Shiver - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition
  • Published : 19 Jan 2021
  • Pages : 400
  • ISBN-10 : 0593187830
  • ISBN-13 : 9780593187838
  • Language : English


In this propulsive locked-room thriller debut, a reunion weekend in the French Alps turns deadly when five friends discover that someone has deliberately stranded them at their remote mountaintop resort during a snowstorm.

When Milla accepts an off-season invitation to Le Rocher, a cozy ski resort in the French Alps, she's expecting an intimate weekend of catching up with four old friends. It might have been a decade since she saw them last, but she's never forgotten the bond they forged on this very mountain during a winter spent fiercely training for an elite snowboarding competition.

Yet no sooner do Milla and the others arrive for the reunion than they realize something is horribly wrong. The resort is deserted. The cable cars that delivered them to the mountaintop have stopped working. Their cell phones--missing. And inside the hotel, detailed instructions await them: an icebreaker game, designed to draw out their secrets. A game meant to remind them of Saskia, the enigmatic sixth member of their group, who vanished the morning of the competition years before and has long been presumed dead.

Stranded in the resort, Milla's not sure what's worse: the increasingly sinister things happening around her or the looming snowstorm that's making escape even more impossible. All she knows is that there's no one on the mountain she can trust. Because someone has gathered them there to find out the truth about Saskia...someone who will stop at nothing to get answers. And if Milla's not careful, she could be the next to disappear...

Editorial Reviews

One of PopSugar and Bustle's "Most Anticipated Books of January"

"[A] gripping debut thriller… Reynolds writes with the same fast-paced intensity of an energy drink-fueled trip down the slopes. Alongside its central mystery, Shiver offers an intimate look at the convoluted relationships of athletes who excel at a sport most people are too cautious even to attempt--including what happens when the truth becomes inescapable, both because of the blizzard and other equally unpredictable forces."--Shelf Awareness

"Deep in the breathtaking winter bleakness of the French Alps, revenge-and perhaps even murder-is most definitely afoot...This suspenseful debut thriller by a former freestyle snowboarder contains both style and substance."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] buzzy debut…The story alternates between the present and 10 years prior, ratcheting up the suspense and spooling out a cast of intriguing characters drawn together atop a picturesque yet deadly mountain. Reynolds, a former international snowboarder, delivers the thrills in her must-read debut."--Library Journal (starred review)

"Will chill you to the bone."--New York Post

"Exciting...Reynolds, a former competitive snowboarder, brings authenticity to her Alpine setting with her detailed descriptions of the sport. Fans of locked-room mysteries will have fun."--Publishers Weekly

"An atmospheric winter treat. Recommend it to those who enjoyed recent tales of reunions gone awry."--Booklist

"Reynolds, a former snowboarder turned author, delivers with this locked-room mystery that calls to mind a Golden Age tradition of disparate characters summoned to isolated locales to reckon with their sins."--CrimeReads

"Ultimately, Shiver presents a mind-racing puzzle that quivers with excitement."-- Mystery and Suspense Magazine

"Allie Reynolds' debut novel is full of suspense and a multitude of plot twists....A genuine page-turner that will keep you guessing until the very end."

"[A] compelling locked-room thriller...this buzzy debut is filled with suspense and thrills that will keep you reading long into the night."--Bookriot

"A fantastic debut!...This aptly named thriller will keep you riveted in your seat…This author skillfully weaves her knowledge of snowboarding with a mystery full of twists and turns… A winter thriller must-read."--Manhattan Book Review

"A chilling read - it was gripping from the off and really kept me guessing! I loved being immersed in the competitive world of snowboarding and was completely transported to the mountains. The tension kept ratcheting relentlessly as I kept reading - so much so, I had to keep looking ov...

