Primary Genre(s): Thriller, Mystery
Published: 21 July 2020 by St. Martin’s Press
Page count: 374 (print)
My Format: eBook via NetGalley
Would I recommend it: Yes
Commission Link: Buy The Vacation
My rating: ★★★★★
Seven days. Three families. One killer.
It was supposed to be the perfect holiday – a group of families enjoying a week together in the sun. Four women who have been best friends for as long as they can remember making the most of a luxurious villa in the south of France.
But Kate has a secret: her husband is having an affair. And a week away might just be the perfect opportunity to get the proof she needs – to catch him in the act once and for all. Because she suspects the other woman is one of her two best friends.
One of them is working against her, willing to sacrifice years of friendship to destroy her family. But which one? As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined . . .
Because someone in the villa may be prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.
Full disclosure here… I finished reading this book back in early June and simply never got around to writing the review. That said, I remember quite a bit about the story and, considering I’ve read several other books since then, I think that is a compliment to this book. I read a lot of books that aren’t memorable, so I was pleased to realize I recalled so much about this one as I sat down to finally write this review. Here are my pros and cons for The Vacation:
- The dynamic between the four women and their families is what made this book great. The individual characterizations were fantastic and everyone seemed like they had something to hide. Actually, they were all hiding something, but as a reader you don’t know what those secrets are or if they are relevant to the overall plot or not. It was an intricate web of secrets, lies, jealousies, fears, schemes, and grudges, all bound up in a lengthy friendship. It was interesting to see how the four women and their friendship were impacted by the events of the story.
- Even though I thought the characterizations were well done, particularly for the women, the characters aren’t particularly likeable. In fact, I really didn’t like any of these women or their families. To me, that added an interesting element to the story, because as I learned more about the women and their families and what was going on, I found myself actually rooting for particular characters to be the “bad guy”.
- The women have their children with them and you will dislike the kids as much as the parents. They are misbehaving and disrespectful troublemakers!
- This book starts out slowly… very slowly. It is so focused on Kate and her husband’s supposed cheating that it kind of drove me nuts (see Con #1 below). However, the plot builds and gets crazy twisted in the second half. Pay attention to details and don’t let the slow start derail you.
- The ending surprised me – I definitely didn’t see it coming. I feel like the conclusion might have been a tad convenient and perhaps even slightly out of left field, but it was a still a solid wrap up and generally satisfying.
- Kate drove me nuts. Ugh! I think I had to read how she suspects her husband of cheating about 3000 times in this story. For me, she came off just a bit too paranoid about everything. This did not sour the entire book for me, but I definitely got tired of her constant suspicions after a while.
It was kind of weird to read a story where I absolutely disliked every character for some reason or other. I truly didn’t like these people. Both the parents and the children had seemingly limitless issues and problems (and often, if not always, due to their own actions) so it is no wonder bad things were happening to them. Kudos to the author for eliciting such emotion in me regarding these characters! I disliked them so much because they were written so well.
If you like to read thrillers about dysfunctional people, the messes they cause, and the trouble they get themselves into, then this book is definitely for you!
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy The Vacation. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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(image from Goodreads)