Cruel Summer


How did I get it?:
It was a gift from my sister!


A year after Janey’s suicide, her friends reunite at a remote Spanish villa, desperate to put the past behind them. However, an unwelcome guest arrives claiming to have evidence that Jane was murdered. When she is found floating in the pool, it becomes clear one of them is a killer. Only one thing is for certain, surviving this holiday is going to be murder…

A compelling and psychological thriller – with a dash of romance.


I had heard so many good things about James Dawson’s writing for quite some time now. I haven’t read his debut novel, but I’ll definitely be purchasing a copy after reading Cruel Summer. Cruel Summer was a gripping, intriguing page-turner that I couldn’t put down. There are some amazing twists and James successfully always keeps the reader guessing. I have to admit, I did begin to guess who the killer was, but I had no idea why they would do it. It wasn’t until nearer the end of the book, just before the big reveal that I became suspicious.

Cruel Summer is about five school friends on holiday together in a Spanish villa. They are getting over the death of their friend Janey a year ago. There’s Ryan and Katie, Greg and his twin sister Alisha, Greg’s new girlfriend Erin and Katie’s ex-boyfriend Ben. Just as they’re beginning to enjoy themselves, Roxanne (the stereotypical bitch) turns up claiming that Janey didn’t commit suicide.. she was murdered. It is then that everything spirals out of control with some very severe consequences…

I could easily picture this book as a horror film. It has a ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ feel about it. I loved how Ryan narrated the story. He described the events as scenes in a TV show, which actually added some humour into the story as cliché horror film scenes occurred. I loved how the book was told from mainly two perspectives, Ryan and Alisha. They were both such wonderful characters. I particularly liked Alisha, although I loved all the drama from Ryan. The chapters are short but action-packed.

Cruel Summer is so brilliantly paced. I read it so fast, because I just wanted to know what was going on. I felt the second part of the book was incredibly tense, with so many plot twists. I kept thinking I’d put it down for a bit, but then I was drawn to read yet another chapter to see what was going to happen next.

I’m so blown away by James Dawson’s writing. As I said, I’ll definitely be buying Hollow Pike, just to devour more from Mr Dawson!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Reading next:
Witchstruck- Victoria Lamb

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