Digital Reads Reviews

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The Drowning Hour by S. K. Tremayne

Digital Reads Reviews is a blog-haven for book posts and tech tips. This is a review of a dark thriller.
the drowning hour
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Publication Date: June 2022

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A hotel brimming with wealthy guests

Surrounded by the Blackwater estuary, The Stanhope hotel sits on a beautiful remote island.

Tonight is the grand reopening, and organiser Hannah watches the guests with pride.

Celebration leads to tragedy

But as drinking descends into debauchery, drunken revellers wade into the water, unaware of the treacherous tide at The Drowning Hour.

They are never seen again.

Fear becomes phobia

Tormented by a terror of water, Hannah is stuck on the island over winter.

Whispers about That Night begin to circle.

Someone knows what really happened in The Drowning Hour – and Hannah isn’t safe…

My Review

What was it all about

The Drowning Hour was one heck of an atmospheric read where the hair on my nape soon tingled with the sense of the oncoming storm. 

The metallic smell of something huge yet to come was a given in the book. 

According to me, this author’s books were an acquired taste. Having read all his books barring the previous one, I craved to get my hands on this one. 

Little did I know that a slowly developing prose that soon suck me into the vortex and spit me out exhausted, wondering which journey I had been on. 

A young woman, Hannah, who was aquaphobic due to the incidents that had occurred a few months ago, could not leave the island, as she was too scared to cross the sea surrounding it. 

Added to that, she was soon labeled as mad by the rest of the employees of the Hotel Stanthrope, where she worked as a publicist. 

There was a mystery surrounding her mother and the hotel too. 

The folklore around the hotel said a riptide suddenly appeared along one of its coasts that would drag a human into the waters, lost forever. Drowned. 

As the pages were read, darkness soon enveloped her and she found herself almost alone. All she had was a lone Tarot card found in Room 10. And a mystery surrounding it. 

How it made me feel - The Good

Slow to begin with, The Drowning Hour had swirls of mystery that soon got to me as my gaze rested on the lines that appeared on every page. 

There was always a subtext in the book, hiding in the words. A sense of impending danger, something lying in wait in silence, wanting to pounce on me. The aura became darker, more claustrophobic, as the book progressed. 

I found myself empathizing with Hannah who seemed to be all alone, wrapped tightly in her fears. The isolation of the setting with the hotel on an island, cut off from the mainland, added to the eeriness, so also the style of writing. 

The subplots were hidden in the phobia of the main character, along with the dubious sense of secrets in the prose. 

A couple of twists were weaved in, but one of them was easily guessable. 

The book felt like a snapshot of dreams that wove its magic on me

The Bad

There were quite a few. 

The backstory of her fears was not dealt well. Nor was I given the reason for the deteriorating relationship with her father. 

Suddenly, out of the blue, one of the villains became a nice guy. 

The book gave importance to one aspect of the subplot while forgetting the others. Therefore, the ending became rushed. 

The prose had many colloquial accents and terms, along with a new language between sisters, which were confusing and some words were downright a put-off. It took me nearly half the book to settle down in its pages. 

The audiobook did not work for me at all as I found myself drifting away and not understanding the story because of the sister-language which had words like sisterbobs and hannahdogs. 

Once I got the eBook, I understood that the prose took time to be deciphered, and the supposedly cutesy sister-language could be ignored. 

The Conclusion

 I was always a fan of this author’s books. The first two books were the best by this author. And I did like this one, even though it didn’t feel complete. 

The Ice Twins was still my most favorite of all his books. 

I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

If you’ve loved the review, buy me a cuppa to perk me up.

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