Publishes by Crooked Lane Books
Published on the 9th of July 2019
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, and the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The kids are all going off to summer camp, this is the perfect time for three neighbouring couples to get together and get away for a little while. It gives Susan the perfect chance to get to know the couples around her and really make some new friends. What starts out as a get-to-know-you feel good vacation, soon devolves into something unrecognisable as the secrets, lies and truths are all let out into the open. Just because someone seems like they have the perfect life, doesn’t make it so, and this time, it will end it murder.
I’ve had this one sitting in my Netgalley to be read pile for a good while now (like majority of my Netgalley pile), and I’m a little sad that I didn’t read it sooner. This was an absolutely gripping page turner, and I did not want to put it down.
We’re first introduced to the families that neighbour each other as they’re all dropping their children off so they can be bussed out to summer camp. We get a glimpse into the adults and their relationships with their children, but we don’t really get a good feel for who they are as people and to each other, this comes as the story progresses and I feel it did a fabulous job. We have Jenny and Louis, the power couple, a sports reporter (I think that’s right) and an ER doctor; Susan and Nadal, the new kids on the block, she’s a stay at home mum who used to be a criminal lawyer, and he’s CEO of a start-up company that he’s nurtured and built from the ground up; Ben and Rachel, she’s a lawyer, and I’m honestly not sure what Ben does…I can’t remember. So Susan booked this little beach getaway for the three couples so they could spend some times together, and so that her and Nadal could get to know their neighbours, fairly innocent. However, everything goes sideways when Susan’s insecurities highlight issues that she’s been having in her relationship and her insecurities that her husband may be looking for something a bit more interesting in the neighbouring houses, the truth about Jenny and Louis’ relationship comes to light, and Rachel ends up dead on the first night.
Detective Gabby Watkins, has to try and work out which one of these possible suspects is responsible for Rachel’s death and she needs to do it fast. There was another case that Detective Watkins is working on in the beginning of the book where we first meet her, and while it did sort of add a bit of filler to the story itself, I kind of understand the point in including it, but I’m also thinking that the story didn’t really NEED this other case in it, as it sort of trickles off into nothing and I didn’t get closure from it. I feel like the book would have been better focusing on this main story and case line, the other case didn’t really detract from the main one, and it did have some uses in the plot itself, it just seemed unnecessary to me.
The characters were each incredibly individual and I felt that the author did an amazing job of giving them each their own voice and flaws, which made them three dimensional. The characters were so relateable, and they really touched on some real world things. Business between friends, domestic abuse and all the worries and fear that goes along with it are the main two, and this is where I will add a trigger warning, there is detailed scenes of domestic abuse between two characters, so if you struggle with this sort of thing, I would suggest maybe giving this book a miss, it was much more in depth than I originally thought it was going to be.
The mystery of whodunit? was well thought out and well executed. I had my suspicions, but nothing was confirmed obviously until the big reveal, so I didn’t feel like I had worked everything out near the beginning and had to trawl through the rest of the book waiting for the characters to catch up. Things were not all revealed at one time, and we learnt more and more about the characters and their situations as the story progressed, giving us more and more ideas of who could have killed Rachel.
All in all, this book was actually a lot better than I anticipated it to be, and I’m so happy that I got a chance to read it. If you like a thriller, with a mystery and a hint of soap opera drama thrown in, then this is your book.