“You come to the retreat to be healed. You don’t expect to die.”
Set to be released on 29th April, Her Last Holiday by CL Taylor follows IT teacher Fran who’s sister, Jenna, disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo two years ago. Now, she’s heading to Soul Shrink Retreats’ latest event, after Tom, the now infamous man behind the company, is released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never revealed what happened to the third victim: Jenna. Determined to find out the truth, Fran finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?
Thank you to NetGalley for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
An intriguing and mysterious thriller, Her Last Holiday is a story full of secrets and lies from one of my favourite authors who I always want to read more from.
Told from the points of view of three women – Fran and Kate in the present and Jenna in the past – each character has a distinctive voice. Fran, especially, is a joy to be around. She’s brave and brash and is a brilliant character to watch unfold the mystery of her sister’s disappearance.
There are some shocking moments, interesting twists, and a few scenes that leave you in suspense, but I actually found this quite light-hearted for CL Taylor. The problem is that the setting of a wellness retreat opens up some similarities to Taylor’s 2015 book, The Lie, which is my favourite of hers. And because of that, this one just didn’t live up to her usual standard for me.
The story itself is a well-written one with great ideas and brilliantly crafted characters, but The Lie is so powerfully gripping and dark that this felt like a ferry ride in comparison. It just didn’t hold my attention in the usual way that Taylor’s books do for me, although I cannot fault her talent for her constantly professional writing and exciting concepts.
If you’re new to CL Taylor’s books, then you’re sure to enjoy this mysterious and well-crafted thriller. Fans of Taylor, however, may see the resemblances to her early work and not get the same feeling from it.
Taylor remains one of my favourite authors and I will always be excited by her latest releases, but I’m sad to say that this one just didn’t do it for me. You can’t love them all, right?
Her Last Holiday by CL Taylor
Release Date: 29th April 2021
Print Length: 388 pages