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14th Jan 2020

Review: Jo Spain’s psychological thriller Six Wicked Reasons should be at the top of your must-read list

Keeley Ryan

Ten years after he disappeared, Adam Lattimer has returned to his family’s home.

The strain of his disappearance shattered his already-fragile family, sending his siblings scattered to corners of the world.

And after he shows up unannounced at the family home in Spanish Cove, the Lattimer siblings reluctantly head back home for a (inevitably chaotic) family reunion.

However, his reappearance creates more questions than answers – and, as the tension bubbles over, it becomes clear someone has been planning a murderous revenge for what happened all those years ago.

Six Wicked Reasons has all the ingredients of a carefully-plotted psychological thriller. Murder, mayhem and a really messed up family: what more could you want, really?

Frazer and Kathleen Lattimer had six children: James, Ellen, Kate, Adam, Ryan and Clio. And there’s no denying it – they are probably one of the most dysfunctional families in modern fiction.

The return of Adam brings the family back together and, while nine people board a yacht for his welcome home party, only eight disembark later on.

Frazer Lattimer – the patriarch of the family – is the victim…and he’s really not a nice man. He’s narcissistic, cruel and basically the father – and husband – from hell. Honestly, it’s kind of surprising that nobody had tried to kill him before.

And with each one of his six children having their own wicked reason for wanting him dead, Rob Downes, the local detective with connections to the Lattimers, has his work cut out for him as he tries to solve Frazer’s death.

Six Wicked Reasons is narrated through different time periods, with each one of the Lattimer children getting their own point of views – which provides the background needed to try and piece together what happened that night.

And while it has a bit of a slower start (which is odd enough to say of any book that starts with someone being murdered), the psychological thriller’s twists and turns start to unravel – and then the tension really ramps up.

The first part of the book goes and back-and-forth between the night of Adam’s welcome home party and the aftermath, as well as a few glimpses at the family in 2008 – and the second part really delves into what happened when Adam disappeared.

It’s the third part, though, that fans of Jo Spain (and just fans of really good psychological thrillers in general) will adore.

After intending to just read a few chapters one evening, I was hooked into Six Wicked Reasons by the end of the prologue – and ended up flying through the rest of the book because I just had to know what really happened to Frazer.

Ending with an Agatha Christie-esque reveal that I can 100 per cent say I never would have seen coming, Six Wicked Reasons is definitely one  you won’t want to miss this year.