This was a fairly interesting mystery. Decent cast. Even with the usual stranded at sea with a murderer trope, it was still an okay read. But it was just okay. Something about the style of this book did more harm than good.
The first chapter was definitely good, however, as soon as I saw the word after in the title, I got worried. The story starts after the murder but then proceeds to jump before it every other chapter. It didn’t quite work. I skimmed most of the first half of all the before chapters and then I just stopped reading them altogether. The first two or three literally read like introduction paragraphs so it was akin to reading the beginning of a book, but considering the story starts in the middle there was no real need or interest in this back story. Just by reading the present-day plotline all the things dropped in these introductory, yet not so introductory chapters could be and were easily decipherable.
As the story moved further along they were supposed to reveal things about the plot and then in the present the lead character would mention a sentence or two about something or two about the previous past events chapter but it mostly just slowed the story down. Having the lead investigate these things would’ve simultaneously forced the story out and left the feeling something was amiss. As it was it just slowed down the pace of the book for whole chapters when showing it via investigation would’ve kept the pace going.
After I stopped reading the past chapters the book flowed amazingly well. I couldn’t even tell you what was in them and I had zero problems following and enjoying the book. Essentially this means only half of the book was read and there was more than enough going on for me to clearly grasp and enjoy the plotline.
There were some parts that were a bit wordy and opinionated but not so much I’d be too annoyed by it. The ending was fairly predictable the only thing odd was going into the water especially with the whole hat situation. Chilaxn on a pool chair would’ve made more sense. And I also find it hard to believe none of the people around heard the conversation until the end commotion.
All in all, this could’ve been great except the back and forth format didn’t heighten the suspense it just slowed down the pace without actually offering something that couldn’t be garnered from the present timeline. Even though the story was okay, considering I only read half of it in full, skimmed a few beginning bits and flat out ignored a bunch in the end, as a whole it kind of falls short because of this. The experience was jilted with one part of the story moving forward on the suspense train while the other just ambled along on the sidelines in an attempt to keep up the tension.
If you’re looking for a quick cosy mystery with an interesting cast this book is okay. It may come with a slow/jilted plot and even a cliche ending but beyond that there isn’t much fault here and most readers will probably enjoy it.