Saint X

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jesslizt Avatar


Saint X on the surface appears to be a murder mystery but I found it to verge more towards literary fiction, which was perfectly fine with me.

The central character in this book is Claire. When Claire was around 7 years old, she went on a vacation with her family to a resort on Saint X, an island in the Caribbean. On the last day of their trip, Claire's college-age sister Alison goes missing. Eventually she turns up dead on Faraway Cay, just offshore of the island. Initially, 2 young men, Clive & Edwin, who work at the hotel are arrested but the evidence is just not there so they are released. The book alternates narrative perspectives, but most of the story is told from Claire's point of view. In "present time" Claire is working as an editor in NYC. One day she gets in a cab that happens to be driven by a man with the same name as one of the men initially arrested for her sister's murder. Claire becomes obsessed in finding out what really happened with her sister and pretty much starts stalking the man.

I enjoyed this book. It was a slow burn but I definitely wanted to see what happened and the story kept me on the hook. We see Claire's obsession leading to the unraveling of her life. The author does a great job portraying Claire's mental and emotional state. We feel her grief over the loss of her sister and her feeling of loss of never really getting to know Alison. Schaitkin also did a great job setting the scene of Saint X as and the divide between the people who live and work there and the wealthy resort guests.

The story also feels familiar because of high profile cases like the Natalee Holloway case (killed in Aruba) and other instances we hear of people meeting a tragic end on vacation. I recommend this book to fans of literary fiction featuring family dynamics, grief etc.