Hold Still by Tim Adler

About this book..

‘I photographed the moment of my husband’s death…’ So begins HOLD STILL, a nerve-twisting thriller from bestselling author Tim Adler. How much do we really know about those we love? Kate is visiting Albania with her husband Paul, a much needed break from Paul’s stressful website business. ‘Hold still,’ says Kate, taking a picture as Paul steps onto the hotel room balcony. ‘We’ll always be together,’ Paul responds. Suddenly there is screaming below and a blaring car horn. Kate stares down from the balcony at the broken body of her husband lying lifeless in the street. Overcome with grief, Kate can’t accept the truth of Paul’s tragic death, and replays the incident over and over again, searching her pictures for a vital clue to what really happened. When she meets the enigmatic Priest at a grief support group, they journey together into a dangerous world of violence and secrets as Kate realises what Paul really meant when he said he would never leave her……

My review..

Having read Surrogate by the same author a while ago (after being recommended it and enjoying it) I was looking forward to Tim Adlers 3rd book Hold Still. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as Surrogate, it was still a fast paced crime thriller that flowed off the page.

Kate Julia and her husband Paul have gone to Albania for Paul’s uncle’s funeral. After the funeral, Paul seems distant and emotional but back at their hotel room Kate and Paul make love. Afterwards, Paul receives a text on his phone and Kate playfully takes a photo of him. When she looks back up she realises he is no longer there and has fallen from their 7th floor balcony.

This is the seed from which this story grows-what would it be like to photograph the exact moment of the death of a loved one? Kate is devastated by her husband’s death but even more so when she realises she captured something unexpected in that last photo.

I think the main reason this novel didn’t quite work for me personally was that I found it rather unbelievable. The coincidences were just a bit too far fetched for me and the time scale seemed very quick as well. Just little things like being able to get a GP appt straight away and finding a support group having a meeting that same night!! Kate seemed rather hysterical at times-too much so to be also conducting her own investigation into her husband’s death. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad book! The backstory of Albania and the crimes taking place such as human trafficking, prostitution and cyber crime are very current and have been well researched. The way the book opens with Paul’s death is shocking and grabs your attention straight away. It drifts off a bit in the middle but the last few chapters are an adrenaline fuelled chase that again gets you turning the pages with an increasing speed to find out what the truth is. Although I had an idea of what had happened there were still a few surprising twists along the way.

A 3 star read for me.

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.

Released on March 17th

Available to pre-order here


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

3 thoughts on “Hold Still by Tim Adler”

  1. Sounded promising but then saw the 3* you gave it, think will check out The Surrogate though.


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