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Under the Ice

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  539 ratings  ·  48 reviews

It is the week before Christmas and the cathedral city of St Albans is blanketed by snow. But beneath the festive lights, darkness is stirring. The frozen body of a young girl is discovered by the ice-covered lake.

The police scramble for clues. A local woman, Jenny, has had visions of what happened the night of the murder. But Jenny is an exhausted new mother, whose

Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Head of Zeus
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  539 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rachael Blok's debut crime fiction is part psychological thriller and part police procedural set in St Albans as the festive season approaches. A young 14 year old schoolgirl, Leigh Horde is discovered dead, under the frozen ice of the lake. Jenny and Will Brennan have recently moved to the town from frenetic London, seeking a more rural setting to bring up a family. Jenny is a new mother, with son, Finn, feeling exhausted, suffering sleepless nights, isolated, having to cope with Finn on her ...more
Loved this book! It starts off slowly and all very mysteriously and then you begin to realise how far it has worked itself under your skin. Richly atmospheric and moody with an intriguing, unusual detective and a haunted main character. Loved its St Albans Christmas setting. Beautifully written from start to finish This is most definitely an author to watch. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Liz Barnsley
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Under the Ice was a perfect wintry read, pacy and addictive with an intriguing mystery element and a sympathetic character in Jenny, a new mother who appears to be battling ghosts as well as the sleep deprivation that comes attached to a new baby…
The writing is beautifully immersive as we jump between Jenny, sleepwalking towards clues and the police investigation which ultimately focuses back on Jenny. It is tense and atmospheric, with a missing child’s life at stake and a snowy, chilly backdrop
Melania 🍒
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it

It was nice reading this in December. I never thought I’m a reader that needs to read differently in different seasons, or a mood reader at that, but I might reconsider.

The book itself was pretty good, it dragged a bit in the middle and the main character was just so unreliable at some point I was afraid it would be to annoying for me to continue( I have extremely little patience for this kind of nonsense) but the line wasn’t crossed.

Good start.
Lady Delacour
Rachael Block
Under the Ice
Wow! Your first book!!
Girl you did good!!!
Sleep deprived new mom
is my least favorite
main character in a book.
But...this story had me
hanging on to every one
of her tired thoughts.
3.9 Sparkling Stars.
Listened with TTS.
Clean with Foul Language.
It is the week before Christmas and the cathedral city of St Albans is blanketed by snow. But beneath the festive lights, darkness is stirring. The frozen body of a young girl is discovered by the ice-covered lake. Thus begins this story. I didn't know till later that this is a start to a series and a debut for the author. Yes, it is very atmospheric with the ice, snow and cold and I did read it with a blanket covering my cold body. For me, it was just an OK read but there wasn't anyone in the ...more
G.J. Minett
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A promising debut. It's come with a certain amount of shouting and I'm mystified by some of it because there are definite flaws here, but I found this easy to read, well-written and engaging. How you react to the last 50 pages will, I suspect, depend a great deal upon the importance you attach to plausibility. It's certainly pacy and there are twists and turns aplenty in the plot but the closer we come to tying things up, the more everything relies upon coincidence and the failure of characters ...more
Gytha Lodge
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was delighted to receive an early review copy of Rachael Blok's beautifully written debut. The prose evokes the strange, disjointed world of a woman with a very young child brilliantly, and places it against a young girl's murder with unsettling results.

I found the culmination of the story particularly satisfying, with every character well-drawn and believable. This is a cerebral, moving and impressing book and I can't wait to read more from Rachael.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Fantastic book with a creepy factor which keeps you guessing until the end. One murdered child and another missing is the basis of this fast-paced mystery. Jenny is sleepwalking and finding evidence that the police ohave missed. How can she be sure what is real and what is imagined? Brilliant storytelling. #NetGalley
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This was just ok, but I enjoyed reading it.

(view spoiler)
Suzy Dominey
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gripping story,hard to put down (so I didn't) and who was the mad one . Kept me guessing
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Suspenseful and with an ending I did not guess. Good characters and plot development.
Joanne Sheppard
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I bought Under The Ice, a psychological thriller by Rachael Blok, to read over the Christmas period. I wanted a page-turner that wouldn't require any effort to get into, and which would be wintry and atmospheric.

Set in St Albans (a cathedral city in Hertfordshire, in case you don't know it) the plot centres on the murder of a young teenage girl at a lake a couple of weeks before Christmas. Jenny, struggling with post-natal depression and sleep deprivation after the birth of her first baby, lives
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Under the Ice is Rachel Blok’s debut, a crime novel with a strong psychological thriller vibe set in the week before Christmas. As it happened, I read this book in the lead-up to Christmas which added a nice feel to it.

This book opens with the discovery of a young girl’s body in a frozen lake, and swiftly moves on to introduce us to Jenny, one of the protagonists. She’s a first-time mother who’s struggling with motherhood—and she sees ghosts.

