An addictive psychological thriller that I finished in under 48 hours! The building of suspense and the feeling of impending doom were very impressive. Not a lot actually happened until near the end of the story, but the brisk pace and the snappy writing style kept my attention.
The story mainly follows Lux, a twenty-something drifter. She and her gorgeous but uncaring boyfriend Nico are in Hawaii, where his boat needs repairs that they can’t afford. A couple of girls with a strangely tense friendship, Brittany and Amma, hire Nico and Lux to take them to Meroe Island. It’s a small, remote island with a creepy reputation. It’s like paradise at first, but people and intentions are not what they seem…
I enjoyed the setting of a claustrophobic island, which not only works well for a thriller, it’s good escapism too for the reader. I also liked the minimal character development, which was just enough for the purposes of the book. I wasn’t so keen on the excessive swear words which were dropped into almost every sentence! Not necessary. The predictable ending on the island was a disappointment and didn’t match the sinister vibe of the suspense. I also think the story should have been cut off earlier, maybe even dispensing with the epilogue, which introduced new characters (I really dislike it when authors do that).
In summary, I had a good experience with this book and it generally kept me hooked. It went off the rails a bit in the last 50 pages or so, however. I should note that the tagline on the book cover – ‘It started out the holiday of a lifetime / But it ended in murder’ – is a bit misleading. The trip wasn’t presented as that kind of holiday, while the murder happens late in the story. It’s definitely a suspense thriller, not a murder mystery.
Published in 2022.