The Turnout - Megan Abbott

The Durant School of Dance moulds some of the countries most promising children into incredible ballet dancers. When Dara and Marie Durant undertake the running of the school with Dara's husband, Charlie, after their parents die unexpectedly things work well for a while, but Marie's need for more than the four walls she grew up trapped within brings new dangers to their isolated way of life.

Thank you to Grace at Little Brown Book Group for including me in this blog tour! I was definitely looking out for a new thriller author to add to my auto-buy list and Megan Abbott has fit the bill perfectly! I found myself in hospital (hello emergency appendectomy!) whilst reading this one so had plenty of time to focus on it and get to grips with the intricacies, but I was still guessing toward the end!

I knew going into this from other reviewers that it wouldn't be your standard thriller, Abbott immediately sets you off guessing what is going to happen and what strange relationships are going on behind closed doors. For lack of a better word, it unsettled me from the beginning. Abbot's writing creates an atmosphere parallel to isolated murder mysteries without the cast or location actually being isolated, it was creepy and secretive despite the three main characters being so known to each other. For me this was the perfect way to set up the novel, every character prompted a hint of deception that could have unbalanced the delicate line they walked which meant every new page kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more.

It is not always necessary to like characters in a novel, in my opinion, especially if the writing is so creative in other aspects you do not need the token likeable character. 'The Turnout' didn't give me any extremely likeable characters but I enjoyed that, the mystery and tension of the novel relies on you suspecting no one is the honest version of themselves. Without giving the end away I ended up feeling very relieved as to the conclusion of events, Abbott created a deep sense of dread within me that things would turn a certain way but she expertly pulls together the storyline strings to create a powerful and memorable ending.

Writing a review for a book I really enjoyed is always more difficult to me than one I didn't, it is hard to put into words how perfectly the writing, characters, location and atmosphere just *click* together to create a wonderful novel. 'The Turnout' is mesmerising, it was hard, near impossible, to take your eyes off it despite the impending sense of doom.

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