Cover Image: The Pact

The Pact

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Member Reviews

WOW The best book I have read this year, I could not put it down and raced to the end. 
6 Shining stars ready for their results and new lives at university, then a stupid prank goes wrong. 
One of them goes to prison for 20 years taking the blame and the other five continue with their lives, forgetting all about Megan and the promises they made her. But then she is back and things have changed. 
Mind blowing #SharonBolton at her best. 
#NetGalley #ThePact.
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This began as a promising read very engaging full of tension and suspicions with however the ending felt rushed and unbelievable considering the rest of the book this surprised me I felt it was unfinished! 

The characters where portrayed well and what a selfish arrogant bunch they are who needs enemies when you have a circle of friends such as these guys. 

Overall a twisted fast paced tension building read!
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Six friends looking forward to the future. They’re waiting for their A Level results and have their whole lives ahead of them until a daredevil game goes wrong resulting in the death or a woman and her two children. Megan takes the blame leaving the others to get on with their lives but in return asks each of them for a favour. Twenty years later and Megan is released from prison. Is it time for the games to begin again?

This book is written in two parts. Part one was good, part two was fantastic. I was totally drawn into the plot and devoured chapter after chapter with some twists and turns thrown in for good measure.

Thank you to NetGalley, Orion Publishing Group and the author for the chance to review.
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I am not sure why I have never read any of this author’s books and will go back and do so.
The characters were well defined and this was a book I could not put down. The story starts with a group of intelligent young people and one summer’s evening a prank goes wrong. One of the group agrees to take the blame but the others will have to payback when she is released from prison. There are many twists and turns as each of the friends lives are exposed. To say more would spoil the book.
Thanks for all for an ARC.
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Another feat of story telling wizardry from Sharon Bolton. A plot with twists and turns aplenty and characters that jump off the page with realism, you simply can’t go wrong with Sharon Bolton. Just lock the door, snuggle up and get down to reading. The Pact is a highly recommended solid 5 star read.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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My goodness, this book had it all. Great characters, a story that I couldn't second guess, and the pace of the book was great. I think I am a reasonably fast reader, but I couldn't read this book fast enough I just kept thinking one more chapter ,then one more. I loved it. I thought it was a cracking read and  very original a definite 5 stars from me.
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A Pact From The Past...
A pact from the past is about to call in a payback. After all, everything has its’ consequences. With well drawn characters, a solid cast, mounting tension and neatly told across a dual timeline this is a gripping and fast paced from the off, giving the reader a rollercoaster of a read with plenty of twists, turns and surprises along the way.
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An explosive, fast-paced thriller. 
This story charts the youthful pranks of a group of highly intelligent, (mostly) privileged young people in a hazy summer after ‘A’ levels have finished. Filled with parties, drinks and drugs and looking for thrills.
Setting it in the beautiful countryside of Oxfordshire, especially the academia, perfectly reflects the privilege and class of the group. The salvage yard is introduced and described effectively to be both intriguing but also unnervingly eerie, particularly at night. 
Megan, the only ‘outsider’, 
Xav, Talitha, Daniel, Amber & Felix are characterised  perfectly, bringing them to life as selfish youths, exposing their flaws and vulnerabilities brilliantly.
Jumping across two time periods, from their youthful activities to 20 years later, their backstories intertwine effectively with their high-powered careers and lives. This makes facing the consequences of their decisions and promises from 20 years before all the harder. We reflect on their inner turmoil and see how they all struggle with carrying their guilt and dark secrets, whilst also trying to cling to any lifeboat they can. 
The reader is drawn to reflect on how situations can change so rapidly. How decisions shape lives from the close love and friendship of the group in their youth, their carefree existence, to the terrifyingly twisty ride of terror. 
There are moments when, as a reader, I found myself unnerved, reflecting on their stupidity but also trying to imagine myself in their situation - what would I have done? 
Sharon Bolton has written a brilliantly tense, carefully layered thriller which is atmospheric and kept me hooked.
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A story about a group of friends who do a dare one night -  one of the friends takes the blame in exchange for the friends doing her a favour when she gets out of prison. 
A great was a fast paced exciting book - the suspense built up nicely - I loved it.
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I love Bolton’s psychological thrillers and the premise of this one made me desperate to read it. Six young friends, full of talent and promise, engage in  daredevil game one summer. When it goes wrong and results in a woman and children dying, Meagan – then 18 – takes the blame on the condition that each of her friends will owe her a favour on her release from prison. Twenty years later, Meghan is free and the games are about to begin again. This was edge of your seat brilliant. Bolton is a master plotter and manages the trick of keeping me from seeing where things are going – no mean feat since I have the unhappy knack of guessing the ending of a book half a dozen pages in. This book was a deep exploration of the dark creases of the human soul. The five who remained free have everything to lose. Meghan is not who she once was after two decades in prison. How far will her friends go to protect what’s theirs? Sheer brilliance. Highly recommend.
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I have long been a fan of Sharon Bolton and was delighted to receive her latest novel.   Unlike many authors writing psychological thrillers, Bolton is sure enough of her writing to ensure she gives enough time to set the scene and not rush into non-stop action.  As such, the beginning of this book takes time to set up the scenario.   It is the summer, and six friends are spending the time relaxing, hanging out together and awaiting the exam results which should see them all heading out for bright futures, with places at good universities.   Daniel, Tal, Xav, Amber, Felix and Megan are the Senior Prefects at a prestigious school, with scholarship girl, Megan, Head of School.   The others are wealthier than Megan and much of the summer has been spent in Tal’s pool house; while they intend to head off to her family holiday home in Sicily as soon as the results are released.  They never make it….

