Cover Image: A Window Breaks

A Window Breaks

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Member Reviews

This was a pretty intense thriller about a family stuck in a lodge when intruders break in and  try to kill them. It's a fast paced action book which ultimately fell a little flat at the end. The reveal just wasn't quite what I was hoping for. I would recommend this book for people who haven't read many thrillers before. Worth a read though!
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I honestly do not know how I feel after reading this book. For me it seemed to drag on and it had so many things happening but the story just kept going round in circles.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for a free galley in exchange for my honest review.  My review of this book is going to fall in-line with many of my fellow Goodreads reviewers. The author instantly captured my attention with some great narrative hooks - how did Tom's son die? why was the son responsible for his girlfriend's death? why was the his daughter Holly attacked?  why is his marriage strained? what is Rachel, his wife, hiding?  why are they going to hide out for a while in a remote yet highly-secured Scottish lodge? who are these men who have managed their way around all the high-tech security in the middle of the night with all the essentials to murder Tom and his family?  So many questions in the first part of the story that really sucked me in and kept me turning the pages. Unfortunately I felt that the second half of the book was a bit drawn out and exhaustive. I wish the author would have edited this down to the 300-350 range in order to keep the initial momentum through to the very end.  Ultimately, I still enjoyed the book and thought it was a clever plot in a unique setting.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for a free galley in exchange for my honest review.  My review of this book is going to fall in-line with many of my fellow Goodreads reviewers. The author instantly captured my attention with some great narrative hooks - how did Tom's son die? why was the son responsible for his girlfriend's death? why was the his daughter Holly attacked?  why is his marriage strained? what is Rachel, his wife, hiding?  why are they going to hide out for a while in a remote yet highly-secured Scottish lodge? who are these men who have managed their way around all the high-tech security in the middle of the night with all the essentials to murder Tom and his family?  So many questions in the first part of the story that really sucked me in and kept me turning the pages. Unfortunately I felt that the second half of the book was a bit drawn out and exhaustive. I wish the author would have edited this down to the 300-350 range in order to keep the initial momentum through to the very end.  Ultimately, I still enjoyed the book and thought it was a clever plot in a unique setting.
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I have to say I really enjoyed this book! The suspense throughout was brilliant and I found myself holding my breath on several occasions.
 Tom, his wife Rachel and their daughter Holly head to remote Scottish lodge for some time together. They have suffered the death of their son and brother Michael, which they’ve struggled with. Holly was mugged and injured, so they have decided to take some time out - the lodge belongs to Tom’s boss Lionel. 
It’s all state of the art with high security - Lionel suffered the loss of his wife following a burglary gone wrong at their home, so he’s taking no chances.
Tom wakes in the night to a noise, he sees two men in the house dressed in coveralls and masks, they’ve clearly come intent on killing the family, but why?
Then follows the family trying their best to escape from the two men to get help.
The action was fast paced and the twist at the end was a real surprise. Will definitely look out for more from this author.
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The second half of this book in particular is something else! Don’t read if you are prone to nightmares and a nervous disposition! Honestly, this freaked me out! A brilliant thriller that will keep you gripped!
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This book was so tense throughout! The story flowed nicely and the characters were likable for the most part, Tom was doing everything he could to save his family. I was intrigued about who the men were and why they were hunting down this seemingly innocent family. However, the story did start to get a bit unbelievable as all the secrets were revealed one by one. In parts you start to think you know what's going on and then another twist will completely change everything you thought you knew and send you back to square one. A very good thriller with so many twists and turns is keeps you on the edge of your set right until the end!
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An excellent book, I could not put this one down. It manages to provide a fresh take on the home invasion storyline and I would recommend this to any thriller fans.
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Gripping read. Struggled to get into it at first but it seemed to ramp up about a quarter of the way in. Glad I persevered
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A Window Breaks is a fast-paced thriller, packed full of tension. The story starts a little slower but soon the action ramps up, and once it does it doesn’t let up!

We follow Tom and his family (wife Rachel and daughter Holly) as they go on a short break away together to a friend’s forest lodge, having had a very tough year – and see things go bad very quickly. They have masked men after them but they don’t know why – but we slowly start to learn more about their pasts and what may have caused these men to come after them. There are various elements which start to become entwined and I really enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on (I didn’t guess correctly, but it was fun all the same).

