As temperatures soar across Europe during the hottest summer for forty years, a series of hoax terrorist attacks is generating panic in London. Then a bus blows up on Oxford Street and the hoaxes have suddenly become real. Author Links:Publisher: Corvus
Format: Ebook (22 September 2021)
Pages: 328
Source: Ecopy received for reviewStudent Brioni O’Brien has been desperately trying to contact her older sister since she unexpectedly returned early from travelling, so when Marissa’s bag is found near the site of the explosion, she fears the worst.A gripping standalone thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of Little Bones and The Dark Room.
There are so many twists and turns and red herrings in the story, I veered from one suspect to another. At one stage I smugly thought it was obvious who was responsible for one particular crime but no, I had to later accept I had got it wrong.
Teaming up with terrorism expert Anna Lockharte to search for Marissa, Brioni discovers that her sister had got herself into a very dangerous situation – and that now she and Anna could be caught in the fallout.
Sam Blake’s debut novel, Little Bones, was No 1 in Ireland for four weeks, and was nominated for Irish Crime Novel of the Year. It launched the bestselling Cat Connolly trilogy. Her first standalone psychological thriller, Keep Your Eyes On Me, went straight to No 1 and its follow-up, The Dark Room was an Eason Ireland No 1 for three weeks. Sam is originally from St. Albans in Hertfordshire but has lived at the foot of the Wicklow mountains for more years than she lived in the UK.
I don’t know why I haven’t read a Sam Blake book before but I certainly enjoyed this experience and this book won’t be my last. It had an exciting and well plotted story together with characters that you can engage with – Anna was a fabulous creation and with her cool head was great to have on your side in a crisis especially as she knew people in all the right places and Brioni was fearless when those she cared about were under threat. A recommended read.
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When Brioni O’Brien returns to Heathrow after time away travelling in Asia, she has not had the best of times. A traumatic experience has soured her trip and whilst waiting at the carousel, she realises that her suitcase has gone missing. Another concern is her sister Marissa. She has had no response to her messages to let her sister know she was coming home. Since Marissa’s marriage to American businessman Steve, their relationship had changed, but why would Marissa be ignoring her.
Set over three locations, London, New York and Ireland, High Pressure is a thrilling read with the main arc of the story being the aftermath of a bomb attack in London. Marissa’s bag has been found at the bomb site but where is Marissa? Brioni teams up with a visiting expert from Dublin, Professor Anna Lockharte, to try and discover what has happened to her sister.

I only had one minor niggle, and whilst it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment, I thought the conclusion a little abrupt and I would have liked just a bit more character interaction towards the end on certain aspects. I believe that we may not have seen the end of Brioni so possibly my questions will be answered.

A story involving New Scotland Yard and the American security services, Marissa’s disappearance is just one, albeit a fairly major, part of the puzzle. In addition to the investigation of the terror attacks and the numerous hoaxes intended to cause maximum disruption, there are other strands which add to the intrigue and tension – to say exactly what might be going into spoiler territory!
My thanks to Zoe of Zooloos Book Tours for the invite and place on the tour and to the publisher for the ecopy for review. I hadn’t actually read any of Sam’s books before although I have featured previous books on my blog – an extract of The Dark Room and an extract of No Turning Back . I believe High Pressure features returning characters from other books although this can be read as a standalone story.
It starts off a little slowly but the pace soon builds up and then the story has the speed of an express train. It’s part crime thriller but also a story about family and relationships – Anna has suffered a traumatic past and loss and Brioni is devastated by the thought that her sister that had been such a crucial part of her life could be gone.

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