The Pact by Sharon Bolton

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

I love a book set in and around Oxford and this one went down especially well with me due to the “Barbara Vine” feel to the storyline. It’s a plot that may well frustrate the hell out of you and it certainly did with me as I mentally shouted at all the characters making their very questionable decisions-decisions that only inebriated, privileged and arrogant teenagers could surely make?!

Sharon Bolton sets up the mood of this novel perfectly as a group of wealthy, advantaged and entitled school friends meet to prepare themselves for their A-level results. As you can probably tell from my descriptions, I really didn’t think much of this gang of friends! Their self confidence was staggering high but then they make a decision that changes absolutely everything. It’s a decision they have made before but this time lives are going to ruined.

This is a book of two parts with the second part taking place 20 years after a terrible crime has been committed. Meeting the friends as adults, at first I thought very little had changed. But one person had changed beyond any recognition and that was Megan, realised from prison 20 years after the “pact” that put her there. And this quickly became my favourite part of the book-wondering what on earth Megan would request from the others now that they all had family, jobs and money. I loved that I never really knew what was going on inside Megan’s head. What had happened that summer to change her? And why had she done what she did? The answers when they came were shocking and unexpected as were the last few pages that I devoured as quickly as an ice cream in a heatwave!

Sharon Bolton never fails to surprise me and each of her books have a totally different feel to them to keep me on my toes. I raced through The Pact and found it gripping and moving with brilliantly crafted characters. I loved it!



Sharon Bolton (previously S. J. Bolton) is the critically acclaimed author of some of the most bone-chilling crime books ever written. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. In 2014 she won the CWA Dagger in the Library for her whole body of work. 

Sharon lives near Oxford with her husband and son.

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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.