2022 Reviews · contemporary fiction · crime · new release

New Release Book Review: The Reunion by Polly Phillips

Title: The Reunion

Author: Polly Phillips

Published: June 1st 2022

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 352

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Crime

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

A chance to reconnect.
A chance to get revenge . . .

Emily Toller has tried to forget her time at university and the events that led to her suddenly leaving under a cloud. She has done everything she can to forget the shame and the trauma – and the people involved. She has tried to focus on the life she has built with her children and husband, Nick.

But events like that can’t just be forgotten. Not without someone answering for what they’ve done. 

When an invitation arrives to a University reunion, everything clicks into place. Emily has a plan.

Because if you can’t forget – why not get revenge?

Review:

The perfect revenge thriller filled with potent themes of power, authority, higher education, access, privilege and class, The Reunion is the latest novel from Polly Phillips. After the success of last year’s My Best Friend’s Murder, Phillips serves up another devious frenemy drama set around one of the world’s most well-known education institutions, Cambridge University. With intrigue and suspicion around very corner, The Reunion proved to be one highly unpredictable read!

The Reunion follows Emily Toller, a woman who continues to be haunted by her university years at the highly regarded Cambridge institution. Emily left Cambridge under a set of mysterious circumstances. Since her departure from Cambridge Emily has kept her head down, refusing to bow down to the immense trauma and embarrassment of her Cambridge experience. With her life now focussed on the happiness of her family, Emily would much rather put her Cambridge days behind her. But an invitation to attend a reunion at Cambridge sets the wheels in motion. Emily now has the chance to the right the wrongs of the past and enact a plan of revenge against those who took her down. It’s time for Emily to fight back and finally reclaim her life.

In January 2021 we were introduced to Polly Phillips, a debut author who had made the transition to a novelist following her background in journalism. It is great to see Polly Phillips back for an encore piece, The Reunion is a clever and consummate domestic mystery tale. The focus on higher education facilities such as the world renowned Cambridge University which serves as this book’s setting base really worked to pull me into the narrative.

After recently enjoying Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan, another university themed revenge thriller, I was keen to see how this higher education scandal style novel would play out. My initial interest level was maintained for the duration of this novel’s journey and I have to confess that I really sunk my teeth into The Reunion. With a fascinating backdrop that critically interrogates issues such as trauma, fear, expectation, scandal, rumour, privilege, determination, revenge, vengeance, fixation, obsession and friendship, The Reunion offers a good dose of intrigue. With many plot twists, rotations, spins and curls, it is hard to settle into this book’s narrative before things are completely flipped. I do like to be challenged when I read domestic thrillers, which is exactly what The Reunion offered.

Emily Toller is a great lead protagonist. Emily could easily be someone you know thanks to her grounded sense of self. Via the dual timeline narrative utilised by the author, we learn about Emily’s life in the present time and then we backtrack to her Cambridge experience. The short and succinct chapter format utilised by Phillips ensures that the pages of The Reunion take on a life on their own. I know I personally seemed to rip through this one in very little time at all. I loved being immersed back in university life thanks to the past storyline. The present storyline heightened my suspicions as I was very keen to find out what happened to Emily in the past and how her revenge plan would play out. Phillips attacks this aspect of the novel well, presenting her awaiting audience with a very satisfying read.

Polly Phillips is really making a name for herself in the domestic thriller category of fiction thanks to The Reunion and My Best Friend’s Murder. It is great to see this Australian author produce another consuming friendship revenge tale!

The Reunion by Polly Phillips was published on 1st June 2022 by Simon & Schuster. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Reunion, Polly Phillipshere.

*I wish to thank DMCPR Media/Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s