It is an original smoothie of genres, best described as a revenge thriller set in a post-apocalyptic Britain.
The country has flooded and the survivors are separated into small isolated communities. One such community led by the villainous Robert Cope kidnaps four women from a neighbouring community led by siblings Jess and Ben. What follows is a story of escape, rescue and survival.
McCollins has crafted an addictive page-turner through her use of short, punchy chaptettes, which flit between either side of the rescue mission. Her range is shown through multiple narrative perspectives, including village leader Jess, imprisoned Ruth, reluctant villain Martin, and left-behind Ben.
All the while, the intrigue is maintained by a gripping central mystery: what is driving Robert Cope’s vendetta against Ben?
McCollins’ has a natural flair for writing action scenes, with an early rescue mission on choppy waves and a later escape attempt, particularly worthy of mention (and open mike performances).
I also get the impression that McCollins has built her world far beyond the borders of the two communities glimpsed in this novel, in which case I am keen to see sequels, threequels and spin-offs.
If you enjoy fast-paced thrillers then Exile is extremely worth your while.
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