprise as indicated in the publisher’s description of the novel’s events, but it is logical coupled with the remainder of the book. And yes, it is certainly an exciting all-nighter and another reason to continue to search for Sharon Bolton’s books.

4/2020 Paul Lane

THE SPLIT by Sharon Bolton. Minotaur Books (April 28, 2020). ISBN: 978-1250300058. 400p.



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