Survive by Tom Bale



Paradise is about to become hell …

On a remote island in the Adriatic, an enigmatic billionaire hosts a twisted form of entertainment to satisfy the jaded appetites of his exclusive guests. And for one unsuspecting family, the holiday of a lifetime is about to become a desperate battle for survival.

As young parents, Sam and Jody have managed to defy the odds once before. But years of struggle have taken their toll, and Sam’s demons return to haunt him at the worst possible time.

Caught up in a sick game of cat and mouse, can they put their differences aside and work under intolerable pressure to save themselves and their children?

Live or die. It’s the only choice they have.

My review

Sam Berry and Jody Lamb, both 26, have two children, Grace (8) and Dylan (5). They’ve had some difficult times as they’re young parents and their daughter was conceived when Jody was only 17.

Sam is rather insecure and lacking in self-confidence, which comes from his background and being a young dad. The couple both feel judged for having children young, and are constantly worrying about what others think of them.

After saving for three years, they’re on their first family holiday abroad, all-inclusive, on the beautiful island of Sekliw in the Adriatic. They’re staying at the Adriana Beach, the number two hotel in the resort, and the holiday cost them a lot of money, nearly three thousand pounds.

At the welcome meeting, the couple are encouraged by their tour rep, Gabby, to enter a special prize draw to attend a VIP champagne reception at the Hotel Conchis, the most luxurious and exclusive accommodation on the island.

Sam and Jody are shocked and feel a bit uneasy when they discover that they’ve won the competition! They’re already out of their comfort zone and the reception sounds quite prestigious. They learn that the president’s son, Borko Radić, is expected to attend.

On the day of the reception, they’re driven for an hour in a stretch Hummer and then escorted into a function room, where there are a couple of hundred guests and a band, and offered drinks and canapés.

When the time comes for Borko Radić’s address, all the children are taken to another room to be entertained.

As the hours pass and after chatting for a while with another English couple, they’re tiring and Jody decides to check on the children. She’s shocked to discover all the kids are running riot in the playroom and things are getting rather raucous! 

The family decide to leave to get Grace and Dylan to bed and ask for a car to take them back to the Adriana Beach. Throughout this experience, they’ve felt a bit uncomfortable and uneasy at times and it seems their worst fears are realised when things take a sinister turn …

I don’t want to give away any more of the plot but have to say that I really enjoyed this book! After a slightly slow start, events really ramped up and things got rather exciting and disturbing.

Sam and Jody and the children have to dig deep in a real battle for their survival when things go in a shocking direction, with an unknown enemy!

Overall, this was a gripping and tense thriller and had me on the edge of my seat at times! I was frantically turning the pages to see who would survive! Cleverly plotted and well written, with great suspense, this was an absorbing read! Slightly far fetched at times but it kept me entertained and I’d love to see it turned into a film!

This was the first book of Tom Bale’s that I’d read but I’ve got most of his other novels on my Kindle and will definitely be checking out more from him soon! 

Buy the book

Survive by Tom Bale can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback.

About the author

Tom Bale was born in Brighton in 1966. While pursuing his lifelong ambition to be a writer he worked in a variety of jobs, but none was as exhausting – or as rewarding – as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children.

He is the author of nine thrillers, including the bestsellers See How They Run, All Fall Down and Skin and Bones, as well as a young adult sci-fi novel, The Stone Song.

When not writing, he’s usually reading (and eating chocolate). To mull over ideas (and offset the effect of the chocolate), he can often be found cycling the country lanes and coastal routes of Sussex. He is also a keen sea swimmer.

Twitter: @t0mbale
Facebook: @tombalewriter


With thanks to Heather Fitt at Bloodhound Books for providing me with an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


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