The Holiday by T.M. Logan
Publishing Date: 25th July 2019
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 496
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
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.
Kate, Jennifer, Rowan and Izzy have been friends for years and they try to meet at least once a year – now, of course, with husbands and children. This summer they decide to have one week together in the sun of the south of France – it’s going to be the perfect holiday. However, things turn wrong right at the beginning, when Kate finds secret messages on her husband’s phone and is convinced that he’s having an affair, and not with everyone but with one of her best friends. But which one?
This book is a slow – burner, but the author really allows us to get to know the characters in the present and the dynamics between them, in both their relationships and friendship. The group of characters was really colourful. They were absolutely not likeable, uninspiring and a bit too wooden but I was intrigued to see who and why, and every chapter, every new information, made me even more confused, casting doubts on all of Kate’s friends and her as well. I liked the way the author has messed with my mind and my opinions. They all couldn’t be more different, and every one of them seemed to have a secret, something to hide.
Kate is the main narrator. She’ a forensic worker though it was really hard to say with the way she way thinking, suspecting her husband of having an affair, and mostly I just wanted to roll my eyes at her. Who wouldn’t confront their partner immediately, instead of jumping to conclusions and changing their minds constantly, not knowing what is true and what is not – but yes, without her acting that way the story wouldn’t develop like this.
We are also introduced to Kate’s husband Sean, their sixteen – year – old daughter Lucy and nine – year old son David. Then there is full – time mum Jennifer and her husband, counsellor, Alistair and their two teenage sons Jake and Ethan; highly successful Rowan, her husband Russ, who is a banker and their five – year – old very spoiled Odette; and finally, a free spirit and traveller Izzy, who comes alone. With so many characters it was really difficult to feel invested in the story and I’d love to have more background information about them, I knew nothing about their previous friendship.
There were plenty of twists and turns happening throughout the seven days but it took a long time until we arrived at the final surprise and, to be totally honest, I was a little tired with waiting for it – as it’s rather a huge book, I found it simply too late and too little. And well, it didn’t blow me as much as I hoped. Yes, I get it, it couldn’t be written differently and the six days were a slow – burning induction to the great reveal, nevertheless I think there were too many things being told and happening that a) made the things not significant or b) made the reveal not significant. The story was told mainly from Kate’s point of view but it was intertwined with different points of view as well and, honestly, I eventually wasn’t sure which and whose story is important for the development of the plot. It was truly frustrating to be given clues, tips and red herrings, yet we had Kate going in circles about something that, in comparison to what was happening, seemed so unimportant.
What I absolutely adored was the feeling of uncertainty – I had a feeling something is hanging over me all the time I was reading. The author has captured the tension and the atmosphere in the best possible way, I think I haven’t read a book like this before when this creepy feeling of something really bad going to happen was so overwhelming and giving me goose bumps. The oh so innocent mentions of the dangerous neighbourhood, the unstable moods of some of the characters, they were so strongly indicating that really something wrong is awaiting us soon, but we don’t know what it is and when it’s going to happen – I loved this aspect of this story. Altogether, “The Holiday” was a story about secrets, lies, broken promises and hopes and dysfunctional families, about how far you’d go and sacrifice yourself for your family – a great holiday read, though I wouldn’t take it with me if I were to spend it with friends, just saying.
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