Brits on holiday Rob and Anna have just met American couple Owen and Kim on the coast of Belize. Seduced by their simple life of freedom on an old sailing boat, they climb aboard and set sail to a far off island in the Caribbean in search of adventure.
With only the four of them on board, it should be paradise; lazy afternoons spent snorkelling and long nights drinking under the stars.
But the weather can turn quickly at sea and questions begin to arise. Why does Owen never sleep? Why is he secretive about his past? And why does Kim keep a knife zipped into her money belt?
Anna has a knack for getting people to talk, but is she ready to hear what he might have to say?
After The Storm is published by Head of Zeus as a trade paperback original on 7 January 2015 and is Jane Lythell's second novel. Her first novel; The Lie of You was published in July 2014.
British couple, Rob and Anna meet Owen and Kim in a waterfront bar in a dirty Belize town. The American couple have been sailing from island to island, country to country for some months, and their lifestyle appears to be happy and carefree. Relishing the opportunity to explore, Rob and Anna arrange to join Owen and Kim on the next part of their voyage. Whilst Rob is keen, Anna is more reluctant to spend time cooped up in a smallish boat with people that she doesn't really know. Kim too, doesn't appear overjoyed by the thought. The arrangements are made and the two couples begin their journey.
The storm hits. The sailors battle to overcome the weather and reach their destination. But it is not just the weather that has turned stormy; relationships can be just as changeable as the weather, and during the days of the storm, these four people learn more and more about each other.
There is a real sense of foreboding and doom when reading After The Storm, even the opening chapters, set as they are, in the sunshine and warmth create a tense and quite fearful atmosphere. From the seedy hotel rooms, to the strangers carrying knives, this is not the beautiful paradise of tropical islands that most of us imagine.
The four characters are drawn particularly well, they are easy to understand, but maybe not so easy to like, with the exception of Anna, who is my favourite character. I liked her vulnerability combined with inner strength and intelligence and ability to draw out different traits in others.
After The Storm is a well-paced thriller, that will challenge the reader. The tension, fear and anticipation mounts up throughout the story. The setting is excellent, showing another side to the usual sun-soaked tropical island, the characters are strong and well rounded.
My thanks to Becci at the publisher, Head of Zeus who sent my copy for review.
Jane Lythell is a writer and television producer. As Jane Clarke, she has worked for TV-am, Thames, Granada and BSB before becoming Deputy Director of the British Film Institute and then Chief Executive of BAFTA. She co-wrote a biography of Doris Day for the BFI and published her highly acclaimed debut novel The Lie of You in 2014.
She lives in Brighton with her family and writes full time.
Follow her on Twitter @janelythell