Read of the Week

Saint X

Alexis Schaitkin

Pan Macmillan

Review: Karen Watkins

In this book, a family holiday turns into a nightmare when a family member goes missing.

Alexis Schaitkin paints a picture perfect poster of a resort on the Caribbean island Saint X where Indigo Bay is fringed by long sandy beaches.

But not all is as it appears. There’s a seedy side of life elsewhere on the island as the eldest of two sisters, 18-year-old Alison, disappears.

A search party eventually uncovers her body in a remote spot on a nearby cay (island). Two local men, employees at the resort, are arrested. The evidence is slim.

The fat guy Clive, renamed Gogo by the skinny one, Edwin, are soon released.

This leaves the mystery unsolved.

And while Alison’s parents mourn the loss of their daughter, they appear to be unaware of the impact her disappearance has on seven-year-old sister Claire.

The years pass as she reinvents herself as Emily. Living and working a new life in New York, she meets up with Clive and works herself into his life.

Schaitkin’s debut novel Saint X is a haunting portrayal of grief, obsession and the bond between two sisters.

It left me with very mixed feelings as the story evolved very slowly.

However, it’s a worthwhile read as the story builds to a shocking but confusing climax.