It’s summer. You’re on holiday. Time to sigh with relief as you sink into that poolside lounger or beach sun bed. Sip a cool beer or an ice-cold glass of rose and revel in the heat, the sun, the peace, and T M Logan’s new psychological suspense thriller enticingly titled – what else – The Holiday.
What can possibly go wrong?
Plenty, if you’re one of the characters in this sizzling summer read. Four best girlfriends, close since uni, unite with their families to spend a perfect summer break together in the south of France. There’s just one problem: one of them is a killer.
Kate, the central character, dreamed up this holiday as the ideal way of reaching 40. The group are to spend a week in a beautiful borrowed villa in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The house is luxurious and stunning. ‘Three wide storeys of whitewashed stone and terracotta tiles, the parking circle shaded by olive trees, broad stone steps leading up to a double-front door in dark, studded oak.’
In the cool air-conditioned interior, are ten bedrooms, all en-suite, marbled floors, antique furniture, an infinity pool, all looking out across spectacular vistas of vineyards, mountains, and gorges. Perfect. All except for one thing. Kate has a secret; her husband is having an affair. What’s more, she is convinced the other woman is one of her three best friends. The women she is sharing this holiday with. Kate has seven days to uncover the truth. Seven days in which WE discover that someone in the villa is prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.
Anyone who knows and loves the south of France as much as Judy and I do will vouch for the hedonistic effects an August break there can bring. The intense heat, the delicious food, the plentiful vino, can induce a lascivious languor, but it also intensifies emotions. And the emotions felt by the families in Logan’s book are tense and fragile.
Four friends and their husbands and children are enjoying a French treat. But all the grown-ups in this suspenseful mystery have something to hide. They share dysfunctional families, cheating husbands, and troubled teenagers. Apart from Kate and Sean (the husband she suspects is deceiving her) there’s Rowan and Russ, rich and glamorous with an annoyingly clingy five-year-old; the intense, beautiful uber-mother Jennifer and her easygoing partner Alistair with their frighteningly aggressive 15-year-old twin sons; and Izzy, the loner, the unmarried friend, the outsider who lives abroad.
As the temperature rises, the wine flows and tempers flare, Kate suspects each of her girlfriends is sleeping with Sean. Who is sending the suspicious texts she finds on his phone? Why does she catch him in hushed conversations with Jennifer? Why does Rowan keep giving Sean significant glances? And is Izzy, sharing Sean’s Irish roots and a childhood friendship, about to take him away from Kate?
Then there’s the moody adolescent aggression of Jake and Ethan, the teenage twins, and the emerging sex appeal of 16-year-old Lucy. It’s all a bomb waiting to go off. And it does. And it ends in murder.
The Holiday. A perfect summer read. Let’s just hope your own holiday doesn’t end quite as fatally as this one.