Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris is one of those books that grabs you and sucks you into the plot leaving you frantically reading until you reach the end. It is the summer holidays. Seventeen year old Jenelle Tanner is spending them pretty much as she usually would, hanging out with friends, lifeguarding at the beach. Then life doesn’t take so much as an unexpected turn but ends outright. On her way back from the beach she is knocked down by a pick up truck and killed. She wakes up to find one of the boys from her high school, Ben Michaels, leaning over her and somehow knows that he has brought her back to life.
Janelle is intrigued and when she find that her FBI father is investigating her accident and that it may be connected to a major case he is working on, she can’t help but snoop in order to find out more. She learns that the FBI have a bomb in custody and it is counting down. The count down can not be stopped and no one knows what it is counting down for, but it can’t be good. Bodies are being found twisted and melted by radiation and somehow it is all related. Is the countdown to release a deadly virus or something much worse?
Unravelling is a mix of 24 meeting the X Files. It has the fast pace of 24 with a deadline to the countdown. There are a lot of strange goings on which make it like the X Files, the melted bodies, the truck that hit Janelle not being a known make and model and when Janelle finds out why Ben can bring people back from the dead things get even stranger.
Janelle has a lot to deal with, she is practically the mother to her brother as her dad is at work most of the time and her mother suffers from depression. She has tried to shield her brother from the worst of her mothers illness so that he will continue to do well at school. The personal details about her life made the story much more believable and intimate. The way her relationship develops with Ben is also believable. At first he is elusive but as the story develops you see a more caring side to him. There is tension between Ben, and Alex who is Jenelle’s best friend. Alex is willing to overlook the tension for Jenelle’s sake which shows how good a friend he is.
There is a lot going on on this book and it goes off into a science fiction type plot. The science is never explained in great detail, just enough information is given to get you interested.The story does stay believable though and you can emphasise with the characters. There are many threads to the story but you do not lose track of what is happening and they are all drawn together nicely at the end. The conclusion does leave you hanging a little bit wondering what will happen next, so hopefully there will be a sequel.
This is a thrilling read and I found that I could not put it down. I really enjoyed it and it is definitely one to put on your reading list.