Review: The Six by Luca Veste

Saturday 11 January 2020
Title: The Six
Author: Luca Veste
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 26th December 2019
Pages: 432
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Six friends trapped by one dark secret.

It was supposed to be our last weekend away as friends, before marriage and respectability beckoned. But what happened that Saturday changed everything.

In the middle of the night, someone died. The six of us promised each other we would not tell anyone about the body we buried. But now the pact has been broken. And the killing has started again …

Who knows what we did? And what price will we pay?

It feels like forever not only since I wrote a review on this blog, but since we had a new book from one of my favourite authors, Luca Veste. As much I miss his Murphy and Rossi crime series, I am enjoying seeing Luca evolve as an author and keep on trying new things as opposed to sticking to a tried and tested formula.

It’s hard to know where to start with The Six, in fear of not wanting to give too much away. What I can say is it is a haunting novel with a story I won’t be forgetting for a while yet. I loved all of the 90s references in the beginning as we are introduced to our six characters on their way to a music festival, and seeing them reminisce on the way. There was some sense of being able to relate to some of them, the main characters are a few years older than me but I am only a few months away from the dreaded 30, so I am very much a 90s baby. I loved all of the pop culture references. Luca does a brilliant job of giving each character a personality and making each one shine through, despite the fact that we follow the story from the point of view of just one character, Matt. Something then happens at the festival that changes the lives of all six characters forever.

The story picks up a year later as we see a very different Matt, and I have to say Luca has done a fantastic job with this character in making his thoughts and change in character so real and so haunting. His thoughts and feelings are so palpable, his fear so believable and the whole story is endlessly gripping because of seeing everything from his point of view. Despite chapters showing our characters at various points in their friendships together giving away some clues as to what exactly might have happened, The Six for the most part contains a truly gripping mystery where you really have no idea just who you can trust or where the story is eventually going to go. The story had me thinking about my own friendships, and imagining what I would do in the scenarios that these characters find themselves in. I wouldn’t say that I liked Matt for the majority of the story, or indeed any of the characters, but it’s interesting how you can look at a character differently once you’ve finished the story.

A real highlight of The Six is the atmospheric quality to it. Rather than simply feeling as if I was reading a book, I instead felt like I was trapped in one of those dreams where you watch something from afar but are unable to have an effect on it or prevent what you are watching from happening. Whether it’s a simple scene such as Matt meeting a character at an almost deserted motorway service station, the six friends returning to the woods to find a dead body has vanished or the emotionally charged scene of meeting a missing person’s father, every scene is brought to life so vividly that you can’t help but feel like a bystander, I lived each and every scene as I read.

The tension never stops building throughout the story until it results in an astonishingly brilliant finale, sometimes you just finish a book and look around in wonderment as you return to the real world, The Six is one of those books. All of the horror-esque moments aside, the denouement of this story was just incredible. So brilliant in fact that it almost felt real and completely believable. This could all too easily be a story on the front page of every newspaper, and it could also be the next big drama that has the whole nation talking about it. But for now it’s one of the best crime novels published in the last 6 months and I implore everybody to pick it up and read it. The sign of a good book is one that you can’t stop thinking about when you aren’t reading it, and one you can’t stop thinking about when you’ve finished reading it. The Six is one of those books. Luca Veste is a real talent and this might be his best book yet. No, this is his best book yet.

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