Readers Top Reviews

Lady VioletAlison PK
Devoured this in 3 days - simply couldn't put it down! Lots of twists and turns kept me guessing right til the very end and I'm still thinking about it days later. The main character was a little irritating at times, but that was woven into the purpose of the story well. Look forward to reading whatever Allie Reynolds does next.
SHIVER is an atmospheric, engaging and well-written, locked-room debut thriller by Allie Reynolds. Told in dual timelines, we follow the lives of a group of competitive snowboarders in their 20s and then again in their 30s when they reunite and are forced to confront the choices they made 10 years ago. Set in France, the ski resort is where the group first became friends. 10 years later, they’re estranged. Each of them receives a message inviting them back to the ski resort for a reunion where they end up trapped in the building at the top of the ski hill. What secrets will be revealed? Are they the only ones at the top? Who killed their friend 10 years ago? Who’s toying with them now? The author does a fantastic job of building and maintaining a suspenseful atmosphere throughout the book. I was hooked from the prologue — “...𝘴𝘰 𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘤𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘯𝘦𝘸𝘴 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐’𝘮 𝘸𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳.” I couldn’t guess who the culprit was. I was suspicious of everyone and had a new suspect with each turn of the page — so maybe I did predict who it was since I suspected everyone at some point. Both timelines were equally engaging and perfectly executed. The characters were well developed and the story has the perfect mix of ingredients for a thriller - secrets, lies, trust, loyalty, romance, a snowstorm and the ego and drive of athletes in competitive sports. The tiny twist at the end was the cherry on top of a perfectly moist cake with smooth, delicious frosting. 🍒 I tripped over some snowboarding lingo at the beginning but I dusted myself off and kept going and it got better. The map at the beginning of the book was VERY helpful as a visual aid, especially for someone like me who has never been to a ski resort and isn’t a fan of playing in the snow. Recommend to a friend? Yes! Treat yourself to this edge of your seat snowy thriller. 4.5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫
Paulina Medeiros
I feel that the theme for this list is "I don't need to know more," but really, they had me at a group of people who haven't seen each other in 10 years meet at a deserted French Alps resort. Are you with me? The last time they saw each other, one of their friends, Saskia, disappeared. As their reunion starts, an icebreaker makes them realize they don't know who organized this meeting. Tchan-Tchan!!!! Quickly it becomes apparent they have every reason to fear: they all have secrets they would prefer to keep from the others; they don't know who their "host" is, what their intentions are and how far they would go to achieve it. The book through my criteria lens: Let's be honest; if there is one mystery trope I will never get tired of is a closed circle. I will pick up any mystery that promises me that, even better if it's an isolated atmospheric setting. The problem with that is that Agatha Christie has spoiled me, so I look for particular things in a closed circle book. Will most of them satisfy me? Yes. But will they make it to a prize "auto-buy author" spot on my bookshelf? Not always. As soon as I heard of Shiver, I knew I had to check it out - closed circle, french alps, unlikeable characters, secrets, snow. Check, check, check, check, check. I also love getting immersed in a world I'm not familiar with, so I went in with high hopes to end the book as an expert couch snowboard. Did Reynolds deliver? Well, guys. I am so sorry to say that she did! Dang, now I have to wait for her next book to be released impatiently. If it wasn't obvious, Shiver surprised me. Even though it is a debut novel, it met all my amateur reader expectations. The characters were well developed, and each behaved in characteristics set out to them for the book's duration. The unlikeable characters were well-drawn, and let me tell you, I despised that person (no spoilers). The protagonist was multidimensional and made many questionable choices, but I couldn't help getting emotionally invested in Milla. Shiver was hard to put down, and I particularly liked the alternating chapters. I felt that each "past" chapter gave just enough background to what happened in the present without spoiling the plot, at the same time leaving you wanting more. I am not an expert couch snowboarder, sadly. But Reynolds did a fantastic job describing that world; even if you are not familiar with the terminology, you understood the references through the characters. She did play fair, which is my number one thing. The author also came out with an excellent idea for a plot and delivered it flawlessly. Impressed. You nailed this literary crippler, Allie. My personal feelings: I knew I was going to love this book when the romance didn't bother me. I usually do not like romance in my mystery, but Reynolds wove it into the plot in a way tha...
Lila WLaraNH
This disappointed me because I was really looking forward to this one. Not sure if this book ever got good, but around 75 pages I just gave up trying to find the story. There was none. What there WAS, was lots of technical talk about snowboarding, so if you don’t snowboard you’ll really be lost. And TONS of filler conversation that never moved the plot. And the main character was so unlikeable. The author tried so hard to make her a “strong female” but she came off as an annoying fake feminist. The rest of the cast, they all blended into one immature and unlikeable person, I couldn’t connect to anyone.
Ten years before Milla was close to joining the ranks of elite snowboarders and had hope of being selected for the British Olympic team. She saved up enough to quit work and spend an entire winter training for the British Open at the Le Rocher resort in the French alps. There she met a group of other top snowboarders and they quickly become friends training and socialising together. Milla was so determined to concentrate on training, that she ignored her attraction to one of the guys, Curtis on the grounds that she didn't want a serious relationship to interfere with her training and instead embarked on a casual relationship with Brent, one of Curtis' friends. Milla can't help being hyper-competitive and soon finds herself competing against Curtis' talented and beautiful sister Saskia, who likes to play games to mess with people if it gives her an advantage. Now, ten years after that fateful winter, the group, minus Saskia have been invited back to Le Rocher for a reunion. The season hasn't started yet and they knew they would have the resort to themselves, but weren't expecting that there would be no staff and no one to operating the cable car after they arrived. Not long after they get there, strange events start to occur and they get the feeling that someone may be playing a dangerous game. This is a very suspenseful mystery told in two time lines, asking what really happened ten years ago when the group were last together, and why have they been invited to a reunion after all this time. The isolated alpine location with the empty resort, freezing snowy conditions and loss of contact with the outside world makes for a very eerie atmosphere, especially once strange things start to happen. The story is narrated by Milla but there is also good insight into the dynamics of the group and what the others are thinking. Once a snowboarder herself, the author writes knowledgably about the sport and the intense rivalry at the elite level, combined with the stress of constantly striving to perform more difficult tricks. A riveting read and an excellent debut novel.

