Book Review: The Island

Author: Adrian McKinty

Published: 2022

Rating: 4/5

A dream trip to Australia quickly turns into a nightmare for the unsuspecting Baxter family. Dr. Tom Baxter has brought his children, and their new young stepmother, Heather, along with him to an orthopedic conference where he is one of the keynote speakers. After arriving in the country, they have the chance to do some sightseeing.

The trip is a bust, however. No kangaroos, or koalas, and the kids are becoming upset. The family stops at a roadside food stand and are about to give up for the day, when a truck pulls up and some locals offer to show them an island teeming with wildlife…for a price. Dr. Baxter reluctantly agrees after being pressured by his family, and everyone boards a ferry to the island. There’s just one rule: don’t go near the homestead on the island.

The idyllic trip to the near-deserted paradise takes a horrible turn when the Dr. Baxter hits a deaf girl on her bicycle. The doctor and his wife are unable to save the girl despite their best efforts and attempt to cover up the crime and flee the island before anyone notices. They are unsuccessful.

The island is inhabited by an insular clan that shirks mainland society, especially law enforcement. Suddenly, the Baxter family find themselves in the clan’s perverted system of vigilante justice that takes a deadly turn. 

Believing Dr. Baxter to be dead, Heather takes matters into her own hand and escapes the homestead compound with the children in tow. What happens next is a thriller survival story with so many edge-of-your-seat thrills and twists-and-turns the book becomes impossible to put down. 

Although the ending left the reader a bit wanting and seemed rushed, especially compared with McKinty’s previous work The Chain, this thriller is otherwise worth the time and is a worthy addition to your to-be-read pile. 

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