The Guilt Trip

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⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

What happens when four friends take a trip that most would consider delightful, – and in this creepy and disturbingly-multi-layered case, find instead it exceeds their very worst fears.

Rachel Hunter, forty-two years old, is a compassionate and non-confrontational kind of woman – a good wife and a mother who has built her world around the life of her now college-bound son Josh. Used to putting her own needs on the back-burner, Rachel plays peace-keeper, particularly in case of the fireworks that tend to materialize between her high-powered lawyer friend Paige, and her ambitious and hard-edged husband Jack.

Rachel’s best friend, Noah, (married to Paige) is a laid-back and easy-going gentle-minded man – a perfect temperamental match for her, which is exactly the reason that Rachel and Noah have been inseparable since their University days.

Oil and water, chalk and cheese, – the camaraderie shared by the friends is suddenly and savagely disrupted when Jack’s long-traveling brother, Will, returns home and becomes engaged to Ali – a very young high-maintenance dramatic beauty who encroaches on the group and in no time at all seems to rub each and every one of the friends in exactly the wrong ways.

When the two couples are invited to spend four days together sharing a beautiful villa situated in a fishing village in Nazare, Portugal, – hosted by Will and Ali, and bound over to attend their gorgeous destination wedding- it’s perhaps not too surprising that not one of them has a good feeling about their upcoming adventure.

As we, the readers, come along for the ride, (provided by the POV of our perhaps-reliable main protagonist Rachel ), it’s clear that this group of long-time friends has a whole lot of secrets, that, now that they are staged with Will and Ali into this exotic and gorgeously closeted setting, are suddenly and malevolently being driven to the surface. And just like that – nothing and no-one is above suspicion, and we’re not really sure at all who, if anyone, we believe and feel close to.

The suspense in the story builds quickly and I found the plot and character development absorbing – up to a point. After a great start I found myself bogged down in the latter half with too many somewhat gratuitous twists, and a few dramatic character and plot shifts that were quite simply a strain on belief. I enjoyed this book although it did not quite live up to its promise for me, and I was not a huge fan of the overwrought multi-twist ending.

A great big thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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