Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Summer Shorts: The Weekend Away by Sarah Alderson, Two Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore & Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough.





How well do you know your best friend?

Orla and Kate have been best friends forever. Former party girls who loved to dance till dawn, new mum Orla and newly single Kate, have drifted apart of late. However, if there’s one thing guaranteed to bring them back together, it’s their annual weekend away. This year, a trip to Lisbon is on the cards. While Orla is a little nervous to leave her baby for a whole weekend, she’s also looking forward to a weekend spent catching up with her best friend. Maybe they’ll even dance the night away. That’s something Orla hasn’t done in a while. As for Kate, glamorous as ever, she’s still the fun-time girl Orla knew way back when. And Kate is ready to party!

The morning after the night before, Orla awakes with the hangover from hell. There’s no sign of Kate. Nor is there any sign of the two very good-looking guys they brought back from the club. Ahem. Orla’s not sure what her husband would make of that particular detail. Not that anything untoward happened. At least she’s pretty sure. The truth is, though Orla doesn’t think she drank that much, details of her night out with Kate are hazy.

As the hours pass, and Kate doesn’t return, Orla starts to panic, convinced that something terrible has happened to her friend. Alone in a city she doesn’t know, she sets out to find Kate, but it seems as though her friend has vanished into thin air. Turns out, Kate has her secrets. Secrets that will shatter Orla’s world.  Did Orla ever really know her best friend at all?

Fast-paced, engaging, and a whole lot of fun, The Weekend Away is a great summer page-turner, with a twisty ending that will leave you wanting more. A winner!



Four Stars
Published July 23rd 2020 by Avon
Received for review

*****







Easy, breezy, and with a Mom Squad reminiscent of the Greek chorus in Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, Meg Mitchell Moore’s Two Truths and a Lie is the perfect escapist summer read.

When Sherri Griffin arrives in the beachside town of Newburyport fresh from a divorce – at least that’s the official story – she’s not expecting to fit right in with the local Mom Squad. And she doesn’t. However, for the sake of her eleven year old daughter, Katie, Sherri has to make an effort with this close knit group of ladies who lunch, gossip and day-drink with abandon.

Once upon a time, Rebecca Coleman was all aboard the Mom Squad gossip train, but not so much these days. Ever since her husband died, eighteen months ago, Rebecca has been grieving. She’s also been spending time with a new man, but the Mom Squad does not need to know about that. Can you imagine the gossip? In any case, the Mom Squad is not paying attention to Rebecca, so distracted are they by the videos her seventeen-year-old daughter, Alexa, is uploading to YouTube. Of course, Rebecca knows nothing about her daughter’s online life.

When Alexa agrees to babysit Katie – the Mom Squad is in full agreement that Katie, at eleven, is too old for a sitter and that something must be going on – Rebecca and Sherri grow closer, Alexa discovers a dark secret, and a tragedy occurs in a summer that will change everything for one, possibly two, and maybe even all three, of these women.

If it’s pure summer escapism you’re looking for – with a dash of mystery and a smidge of bittersweet first love to boot– then Two Truths and a Lie is it. While the story doesn’t offer anything in the way of major surprises (except one!) it’s nonetheless an enjoyable summer read with which to soak up the sun.



3.5 Stars
Published June 16th 2020 by William Morrow
Received for review


*****






If you marry for money, you’ll earn every penny of it…

When down-on-her-luck waitress Marcie met successful attorney Jason Maddox, sparks flew. Feathers were ruffled when Jason divorced his first wife, but that’s all in the past, and Marcie is now happily ensconced as the second Mrs. Maddox. As such, Marcie enjoys all the trappings of the elite Savannah society to which Jason belongs. It’s five-star all the way for the former waitress from Boise, Idaho. Marcie may not have been ‘born to it’ and she knows the Savannah ‘old money’ set will always see her as an outsider, but she can live with that. The big house helps. As does the country club. Oh, and the endless shopping sprees – those help too.

At thirty-five, Marcie is a good deal younger and more glamorous than the botoxed-to-the-eyeballs first-wives in her set, and so when Jason’s boss, the recently-widowed William, returns from a trip to Europe with a much younger second-wife in tow, Marcie is less than pleased. At twenty-two, Keisha, an obvious gold-digger, is not only younger than Marcie, she’s more beautiful too. And ever since she arrived in town, Keisha has been flirting up a storm with Marcie’s husband, Jason…

There may be trouble ahead.

If you’re a regular reader of Sarah Pinborough’s novels, then you’ll know to expect the unexpected. That’s certainly the case with Dead to Her, which might seem like a delicious summer thriller of errant husbands and warring wives, but is actually deeper, darker, and far deadlier than that. Dead to Her is wicked with a twist – and a whole lot of strange. If you liked Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes, you’ll enjoy this.




3.5 Stars
Published August 6th 2020 by HarperCollins
Received for review


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