A wrenching tale of a women grappling with her sister’s death and confronting her sister’s potential killer.
Alison Thomas, a college coed disappears on the last night of a family vacation at a resort on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men–employees at the resort–are arrested. But the evidence is slim and the men are soon released.
Claire, was only seven years old when her sister, Alison disappeared, Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death. As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.
SAINT X is a tension-filled part crime thriller, part coming of age story. I loved the initial island setting and the beautiful descriptions The story starts off at a nice pace but seems to slow down once the story jumps to Claire in NYC as an adult.
I really struggled with Claire’s character. When I picked up the book I, as usual, was really hoping for a strong woman character who would be assertive and confront the opportunity with Clive head-on. Instead, Claire spends months obsessively stalking Clive and listening to her sister’s diary. Claire obsession is initially intriguing but soon becomes irritating as it drags out and affects other areas of her life.
The author switches perspective of the story between Claire and Clive. Clive’s perspective, while rounding out the story also adds much more current day personal information that, for me, takes away from Claire’s story.
I listened to the audible version of Saint X, which was performed with a huge cast of narrators, who did a very nice job with the voices. SAINT X is Alex Schaiktin’s debut novel. She received her MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia and lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She has published numerous short stories and essays in various journals.
Publisher Celadon Books
Published February 18, 2020
Narrated Alex Hyde-White, Bailey Carr, Dana Dae and others