Monday 26 April 2021

Review: Her Last Holiday by C.L. Taylor

 You come to Soul Shrink to be healed. You don’t expect to die.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and 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?

Review: This is such a unique concept for a book, I am in awe of the ways CL Taylor choose to thrill us with her writing in such different and original ways and this one just hit it out of the park. A love the fact that we have a sot of cult leader under the guise of a self-help style retreat and mysteries surrounding some explained and unexplained deaths. 

The structure of this book really had me hooked in, this author always has us uttering that phrase, just one more chapter and this book was no exception because we have two sisters and we get to hear from both of them then and now. We follow Fran's story now as well as then and we get to hear Jenna's side of the story then. But wait, there's another voice we get to hear as well and that third thread holds so many keys to unlocking some of the mysteries we uncover in both Fran and Jenna's stories. It's all just so brilliantly thrilling. 

It is so hard to talk about anything to do with this book without giving away spoilers but my reviews are always spoiler free and so I have to start by saying that although Fran may seem on paper to be a stand-offish individual who would we hard to relate to, I really did find myself empathizing with her in so many ways. We meet her right at the beginning and I just love how prickly she is and I wanted to find out why. That was part of the journey for me and I love that thread of discovering what makes Fran who she is as the story progresses. 

I also enjoyed getting to know Jenna and seeing how this whole thing began, Through Jenna we get to know Tom and how his whole spiritual healing gig began and that is where we get really deep into this situation. I was worried for Jenna the entire book and found myself holding my breath whenever she appeared. Everything about these characters and this book is just so intriguing and yet you could totally see all of this actually happening in real life. 

This book has a really insightful author's note as well as a warning not to read the acknowledgments before reading the book both of which were just added bonuses for me as I love an authors note and also love to read the acknowledgments before I start the book. This is such a unique book and very different from this author's previous novels but still just as thrilling and just as hard to put down. Highly recommend!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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