Series Name: Cyrus Haven, #4

Review By Gabrielle

Two of my favourite characters, Cyrus and Evie are back in another twisty thriller from Michael Robotham.

Favourite Quote:

When is a story ever whole? Many of the details are hidden, even from me. Instead of complete memories I have only bits and pieces, random thoughts that dangle in front of me like baited hooks. I know what a baited hook can do. It can drag a fish from the deep and leave it flip-flopping on a beach or the deck of a boat, poisoned by the fresh air and sunlight.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

The mystery of Evie Cormac’s background has followed her into adulthood. As a child, she was discovered hiding in a secret room where a man had been tortured to death. Many of her captors and abusers escaped justice, unseen but not forgotten. Now, on a hot summer’s day, the past drags Evie back as she watches the bodies of seventeen migrants wash up on a Lincolnshire beach.

There is only one survivor, a teenage boy, who tells police their small boat was deliberately rammed and sunk. Psychologist Cyrus Haven is recruited by the police to investigate the murders—but recognizes immediately that Evie has some link to the tragedy. By solving this crime, he could finally unlock the secrets of her past. But what dark forces will he set loose? And who will pay the price?

This book is the fourth in the Cyrus Haven series, but don’t worry if you are new; you can start here. Michael does a great job of catching readers up so they don’t feel lost. I love a series that can be read as standalones or in series. 

Cyrus and Evie continue to be some of my favourite characters. They have fascinating backstories that I can’t seem to get enough of, although both are traumatic. Cyrus found his parents and twin sisters murdered by his brother when he was only a teenager. This is why he became a psychologist and now works with the police as a consultant. He wants to understand what happens in the minds of folks who commit crimes. Evie is another story, and it has largely been a mystery until this point in the series. We’ve got bits and pieces. We know she was found hiding in a house where crimes were committed. We know her mother and sister are dead. We know she has endured so much trauma. But even Evie isn’t sure what her past looks like. She has blocked a lot of it out. I was excited to read this book because we are finally learning more about her. Evie, as a character, is hard to love. She’s mercurial. She does things that frustrate and anger the people around her. But Michael has done a great job of writing her, so as readers, we can’t help but be intrigued and warm up to her. A lot of my motivation to read this book came from curiosity about Evie. Even knowing theoretically that it would be dark, I don’t think I was suitably prepared for this book. It is heart-wrenching. Consider yourself warned.

The issue of migrants and immigration is front and centre in this book, and I think Michael did a pretty good job of helping us understand some of the different perspectives through different characters. It’s a difficult topic to discuss because it’s such a complicated issue with no clear answers. It’s nuanced and not black and white. I can say I had all the feels at different moments in the book, from outrage to sadness.

The mystery aspect of the book is well done (as I would expect from Michael), with plenty of twists and turns and shocking moments that kept me turning the pages well into the night. This one is an emotional journey, y’all.

Michael Robotham has delivered another stellar read in Storm Child.

Thank you, Scibner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.