During that summer, the group will flirt with danger and a series of reckless dares leads to disaster.  A tragic accident, which leaves the group with a terrible fear that their privileged lives will be ruined.  That is, until Megan agrees to take the blame for the consequences of their irresponsible behaviour.   However, this comes with a price and so, although the group get on with their lives, Megan is always at the back of their minds.   When they meet up again, the group have all moved on.   Daniel is the Master of the school they once attended, and a lay monk.   Amber is a Junior Minister, with a husband and two little girls.   Tal, the partner in a law firm, with her husband and stepsons.  Felix, a married, wealthy businessman and Xav an investment banker with a wife and young son.  However, Megan is determined to make the group pay the price for her sacrifice and the question is, what will the group do to maintain their prestigious careers and comfortable lives?

Lots of twists and turns in this one, with an interesting storyline and good characters, which I do not hesitate to recommend.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
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A close group of friends are finishing their exams and are enjoying the fun of nearing the end of A levels. This enjoyment takes a dangerous turn as they begin a stupid game of drinking and driving on the wrong side of a major road. It then becomes a dare and turns into a tragedy.
One of the group takes the blame and spends many years in Jail. However, it's when she comes out of jail and has demands for her sacrifice that the story becomes interesting.

I'm afraid I didn't enjoy this book as much as others I've read and I felt heartbroken for the lives ruined in the first few chapters and then frustrated with all of the characters and so, struggled to finish it. But, finish it I did and despite it not being my favourite of this authors, it's well written and definitely is a gripping tale.

A 3* Good Read.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to preview.
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The Pact by Sharon Bolton had me utterly gripped. She starts the novel with a bang, and the tension and action get going right from the first page. We’re presented with a horrifying scene when a group of students drive the wrong way up a road, and they collide with another vehicle. A woman and her two children are killed in the collision. The group are horrified by what has happened. They are more concerned, though, by what this will mean for their futures and the reputation of their families. They come from wealthy and high profile families. One girl, Megan, a scholarship student, decides to take the blame for the accident and goes to prison. This is on one condition that when she is released, they all have to do her a favour, and it can be anything she chooses. 

Once the group had made this decision, I wanted to know just how much of an impact it would have on the rest of their lives. They came across as really unlikeable, and I couldn’t believe that they would much rather think about themselves rather than the woman and her two children who they had just killed. Even though Megan is willing to go to prison, you can see that she is only doing this for herself. But I wanted to know what favour she would ask of the rest of her friends when she is eventually released. They know they will have to agree to whatever she says as Megan has the cards which will destroy their lives. 

Twenty years on from the crime and the group of friends are all successful and have happy families. But they always have this shadow hanging over their shoulders. I flew through this book as I waited to see what Megan was going to demand of them. The rest of the group are all on tenterhooks as they wait to find out as well. 
Although I didn’t like any member of the group, I thought the favours which Megan asks of them were utterly horrifying. I almost wanted the group not to give in to her demands, and I wanted to see if they would try to do anything to get out of them. You can see them all weighing up the options they had, and it makes for really tense reading as they come to a decision. 

Sharon Bolton explores some very dark areas as she continues to peel back the layers and as we get to know the group of friends more. There are some shocking and disturbing revelations as the book reaches the conclusion, and it made me see the story in a very different light. 

I really enjoyed this book. If you’ve enjoyed Sharon Bolton’s previous books, then you will love this. I highly recommend it for psychological thriller lovers.
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I was completely gripped by The Pact. It’s a fast-paced novel about a group of five teenagers. It’s summer and they are waiting for their A level exam results. It’s the night before the results come out, the night before all their lives were changed for ever. They were all expecting to get the grades they need to go on to university and to have the brilliant careers they envisaged. But that night was the last carefree night for all of them as it ended in disaster.

For Felix, Talitha, Amber, Daniel and Megan the summer had been glorious – they gone to festivals, lazed around Talitha’s parents’ pool, drinking and enjoying life. That night they decided that Daniel should take the rite of passage the other four had already done that summer. And so it was that they were driving at 80 miles an hour in darkness the wrong way down the M40. The others had had heart-stopping near misses, although Megan had proved to be the coolest of them all. Daniel’s drive was the worst. He drove badly and out of the darkness another car appeared headed towards them and they crashed. A mother and her two young daughters were killed.

What happened next took my breath away. – they drove back to Talitha’s house and after a lengthy discussion when they realised the consequences of what they had done Megan announced that she would take the blame, on the condition that they agree that they owe her a ‘favour’, once she has been released from prison. The ‘favour’ is to do whatever she asks them individually and if they renege she will tell the truth about what had happened that night.

