Thursday 30 April 2015


Book review: Day Four by Sarah Lotz

My edition: Paperback (proof), to be published on 21 May 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton, 340 pages.

Description: Four days into a five day singles cruise on the Gulf of Mexico, the ageing ship Beautiful Dreamer stops dead in the water.

With no electricity and no cellular signals, the passengers and crew have no way to call for help. But everyone is certain that rescue teams will come looking for them soon. All they have to do is wait.

That is, until the toilets stop working and the food begins to run out. When the body of a woman is discovered in her cabin the passengers start to panic.

There's a murderer on board the Beautiful Dreamer... and maybe something worse.


I'm not normally one for even remotely creepy reads; I don't go near a Stephen King, I read the Fear Street novels as a teenager only to have to sleep with the lights on after, and I even steer away from crime as the descriptions within are simply too gruesome. So, why was I instantly attracted to the epitome of chilly novels; Day Four? I think it was the combination of the highly intriguing blurb, stunningly simplistic cover and the wealth of amazing reviews for Sarah Lotz's first novel, The Three, that preceded the release of this one that made me eager to read her new book.

The Beautiful Dreamer is a cruise ship filled with an eclectic mix of passengers, from a group of young, single women planning to party every day and every night to the hardcore fans of a psychic medium Celine – and everyone in between. And I haven't even mentioned the diverse crew members yet that come from all corners of the world. Having such a mixture of people assembled in a contained space can be the basis for a fascinating read in its own right but add a touch of mystery, as the ship without explanation comes to a halt in the middle of the ocean on the fourth day into the trip, and a possible murderer on the loose and you've got all the ingredients for an exciting and compelling novel that you have to read cover-to-cover in one sitting.   

From the opening chapters the tension was palpable as the intrigue rippled across the decks on the ship, affecting one character after another, until all their individual stories became interlinked in an air of mystery. Having many different characters central within a single book was somewhat confusing initially, especially as the narration shifted continuously between them, but the closer their stories drew together the more intricate the plot developed and their individual stories made sense in the bigger picture.

And the cast of characters was certainly a fascinating one in its own right, including two women who met over a mutually wish to take their own life, a man who gets up to some seedy business on his cruise holidays and a medium who becomes better at her job than even those closest to her could've possibly imagined.

Not to mention that about two-thirds into the novel it explodes into a completely different and exciting direction. Even days after finishing Day Four, with plenty of time to mull over the unexpectedness of those final chapters, I still haven't a clue what happened there and what the change in story means in Sarah Lotz's larger world, which also includes links to the The Three (which I have yet to read, as each of the novels can be read as a standalone). It was mind-blowing, really. 

Day Four was an utterly creepy, twisted and completely unexpected read and I need more right now!

You can purchase the novel from Waterstones, or your own preferred retailer.

Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:


Twitter: @SarahLotz1

Many thanks to Lovereading for copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11/5/15 01:54

    I just love when we read out of our genre comfort zone and end up finding a winner. This sounds like a great read! Thanks for your review.


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