For the most part the writing kept my attention despite it being basically all action for the last 3/4 of the book (which often would have me struggling to stay focused). I do think the scenes where they were being chased around the lodge could have been a bit shorter – I started to lose interest a bit as it felt like too many hiccups, one after the other, but it wasn’t a huge problem. We learn more about their late son Michael and his girlfriend through short sections which take us back in time to before his death, and through these we learn more about what really happened to them. Apart from this, however, I felt like we didn’t learn a huge deal about the rest of the characters; this book definitely focuses on action rather than character development – and that’s fine; I feel that it works well in this style of novel. I also don’t think the conclusion was too far-fetched – you might have to suspend your disbelief but not to the point that it impacts enjoyment of the story (or not for me, anyway).

Because it’s such an easy read, I raced through it in no time and so I’d recommend A Window Breaks to anyone looking for a fast-paced, thrilling read which has action as its focus. It’s a fun, absorbing read.
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I was very much looking forward to this one but unfortunately it wasn’t for me....I found parts very repetitive and there was so much narrative that it took away from the story....I wouldn’t recommend.
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I enjoyed reading A Window Breaks.  A fast paced thriller with a family's emotional turmoil at the centre.  The suspense really builds up and the ending took me by surprise.
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A family disrupted by the death of their son in a stolen car, parents separated, daughter traumatised, go away to a remote Scottish retreat owned by the husband’s boss in the hope of reconciliation.  The story is mostly told by the husband in real time with flashbacks to the events leading up to the son’s death.  The latter serve their purpose well enough, in that they remove the need for a long exposition later in the book, but they do interrupt the tension of the main narrative.  And there is a lot of tension as the story segues from a domestic drama into a remorseless ‘hunters versus hunted’ tale.  There is a school of story plotting that says (I’ve cleaned up the language) ‘put your protagonist in a sticky situation and keeping pouring in more mud’.  This story certainly uses that device, in spades.  In fact, it’s hard to see how the unfit, deskbound narrator could have enough stamina to get through half of what he experiences.   The underlying rationale is ultimately sound but requires a high level of belief suspension.
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Tom and his wife Rachel are grieving for their son Michael who died in a car crash. They decide with their teenage daughter Holly to go to their friends house in the Scottish highlands.
During their first night there they hear breaking glass. This becomes a nightmare with them trying to outsmart the masked men who have broken in.
Thanks NetGalley
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Tom's son Michael is killed in a car accident. Then his family is mugged and his daughter Holly is injured in the attack. His marriage to his wife Rachel is falling apart. So his rich boss Lionel suggests the family should get away from it all, give Tom a chance to get his wife and daughter back. And he has the perfect place - his secluded luxury lodge.

Tom agrees, and the lodge is perfect. Everything is going well. Until things go horribly wrong, more wrong than Tom could ever have imagined.

This is a fantastic book. Parts of it are bleak, the family is gutted and broken following Michael's death. And they are desperate to cling onto each other, but also pushing each other away. The conflict, hurt and confusion between the characters comes across so well. The main character is Tom, and you do really get behind him because he is just an ordinary man who has gone through great tragedy and heartbreak, and he still is going through a lot but trying his best, as any of us would.

But mainly, this book is just incredibly thrilling! I was honestly so tense throughout most of this, and I had late nights staying up reading it because there just isn't a good place to put it down. It's fast paced, and completely packed full of twists and jaw-dropping moments.

This is the full package; it has the family aspect, it's a thriller, it's a mystery, it's a drama. If you like to read on the edge of your seat with your hand over your mouth, you will love this.
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Tom and Rachel have two children but tragedy strikes when 16 year old Michael takes his dads car to collect his girlfriend Fiona but ends up crashing and killing both of them.  The family start to fall apart in their grief but Rachel finds comfort in a group called Justice For All (JFA) which happens to be run by Tom's boss, Lionel.  After attending an event for JFA in which Rachel was invited to give a speech, the family are hit again when they are mugged as they left and daughter Holly is beaten.
Lionel offers them a break away in his remote lodge to try to recover from their ordeal and work on repairing the split in the marriage and family.  The lodge has the highest level of security and surrounded by a tall fence that nobody can climb over.  All seems fine until intruders break into the lodge and are determined on killing the family.... but the question is why?
As the twists and turns unfold, you realise there is more to Michaels death than they were led to believe but just how much does Rachel and Lionel know about what is happening.

