Source: Publisher Review Copy
Four days into a five day singles cruise on the Gulf of Mexico, the ageing ship Beautiful Dreamer stops dead in the water. With no electricity and no cellular signals, the passengers and crew have no way to call for help. But everyone is certain that rescue teams will come looking for them soon. All they have to do is wait.
That is, until the toilets stop working and the food begins to run out. When the body of a woman is discovered in her cabin the passengers start to panic. There’s a murderer on board the Beautiful Dreamer… and maybe something worse.
The Three was in my top 10 of 2014 so I was really looking forward to “Day Four” a standalone horror thriller that also works as a sequel. In fact my honest opinion is that whilst you could quite happily read Day Four first, if you start with The Three you will get added oomph to this novel, a greater depth – so that would be my recommendation.
Onto Day Four then, I guess the truth is it freaked me out a little. Ok, a lot. In the best way possible. It is dark, scary, atmospheric and beautifully done so that you are constantly on edge..also you will never find me setting foot on a cruise ship. Ever. Just in case. The problem (or the genius) is that whilst Sarah Lotz has written a fantasy, a world that is ours but in which strange things are occurring, she writes it so realistically and with such fervour that it is amazingly and frighteningly believable.
Very basically then as I truly think the less you know of the plot before diving in the more you will get out of it, the story starts off fairly low key as we meet an eclectic group of passengers and staff on board the Beautiful Dreamer cruise ship. The author sets her characters up beautifully, by the time things start to go wrong you will probably already have decided who to root for and who you would like to see nasty things happen to – then the nasty things start happening and boy will it mess with your head.
Day Four is thoroughly haunting and gorgeously creepy – Sarah Lotz builds the tension with some elegant writing and cleverly obscure foreshadowing, a really most marvellously constructed story that stayed with me long after finishing it – and boy does this author know how to set you up and then throw an ending at you. Simply brilliant.
If you are expecting The Three again that is not what you will get. There is a different style to Day Four that is equally as compelling – Sarah Lotz is carefully and alluringly building her world, a world that is slightly off kilter and very very intriguing. There is a flow to it, shrouded in mystery, I’m not sure I’ve seen a “series” done quite in this way before and it is just superb. I do wonder (all the time godarnit!) what she has up her sleeve for us next, but whatever it is I’m going to be right there. Whether there is a plan to bring these two and future stories together eventually into some kind of grand finale, I do not know. I hope so because with a creative mind such as this author obviously has (strange as it may be) I can imagine that it would be a wonder to behold. No pressure Sarah!