Book Title: Everything That Follows
Author: Meg Little Reilly
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction
Published: May 1st 2018 by Mira Books
CAUGHT IN THE BACKWASH, THEY HAVE LOST CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES…
For fans of Megan Abbott and Chris Bohjalian comes a novel of moral complexity about friends who must choose between self-preservation and doing the right thing in the wake of a fatal boating accident. Set in the moody off-season of Martha’s Vineyard, Everything That Follows is a plunge into the dark waters of secrets and flexible morals. The truth becomes whatever we say it is…
Around midnight, three friends take their partying from bar to boat on a misty fall evening. Just as the weather deteriorates, one of them suddenly and confusingly goes overboard. Is it an accident? The result of an unwanted advance? His body disappears quickly, silently, into the dark water. The circumstances are murky, but what is clear is that the other two need to notify the authorities. Minutes become hours become days as they hesitate, caught up in their guilt and hope that their friend has somehow made it safely to shore. As valuable time passes, they find themselves deep in a moral morass with huge implications as they struggle to move forward and live with their dark secret.
After celebrating her biggest sale yet as a glassblower, Kat sets sail with two acquaintances to continue the celebratory night aboard the Martha’s Vineyard waters. As a storm set in, one of the sailors is sent overboard following a tussle. The remaining two make their return to land while struggling with the decision to report what had just occurred out on those dark waters. Ultimately, they decide to keep the secret amongst themselves to avoid any potential speculation that their involvement was more criminal than accidental. The mental strain of such a large secret will alter their lives forever.
EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS was an easy read but it had a hard time completely hooking me in. I also had a difficult time categorizing this as a thriller. I would consider this in the contemporary genre due to this novel lacking true thrills and suspense. Meg Little Reilly has written a character-driven novel. I really enjoyed being in Kat’s head and enjoyed the characterization of her character and that of Hunter’s. Ashley, who is portrayed as a bit of a villain who is slighting unattached from reality, was a character I believe was set out not to be as likable, and for this reader, that was achieved.
Some of the events that occur throughout this novel were a bit implausible making it difficult for me to fully get into the story. Its moderate pace could have picked up a bit if some information, such as the details on glass blowing, were left out. I also found the last quarter of this novel to be a bit deflated, but still oddly satisfying. My largest grumble was that it seemed far too easy for this story to end this way. You’ll get what I’m trying to say here when you reach the back cover. Likewise, I was left wondering what the heck happened to our pal Ashley? How did this character just bow out and ceased her obsession to find the truth behind what happened to Kyle? Ashley wasn’t painted to be the type of person to just “drop it” and move on so this lacked believability for me and seemed like a “cheap way out.”
I believe this would be a great read for book clubs and would also suggest this to readers who enjoy more contemporary dramas over true thrillers. This definitely had a summer feel and would be a fun beach read. This is my first book by Meg Little Reilly and I would be interested in trying a future title of her in the future.
Many thanks to Meg Little Reilly and Mira Books for a free advanced readers copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.