I read The Island Affair and enjoyed the novel very much. I don’t read many so called ‘romance’ novels, but this one was definitely far more interesting and complex than many in this genre.
What did I like? I was absorbed by some of the issues the novel raised, particularly how losing a beloved child can put enormous strains on a marriage. I thought Halme’s novel handled this issue with much thought and through a variety of perspectives.
I also found compelling some of the prejudiced views that arise between Finnish and Swedish people. As someone who has also been fascinated by Scandinavian and Finnish cultures, the setting and such issues really held my attention. The main plot also avoided becoming banal and predictable, mainly as the characterisation is distinctive and strongly developed. Although at times I found Alicia (the main character) frustrating and irritating, she was certainly not one dimensional , and her confused feelings of guilt and need for love from Patrick as well as her estranged husband, Liam, rang true for me.
Relationships are always complex things, and by using the loss of a teenage son through a bike accident as a test of a marriage, it was a novel that held my attention from start to finish.
I am assuming that this is the first of a series. I hope so, as I suspect the problems that Alicia’s mother and stepson face through blackmail by what seems to be a Russian mafia sounds like an interesting story in its own right. I look forward to the next book in this series.