Marianne's Reviews > Beyond Fear

Beyond Fear by Jaye Ford
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it was amazing

Beyond Fear is the first novel by award-winning, best-selling Australian author, Jaye Ford. The weekend starts badly. The accommodation Jodie Cramer has booked for what is dubbed the Fringe Dwellers Weekend Away Episode Eight looks good: a converted barn near Bald Hill that meets the approval of her three best friends once they finally get there, although it is quite a bit more isolated than the website had implied.

But an hour out of Newcastle, some hoon had virtually run them off the road, and Jodie’s car was undriveable. The tow truck was prompt, and the driver efficient, but lack of space meant that she and Corinne had to wait by the side of the road for the cab that never arrived. The cold and dark had unnerved Jodie, triggering a flashback to her teens: a terrifying episode of which her friends are unaware.

Thereafter, an encounter with a drunk at the pub, coupled with Jodie’s hyperawareness of personal safety mean that when the two campers(?) turn up at the barn, she is thoroughly spooked. Her friends are sceptical, think she’s overreacting. Can’t they see the danger? Jodie begins to second-guess herself; maybe she is paranoid…

A Newcastle detective on stress leave, Matt Wiseman is back in Bald Hill helping out at his dad's service station while his head sorts itself out and his knee heals. Doing the tow job on this Friday night as a favour, when he first meets this group of four women, he’s surprised at their destination: clearly the ad for the B&B hasn’t mentioned the place’s disturbing history.

This is a thriller that grabs the reader from page one and doesn’t let go. Ford is skilled at setting the scene and her characters are multi-faceted and credibly flawed. Jodie is a gutsy heroine and her determination spurs Matt on. The villains are truly frightening and at times the reader will want to give Jodie’s friends a good shake.

The story is fast-paced and adrenaline-filled: anytime the reader gets a bit complacent, Ford ramps up the tension another notch, sometimes so high that you have to do the reading equivalent of “hands in front of the eyes in a scary movie”: shut the book and walk away for a bit. But not for long: this page-turner is addictive and multiple heart-thumping climaxes build up to a nail-biting finish.

In a story that features PTSD (at least three characters have/had) and self-reliance, Ford demonstrates the strength of friendship, the power of directed anger and the importance of trusting your instincts. A stunning debut from a talented author.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Independent Book Publishers Association
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Reading Progress

June 18, 2017 – Shelved
June 18, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
May 12, 2020 – Started Reading
May 13, 2020 –
page 46
May 14, 2020 –
page 133
May 15, 2020 –
page 284
May 15, 2020 –
page 422
May 15, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue Gerhardt Griffiths Fantastic review, Marianne! Her books are excellent.

Marianne Thanks, Sue

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