A pandemic that caused havoc across the world. Sound familiar doesn’t it. Well, that is the premise of The Drift by the wonderful C. J. Tudor, although she had the idea for the story before COVID hit. If you are a fan of C. J. Tudor you will already be familiar with her work with novels such as The Chalk Man and The Burning Girls, but now readers are in for a treat with a different kind of book than her previous novels. For me, The Drift is her best yet and shows off the depth and skill of her storytelling, her writing and storytelling just get better and better with each novel.
The Drift is many things; an end-of-the-world post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller, a locked room escape mystery, the horror of a virus that caused untold damage and murder! A story of survival.
The Drift is a novel that involves three different groups of people trapped in a snowstorm in different settings with and a murderer in their midst. The stories are independent from each other, all based on the same virus and aftermath, but join up expertly, bringing them all together with ease.
The Drift has three separate but intertwined storylines, an isolated chalet, an overturned coach and a stuck cable car:
Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. Evacuated from a secluded boarding school during a snowstorm, her coach careered off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors.
Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She’s in a cable car stranded high above snowy mountains, with five strangers and no memory of how they got on board.
Carter is gazing out of the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger.
Whilst all three groups are trapped, waiting for the raging storm to dissipate, they have many more problems than a snowstorm and the freezing cold. Inside each group there is someone trying to kill them. But who is it? For what reason? And will they survive and make it out alive? And outside isn’t much safer, not only are there the authorities to steer clear of but the very strange virus survivors – The Whistlers!
Overall, I loved this book – I feel that it her best story to date. Whilst it is very different from her previous novels it has been expertly told bringing together three stories together for a very thrilling conclusion.
The Drift is a locked room escape puzzle mystery combined with an end-of-the-world post-apocalyptic dystopian horror/thriller based on a virus that destroyed the world. It is packed with tension, thrills, excitement, murder and suspense, an excellent read.
It is very much driven by the characters, characters who are not all that them seem. The character development is excellent and well-paced, slowly revealing layers as if you were peeling an onion. The tension is slowly built up before delivering twists at breakneck speed – and not just twists and turns for the sake of it, but ones that really bring the story together.
The writing is excellent, building the different storylines at a very good pace before bringing them all together to a thrilling conclusion.
It is really hard to say too much about the story without giving too much away, but it really is an excellent exciting and thrilling read. This is this best novel I have read this year so far, I enjoyed the story, the pace of it, the twists and turns, how extremely well written it is and an array of characters that drive the story.
An excellent spine-chilling read, just don’t read it when stuck in a snowstorm!
RRP: £14.99 (Hardback) / £7.99 (Kindle)
Available to buy from Amazon here.