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Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani

 Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani Twelve powerful people are kidnapped and imprisoned in an empty hotel. Each one of them has three choices: Live out the rest of their days peacefully in the hotel, Die by suicide so the rest of their companions can go free, Or murder one of their companions so they alone can go free. The Only Way Out is Death follows the story of these twelve people from the perspective of a young lawyer, Kiriaki, told as the events unfold. She has to forge messy alliances, navigate complex relationships and feuds, and, above all, try to stay alive. Meanwhile, the mastermind of this death game is lurking just out of view, watching them closely, making sure they are primed for murder. Will Kiriaki find the mastermind before it's too late for her? Will she outmanoeuvre the cutthroats before they cut her throat? There are twelve selfish lives in the hotel. Will it end in twelve selfish deaths? The Only Way Out is Death is a fascinating nov

Blog Tour Review - The Case of the Lighthouse Intruder by Kereen Getten


Blog Tour Review - The Case of the Lighthouse Intruder 

by Kereen Getten

Fayson has always wanted to be a detective. When her cousins recruit her to their top-secret gang on the island one summer, her dreams seem to be coming true. But the Greatest Gang of All Time don’t live up to their name, and keep getting distracted from missions by things like food, falling asleep and a fair bit of squabbling!

Guided by her favourite mystery novels, Fayson takes charge and tries to track down clues about the strange shadow that has been appearing in the island’s lighthouse. With tensions stirring within the gang, can she use all her smarts to solve the case?

The Case of the Lighthouse Intruder is such a fun mystery adventure, and this promises to be the start of an excellent new series!

It's clearly aimed at the younger end of the middle grade market. It is fairly short, illustrated beautifully by Leah Jacobs-Gordon, and there's very little peril in it. The worst danger is the threat of being thrown off of the island. But it doesn't suffer for any of that. What we get is a very accessible, very fun little mystery, with a main character we can really root for!

On the mystery side, there's a gang of kids on a private island just off Jamaica who have seen someone in a lighthouse who shouldn't be there, and they've been unable to figure out who they are or what they're up to in there despite repeated attempts. When Fayson arrives on the island with her cousins, who are both in the gang already, she's challenged to solve the mystery in three days. What follows is a series of investigations, sleepovers, stakeouts, break ins, a lot of deductive thinking and a classic reveal.

But there's so much more going on than that in this book. There's a lot in here about inequality of wealth, and how money, or the lack thereof, can change people. Fayson and her mother don't have much money. Her uncle and her cousins are wealthy. So when they invite her away for the summer there's instant tension and a lot to explore about what that inequality means and how it is shown. It's not just about where you holiday and who you spend time with, it is also explored through things like the way people speak, as Fayson's speech is generally presented in Patwah. This also gives the novel a wonderful sense of place.

There's also a lot of bullying going on in here. Again, we see it presented in different ways, as befits such a potentially complex issue. There's some very obvious bullying, in pranks and tricks being played on Fayson, but there's also some that is a lot more insidious, as the leader of the gang does everything she can to maintain her position of privilege, and some less certain areas again, as we're left asking if the people around Fayson are helping her for her own good or because they want to mould her in particular ways. 

This is also a novel about family, and about how families can fall out and come back together. We get to see some of this process in this book, and I'm hoping it's something we'll see explored more as the series progresses.

A fantastic, fun novel that explores some serious issues, with a really strong sense of place and character, I enjoyed it a lot!


The Case of the Lighthouse Intruder by Kereen Getten is out now, published by Pushkin Press.

I was given a review copy in exchange for an honest review and participation in this blog tour.

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!


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