Twenty years later she is released from prison and the time for the calling in her favours begins. The other four have all done well for themselves and hope Megan’s experiences in prison have blotted out her memory about the ‘favours’ they owe her. But Megan is out for revenge and has no mercy for the ‘friends’ who had left her to rot in prison and is determined that they should pay. And so their nightmares begin.

This is a book full of suspense and tension, that just kept building as I read on. It is compelling reading but I didn’t like any of the characters, and I don’t think you are meant to. At times I did feel sorry for Megan – up to a certain point. All the way through I couldn’t understand why Megan had taken the blame. She was from a different background than the others. Their families were privileged, rich and successful, whereas she was from a poor single-parent family. She was a scholarship girl at their private school. She saw it as a token appointment from a posh school declaring its progressive credentials. The others saw her as not really one of them, but she was the head girl and the cleverest of them all. I didn’t think it could be for the power she held over them, surely that wouldn’t compensate for spending time in prison?

It is not my favourite of Sharon Bolton’s books. The ending felt rushed and surprised me and I think it wasn’t really believable, but then I found the plot as a whole difficult to accept. Even so, I just couldn’t stop reading it and managed to suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy it.
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The Pact by Sharon Bolton is a very intriguing storyline about six 18 year old students, who after taking their A levels and waiting for the results spend the time doing silly driving dares. Daniel is the last one to do his turn and when he does the result is catastrophic and results in the death of a mother and her two children.
 Megan who is the only sober one in the group agrees to take the blame for the crash and then ends up spending 20 years in prison. There are many twists and turns to the story which leaves only three of the six people alive at the end.
A fascinating and engrossing read. Highly recommended.
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I've read a few of Sharon Bolton's books and this one does not disappoint .
Megan has a group of friends who like to enjoy their time before going off to university having fun and drinking. They also  challenge each other to drive to places they should not be going.  When something happens , one of them has to take the wrap , with the promise of a favour when such time comes. Twenty years go by and the favour is a big one !
This title is quite different from her others and I really enjoyed it. The plot is clever and full of suspense .
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Oh wow.! I’ve just finished The Pact, and it’s the first book I’ve read in ages that I’ve been reaching for at every opportunity. This book will grab you from the first sentence and not let go till the end. 

A typical sounding dilemma based thriller, set around a group of privileged teenagers who make a spectacularly bad and stupid decision to drive their car the wrong way down a motorway.  Forced to live with the consequences, one takes the wrap for the others, but with a caveat that they each repay the debt one day in the future in some way. 

The writing is well paced, and terrifyingly full of suspense. Some may spot the outcome. I didn’t, but I like to go along for the ride with a book instead of over-analysing things. But I don’t think the circumstances are easily guessable. 

A recommended read definitely, and I will watch our for more by this author in the future. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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What a brilliant read, a story  about consequences played out with more than ample tension.

Back on the eve of the day six friends are to receive their expected A level results, they embark on a dare that has fatal consequences. In the aftermath one girl, Megan steps forward to take the blame, the others now owe her.

The majority of the action takes place in the second half of the book, some twenty years later. We meet up with Amber, a Member of Parliament, Talitha a respected attorney, Xav an investment manager, Felix a business owner and Daniel a Master  at the school in Oxford where they had first met as children.

The tension within the book is palpable, the characters exquisitely drawn and the plot line ingenious. Definitely one of my favourite reads of the year so far.
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3.75* which I’ve rounded up. 
I am a fan of Sharon Bolton’s books, so was keen to read this. 
A stand alone thriller. 
It begins on the Eve before A level results are due.  A drunken daredevil game between 6 friends ends in tragic consequences, a woman and her 2 children are killed. Meghan takes the blame, leaving the others to get on with their promising lives. The other five promising to pay a ‘favour’ on her release from prison, 
I question why Meghan was so ready to take full responsibility so quickly when she wasn’t driving. 
That set alarm bells going for me pointing to either plot weakness or Meghan being highly manipulative. 
My first thought on the others letting Meghan take the blame and their attitudes was what a bunch of self entitled twats. 
The story jumps to 20 years later. Meghan reappears in their lives, but seems to enjoy playing mind games with them while deciding to tell them what the favours are that she is calling in. 
Meghan has faired badly in prison, her health is not good. The others outwardly seem to have been successful, but they all have issues. 
They are all in a state of panic, just what will they be prepared to do to keep Meghan quiet. 
Amber seems the nicest of the characters, I can’t say that any of the others are likeable. 20 years on, they are still a bunch of self entitled twats. 
The pace and interest level start off good,but slows after the initial revelation. It picks up pace and tension in part 2 with the reappearance of Meghan. The tension starts to take on darker tones too. 
It’s a cleverly constructed plot. 
The favours Meghan announced are     like WTF! And what are they going to do??? At 65% the tension has just
gone stratospheric! and the atmosphere very dark and threatening. 
Ok, so I got over excited too soon, because the ending was disappointing for me. 
So overall I found it a decent read, but not a great one.
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I never repeat the blurb. Another unique, original and gripping tale from Sharon Bolton. You think you know what's going on and then boom! A twist! Good stuff.
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