Published in Hardback on 21st May 2015 (UK) by Hodder & Stoughton
After reading The Three by Sarah Lotz and throughly enjoying it (see my review here ) I really couldn't wait to read the follow up Day Four, and let me tell you, I wasn't disappointed.
Whilst I found The Three to be unsettling at most and at times creepy, Day Four takes the scary/creepy factor to a whole new level. Set on a cruise ship, Beautiful Dreamer, the story gets creepier and more claustrophobic in each chapter. Everything starts off fine on days one to three, but on the fourth day aboard, the ship suddenly stops moving. There is no radio or wifi signal and no clear idea of why the ship has stopped. As the days progress, passengers start to panic, food runs low, the toilets stop flushing, their is no electricity and people start to behave increasingly erratic as their panic grows. A virus breaks out causing people to be very sick which makes things much worse considering they are stuck on a boat with no sign of rescue.Then both passengers and some crew members start to see strange things, apparitions, and when they find the body of a murdered woman in her room, things go from bad to worse.
Throughout the story there are some key characters whom we follow in the story. There is Maddie, (The Witch's Assistant) the assistant to the famous medium aboard the ship, Celeste, who knows she is a fake but can't get a better job because of her past. Celeste is the medium who has an organised event aboard the cruise but is running away from a scandal back at home.Two elderly women known as the 'Suicide Sisters', Helen and Elise who have come on the cruise for their own private reason you can probably guess from the name they are given. Then there is one of the maids on the ship, Althea (The Devil's Handmaiden) who secretly hates most of the passengers and her colleagues but has to pretend to be nice in order to keep her job. Then there is the doctor, Jessie (The Angel of Mercy) who has a secret past and fights a daily battle to keep his demons at bay. Gary is known as the 'Condemned Man' and he does very bad things which are about to catch up with him. There are more characters, many more, but the chapters are each split by the person narrating, which is usually one of the characters I have mentioned.
Things start to get very strange when the medium Celeste starts to act increasingly odd and not her usual grumpy drunken self. Her readings become a daily event and she is unnervingly correct about everything she says about her fellow passengers. She doesn't seem to need sleep or eat or use the bathroom which makes her assistant Maddie extremely perturbed.Slowly but surely she starts to take over the ship as more people get ill or go slightly mad, around her is an oasis of calm and cleanliness, almost like a cult following.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and after finishing the novel you can see the link with The Three as certain bits in the book cleverly link back to the first novel. The feeling of society aboard the ship falling apart and people acting like animals feels extremely real as does the claustrophobic nature of the story. I found it to be extremely creepy and could easily imagine it being a terrifying movie that I would have to watch behind a huge pillow ( I know my scary film limitations).
If you read The Three and enjoyed it I would say that this novel is written completely differently and the story does not follow on from what happens in The Three except for a few character references from the first novel. I would say you don'y HAVE to read The Three first to get Four Days but it would help to understand the deeper meaning of the book and the things that happen aboard the ship. What a page turner! Phewf!