It was supposed to be the perfect holiday, dreamed up by Kate as the ideal way to turn 40: four best friends and their husbands and children in a luxurious villa under the blazing sunshine of Provence.
But there is trouble in paradise. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair, and that the other woman is one of her best friends.
One of these women is willing to sacrifice years of friendship and 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 is prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.
Kate and her 3 close friends from university have met up, once a year, to re-bond and stay in touch, however work and family life have occupied most of their time recently so they haven’t seen each other in a while. With their 40th birthdays fast approaching they have all made the effort and along with their partners and children, are meeting up in a luxurious villa in France, for a weeks holiday in the glorious Mediterranean sunshine.
However Kate arrives on holiday with troubling things on her mind. Her husband’s behaviour has been different of late. He has been distracted, working out and paying a lot more interest in his appearance and most noticeably never far from his mobile phone. She has made herself believe that he must be having an affair. Her eldest child Lucy is also giving her cause for concern. She appears troubled and hardly talks to her mother at the moment. Is this just a part of growing up or is there something more serious going on?
From the books description you know this holiday is not going to end well, but into the first few chapters, with Kate’s narration, and the introduction of the rest of the characters, the tensions within the group are thick and heavy.
This novel is a slightly slower moving book than the author’s previous two, but this only allows for more time to introduce the other families and learn of their own troubles and concerns. Bickering couples, over-protective mothers, spoilt and unpleasant children. Maybe a reason to think twice about going away with other families, even if they are friends!
On arriving at the villa, Kate finds some messages on her husbands phone cementing her idea that he is having an affair but to make the discovery even more heartbreaking the messages read as if from another member of the holiday group. One of her old friends. She is devastated. Which one of them could do this to her?
The author does a wonderful job of describing her heartbreak in discovering this and throughout the book of the friction this puts between Kate and her husband. She decides not to confront him immediately, and therefore we read of her thoughts and feelings on every encounter he subsequently has with each of her old university friends. The quick glances, the hands brushing together at the dinner table, the hugs! She can hardly bear it.
I also thought the way he describes the children was very well done. Some very likeable, some not! He captures the teenagers particularly well, including the role their mobile phones play in their everyday life. In fact the mobile phone features in nearly every one of the character be it for work or personal reasons and its use is considered quite deeply within the novel. The impact it has on conversation, the distance it can put between parent and child and even it’s use within modern day parenting. It also adds to the tension in Kate’s idea of her cheating husbands and I enjoyed the moments where she steals a look at it at every available opportunity.
I loved the way he uses more than one character to explain the same scene. Allowing us to read two completely different views of a moment. This was particularly well done in a scene with Kate overlooking one of the other husbands as he sits by the pool.
I raced through this book, and even though the death comes a long way into the book it kept me enthralled throughout and made a super summer thriller. Another great book from Mr Logan.
I managed to pick up a copy of this at The Theakston Crime weekend and was delighted to meet the author and get my copy signed!