The story is a little slow (and repetitive) to start whilst explaining the emotions of Tom as he moves out of the family home and his upset at not being able to stop the muggers beating Hollie.    The pace picks up when they arrive at the lodge and although Tom's feelings of guilt is still very repetitive, and it keeps you gripped as they try to escape.   A great read
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Tom, Rachel and Holly are on holiday to a remote lodge in the middle of nowhere, hoping to rekindle their lives as a family unit and help them forget the past. But when a window breaks in the middle of the night they find themselves under threat.

A Window Breaks was a bit of a divided book for me. The first section I thought dragged a bit; it gave important exposition, but I just found it a very slow-going read that made me question all of the previous reviews of it being a non-stop rollercoaster. Once the window broke, it then becomes a very fast paced, scary and exhilarating read which I enjoyed up until a point. Then at around 60% (where they go to the cellar) the action started to become a bit repetitive and then the reveal happened which just felt too over the top and contrived. I had many guesses as to where the story was going and although it was certainly a twist as to what happened, it didn’t really feel very realistic.

Part of the problem with the book was that I didn’t really find myself particularly empathising with any of the characters – Tom is a bit of a wimp, mother Rachel seemed to be too obviously hiding something and daughter Holly didn’t seem to have much of a personality. I found myself mainly routing for Buster the dog! There is also a skip in timeline occasionally to son Michael’s car accident which is confusingly told in reverse. Although I can see why this may have felt like a clever narrative technique to the author, to a reader it is just confusing and ultimately doesn’t really work – I found myself wanting to skip over those sections. It didn’t help that in the Kindle ARC I was reading there is nothing to denote this change in timeline happening which made for a jolting read as you were suddenly thrown to another time and place with no warning. Hopefully this has been amended with a ‘Now’ and ‘Then’ heading or a format change or similar in the finished edition.

Overall A Window Breaks contains a roller-coaster few chapters but with a slow start and unrealistic conclusion, I wasn’t sold on the overall package. Thank you to NetGalley & Pan Macmillan for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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One of the most fast paced books I’ve read recently - this is definitely a page turner!

Imagine you and your family staying away from home at a lodge in the middle of nowhere when you are woken by breaking glass! This is how the thriller begins and from then this book does not take a moment to breath. 

Full of tension and suspense, this book has so many twists and turns that you have to focus to keep up! At times a little unbelievable (thus my 4 star rating) but overall one of the most terrifying reads I’ve read recently - reading this in the dark at night was nail biting! 

C.M. Ewan really delivers with this book! I wanted to keep reading and find out what was going to happen, even if I did find myself holding my breath at times. Will definitely look out for more by this author!
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Life was not going well for Tom. After a tragic loss and a violent mugging, his little family head off for a break to try to turn things around and reconnect with each other. And then he hears a window break in the middle of the night, and things get far, far worse.

This story is action-packed from beginning to end. We start immediately with a car crash and a mugging, and then things really get going. Tom appears to be just an average, everyman; a family guy struggling to deal with his family. However, he has no choice but to turn Jack Bauer on us, proving the unexpected lengths we are capable of going to when something threatens those we love.

I could see this making a great film, as it has all the right ingredients: action, suspense, secrets and a touch of romance. There is also more than one mystery: what really happened to Michael? Is Rachel seeing someone else? Who is Brodie – friend or foe? You need to set aside a good chunk of time for this one, because there is no good place to stop, no lull, so you will end up sitting up all night just to find out whether the family make it through.

My only criticisms here were that the cat-and-mouse game goes on for far too long. I started out racked with nerves, but the tension slowly abated as the chase dragged on and became a bit repetitive. Also, after such a great build-up, with the flashbacks slowly tying all the hints together, I was a little disappointed that the final reveal was pretty unbelievable. It felt a bit flat after all of the excellent domestic drama that had gone before.

These points were only minor though and didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story as a whole, so I would recommend this for fans of suspense thrillers with a family focus.





‘Tom?’
Rachel shook my shoulder.
‘Tom, wake up.’ She whispered, close to my ear: ‘I think I heard something.’
I groaned and mashed my face into my pillow. ‘Tom, it sounded like a window breaking. I think there’s someone downstairs.’

– C. M. Ewan, A Window Breaks

Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
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Thank You NetGalley, C. M. Ewan and Pan Macmillan for giving me the chance to read this book.

Oh my god, when I started this I really needed to find out what Rachels secret was. I am so glad that I had the time to finish this book!! I was not expecting that at all. There are twists and turns all over the place and it hit me on an emotional level, I don't cry when I read books but I found myself reaching for the tissues so many times. I felt like I was an actual member of the family and really going through this with them!

This is very well written, easy to follow and very gripping. 

I would recommend this book
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