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Sheer Water by Leah Swann

Ava is leaving her old life and driving towards her new home when she comes across a plane crash. To safeguard her two young sons from possible danger she leaves them alone in the car while she goes to provide whatever help she can give. There is fire, panic, smoke. When she returns to the car, her boys are missing.

The novel is compressed into three days which adds to the power and the intensity of Ava discovering that her children are gone and the search which follows. The initial reaction-that the boys have simply wandered off and become lost -turns into something much more sinister. What, for instance, happened to the car which was tailgating them? There is also the backstory of Ava’s past life depicting the fraught relationship with her husband, Laurence. Leah Swann adeptly manipulates the reader towards a growing realisation that what we are initially led to believe is far from the truth.

The writing is lyrical, the pace powerfully leading the reader to the conclusion. I thought the ending was a little hurried - I would have liked a slowing down at this point - but this is a novel you read with gripped hands and held-in breath.

Reviewer: Paddy Richardson

Publisher: Fourth Estate


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