Okay, her ghostly “visions” and experiences somewhat
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good plot but needs tighter editing

This is a good story with a female protagonist, Jenny, with whom I initially found it easy to identify. As the novel became rather gothic, I, like Jenny's fellow characters, began to lose patience with her and simultaneously with the novel, which I feared was going to stretch the bounds of reality. If you experience the same feelings, my advice is to persevere; it is simply a feature of the novel's construction, though a slightly frustrating one - to my mind. I

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

When 14 year old Leigh Horde was found dead under frozen house, New mum Jenny felt a deep sense of unease.

Jenny, husband Will and baby Finn had recently moved to St Albans. Ever since the birth of Finn, Jenny was exhausted and lonely living in a new area. From her house Jenny could see the lake where Leigh died. Shortly after this Jenny started sleepwalking to the lake and heard voices shouting save
Sonny Side Books
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
"A girl's body is found in the local lake at Christmas, turning neighbour against neighbour in a close-knit community. A tense, and emotionally charged thriller"

This was a book that I really wanted to love, but for me it fell short.

I love a good thriller, but this book didnt grab me and on more than one occasion I considered not finishing.

The last 50 or so pages, the book ramped up to what I was looking for, a little bit of action, things falling into place a little more, but it was a long slog
Hannah Symonds
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the cover of this book it is tense and creepy but also makes you feel slightly cold. I was shocked to see that it is Rachael's debut novel as it is really good. This is what thrillers are all about, you want to devour it straight away but then you want to cherish the story as you know you will feel sad once it has finished. The story telling was exceptional so much so that the characters are really bought to life. I can't wait to read the next one from Rachael Blok.
Kate Trusler
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: detective, thriller
Quite a good read. Slow-paced and thoughtful but very atmospheric and has some elements of the scandi-noir genre about it. The supernatural elements to it call back a bit to something like the Babbadook - is she really seeing and experiencing what she is or is it due to some form of post-natal depression? It's not really answered in any definitive fashion but I think the story is all the better for it. Let the reader decide.
I Read, Therefore I Blog
Rachael Blok’s debut literary psychological thriller has an interesting central hook but ultimately this is a disappointing affair where Jenny remains a shallow character and the antagonist was easy to guess and I found the writing repetitive and lacking in precision. What really irritated me was the fact that the police procedural side of it is poor and lacks credibility such that I wouldn’t rush to read Blok’s next book.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I don’t usually go for seasonal reads apart from ache books, but I did feel that maybe reading this in winter would have helped with the armospheric conditions that the author gave us.

I found the story a bit hit and miss - there were elements where I wish it had been expanded on (characters and friendships) and found a few themes repetitive

Saying that the writing and short snappy sentences within the telling of the story worked and again helped with the atmosphere

A good debut novel -
Jillian Higham
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing

A terrific tale that was eerie, creepy and empathetic. I could really identify with Jenny, having lost my own mother before I had my children. Cleverly plotted with an unexpected twist which twisted again as you found out who the culprit really was. The husband, Will might have been great in the end, but he certainly let Jenny down when she needed his understanding most. Liked the different points of view between the public and the police.
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
An average read but pretty well written. Unfortunately, I couldn't relate to or like the female protagonist at all, and I didn't enjoy the dream/vision aspect of the story at all. Saw the 'twist' of her visions coming a mile away. The detective's perspective was fun to read but we didn't really learn anything about him. Kind of disappointing but for a debut novel quite good.
Jean Kirby
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a murder mystery and ghost story combined. It is set in St. Albans around the Cathedral and lake, where a murder has taken place.
This story is suitable for older teen readers (some swearing, mention of child abuse) and is the first novel of Rachael Blok - a local author.
I found it a bit difficult to get into, but it picks up half-way through and accelerates towards the end.
Ms Karen T Hooper
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good Read

It took a while to get into this book and to be honest that's because I found it a bit confusing with the characters t to begin with.
"Unputdownable" the Bi-line says but for me that was only near the end when it got to the who did it part.
Worth a read but not inspired me to follow the author
June Jones
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Slow to get going and failed to grab me. Matt the journalist who I thought was going to play a bigger part in the story, and who constantly used bad language disappeared. The ending was good, but not much else.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
A compelling mystery set in a London suburb. It's well-written, but could maybe have benefitted from a thorough editing - I felt that it dragged on and became a bit repetitive towards the end. But otherwise an example of domestic noir (I guess?) done well, with complex characters and relationships.
Stacey Wendy  Hammond
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a good read that kept you wanting more, the ending to me was a little damp after the build up to it. I'd read many rave reviews about this book, but to me it was no different to any other psychological thriller.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Felt it was lacking in the way the characters were portrayed. None whatsoever were likeable apart from Maarten and even he was a bit lackluster. I felt bored in some bits but.i wasn't expecting the ending at all
Marilyn A. Land
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Different from the usual police procedural. Great characters, plot and conclusion. Couldn't put it down
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