Short Excerpt Teaser

Chapter 1

"Hello?" My shout echoes around the concrete cavern.

The familiar red-and-white cable car sits in the bay, but there's nobody in the operator booth. The sun has disappeared behind the Alps, the sky is pink, yet there isn't a single light on in the building. Where is everyone?

An icy wind blasts my cheeks. I huddle deeper into my jacket. It's the off-season, and the resort doesn't open for another month, so I didn't expect the other ski lifts to be running, but I thought this one would be. How else are we going to get up to the glacier? Have I got the wrong day?

I dump my snowboard bag on the platform and pull out my phone to check the email again. Know it's been a while but are you up for a reunion weekend? Panorama building, glacier du Diable, Le Rocher. Meet at the cable car, 5 pm Friday 7th November. C. x

C for Curtis. If anyone else had invited me here, I'd have deleted it without replying.

"Yo, Milla!"

And here's Brent, loping up the steps toward me. Two years younger than me, he must be thirty-one now, and he still has his boyish charm-the floppy dark hair, the dimples-though he looks worn and tired.

He lifts me off the ground in a bear hug. I hug him tightly back. All those cold nights I spent in his bed. I feel bad for not getting in contact with him. But after what happened . . . Anyway, he didn't contact me either.

Over his shoulder, sharp peaks loom, in shadow against the darkening sky. Do I really want to do this? It's not too late. I could make excuses, jump back in my car, and drive home to Sheffield.

A throat clears behind us. We pull apart to see Curtis's tall, blond form.

Somehow I expected Curtis to look the same as the last time I saw him. Collapsed with grief. A broken man. But of course he doesn't. He's had ten years to get over it. Or tuck it all away inside him.

Curtis's hug is brief. "Good to see you, Milla."

"You, too." I always struggled to look him in the eye because he was so damned good-looking-still is-but I find it even harder now.

Curtis and Brent grip hands, Curtis's skin pale against Brent's. They've brought their snowboards; no surprises there. We could hardly go up the mountain without them. Like me, they wear jeans, but I'm amused to see shirt collars below their snowboard jackets.

"Hope I wasn't expected to dress up," I say.

Curtis looks me up and down. "You'll do."

I swallow. His eyes are as blue as ever, but they remind me of someone I don't want to think of. There's none of the warmth I used to feel from him either. For him I dragged myself back to the place I swore I'd never return. I'm already regretting it.

"Who else is coming?" Brent says.

Why's he looking at me?

"No idea," I say.

Curtis laughs. "Don't you know?"

Footsteps. Here comes Heather. And who's that? Dale? No way-are they still together?

Dale's previously wild hair is stylishly cut, his piercings removed. His trendy skate shoes don't even look skated in. I guess he's been Heathered. At least she let him bring his snowboard.

Heather's wearing a dress-a sparkly black one-with tights and knee-high boots. Must be bloody freezing, even with the Puffa jacket over it. A whiff of hairspray from her long, dark locks as she hugs me.

"Great to see you, Milla." She must have had a few drinks before she got here, because she almost sounds like she means it. Her boots have a three-inch heel, bringing her to an inch taller than me, which is probably why she's wearing them.

She flashes a ring.

"You guys got married?" I say. "Congratulations."

"Three years now." Her Geordie accent is thicker than ever.

Brent and Curtis slap Dale's back.

"Took your time askin', hey, bro?" Brent says. His London accent seems stronger, too.

"Actually, I asked him," Heather snaps.

The door of the cable car grinds open. A lift attendant shuffles up behind us, black resort cap pulled low. He checks off our names on a clipboard and gestures for us to enter.

The others file past.

"Is that everyone?" I say, playing for time.

The liftie seems to think so. There's something familiar about him.

Everyone else is aboard now. Reluctantly, I join them.

"Who else would there be anyway?" Curtis says.

"True," I say. There were a few others who came and went, but of our original gang, we're the only five left.

Or rather, the only ones still standing.

A flood of guilt hits me....