I picked up The Pact by Sharon Bolton after sourcing my physical TBR for a companion audiobook that wouldn’t cost me half a lung. At £2.99 (about $3.60) for The Pact, I thought I’d pick it up. I’d had a couple of recommendations to read it by some friends too so that added to my reasoning for it. The premise sounded like it had potential too but did it live up the hype?
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The Pact by Sharon Bolton tells the story of a group of young adults who are just about to pass their exams when one night they decide to take part in a dare that sees them commit a crime. They all agree for only one of them to take the fall for this crime and then that person is allowed to ask them all for one favour many years later. But when they return, all of their lives are turned upside down.
The Pact plot – 4/5
I’ve covered the majority of the plot of The Pact above (without spoiling more of it anyway) and this is what the majority of the book is based upon. All of those involved in the incident and grow up to have their own lives, even losing contact with each other to a point where when this person returns, it causes them all to start speaking again for the first time in years.
There were moments of The Pact where it was quite tense and it doesn’t actually finish on the route that it’s trying to lead you down for the majority of the story – there’s a twist at the end. How good the twist is is questionable.
The Pact is one of those stories where you keep reading and you keep reading and you keep reading and then you get to the end and think: “oh, is that it?” It’s not a bad story or a particularly dull plot – but if you’re someone who’s read some great twists, weaving plots and heart-racing action scenes, this book likely won’t do much for you.
The Pact characters – 3.5/5
The Pact has a host of different characters – all of those involved in the original “pact” both younger as children and then 20 years older as adults in their mid-thirties. There are also some additional police, family members etc.
There was only one character I can vividly remember as I sit and write this review a couple of weeks later and that’s the main antagonist who returns after committing the crime to seek vengeance on all of her friends. She’s a dark character, she’s mysterious and you spend the majority of the second half of the book trying to work out if she really is evil and what everybody is saying is true or whether she’s just being misunderstood.
Other than her, no one else really stood out for me. You had the jock who told everybody what to do, you had the quiet innocent girl, you had the dweeby chap etc. But then I guess every high school group in every book tends to have these sorts of characters.
The Pact – 3.75/5
The Pact was a fairly average thriller. It’s got a great premise and I quite like the idea of it, but I feel like the author did no better with the “return of the villain” than I would have done myself. There was nothing cleverly done here and it was all fairly predictable up until the twist at the end which I almost felt coming because I thought ‘there must be something that’s going to switch up the pace a bit’. If you like your easy-read thrillers, The Pact may do something for you. But if you’ve just come off the back of a fantastic read or a brilliant thriller, you’ll likely come away underwhelmed here.
If you liked my review of The Pact, you may enjoy my review of these other books: