Review: The Drift by C.J. Tudor

 

Title: The Drift

Author: C.J. Tudor

Published: 19th January 2023, Michael Joseph

Status: Read January 2023 courtesy PenguinUK/Netgalley

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My Thoughts:

 

I read The Drift by C.J. Tudor on a 30 degree day – that’s 30° Celsius, so around 86F, but I was quickly chilled to the core.

“At the start, there is simply relief at being alive.”

Hannah slowly regains consciousness to discover the bus she was travelling in, carrying a dozen or so students from Invicta Academy heading to The Retreat, has careered off the road and rolled part way down a mountainside in the middle of a blizzard. Hannah is trapped in the mangled bus with a handful of survivors, the bus driver is missing, and one of the dead shows signs of a deadly infection.

“As ever in this life, if you wanted to be saved, you had to do it yourself.”

The last thing Meg, an ex police officer and recovering drug addict, remembers is having breakfast in her hotel room, so she’s disoriented when she wakes in a stalled cable car as a snow storm rages outside. She’s not alone, there are four others stirring, all volunteers headed for The Retreat, and the body of a man she once knew.

“You’re either a good guy or you’re a survivor, someone had once told him. The earth is full of dead good guys.”

It’s Carter’s turn to ski down the mountain to stock up on provisions for the residents of The Retreat, a chore he hates given the threat of what lurks in the woods outside of the electric wire fence. On his return he finds the chalet is dark, Julia is dead and Nate is badly injured, but worse, the basement locks have been released.

In a post apocalyptic setting amid falling snow, three storylines eventually converge in an unexpected way in The Drift, telling a story of loss and hope, betrayal and compassion, death and survival.

Suspense wars with horror as each claustrophobic situation poses obvious and hidden dangers to the characters. The dynamics of each group are tense, confused and fascinating. Everyone is suspect, and has an agenda of some kind, assumptions are a mistake. The body count is high.

The complexity of the overarching plot is impressive. Each story thread exposes a new piece of information that often answers the questions others raise, and adds to our understanding of their world, one ravaged by a deadly uncontrollable virus, killing millions. One mystery will appear to resolve, only for another to be triggered. There is a cascade of surprises and shocks with the pacing well balanced between all three storylines.

With a compelling blend of horror and mystery, The Drift is an atmospheric, frightening, and clever novel.

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12 thoughts on “Review: The Drift by C.J. Tudor

  1. I finished reading this one a few days ago. I do like the way she can tell a story. It was impressive the way she wove all the various threads together, and I found the story even more chilling due to the pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

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