My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First: before I get into the review, I would like to note that this ok deals with themes of sexual assault. If that’s something that is triggering for you, I would choose another book.
This is really a great what-the-heck-is-going-on book, perfect for a snow day or a long flight. It’s like a complex puzzle that finally all comes together in the end and creates a clear picture.
The book centers on The Breakers and its co-owner Donna, who opened the opulent bed-and-breakfast with her mother. But on the same weekend with the first guests, Donna’s mother gets the opportunity to attend a bridal show and stir up business, leaving Donna to manage the group of eight by herself. The group is in town for a family reunion/birthday bash, and things quickly becomes weird as the group realizes they have been to this house before. And things didn’t go well. And it looks like someone wants the group to pay for that.
I really enjoyed this dual-timeline story, which follows a group of secretive cousins and their reunion weekend in the present and during a birthday party 25 years before. They are an interesting bunch, and it took me a minute to get all their connections straight and remember who was who. But once I got it, it was pretty easy to stay in the moment.
The mystery itself was complex and interesting, with a lot of layers to slowly unravel as things begin to go very, very wrong and there is a really heavy sense of foreboding in both timelines. You know there’s going to be a car wreck, but you don’t know quite where or when. And when it came, I was pretty shocked. It’s quite a journey, and I was creeped out throughout.
The only thing I didn’t like is that it seems like some things weren’t explained really well – they were sort of mentioned in passing then seemingly forgotten, I guess with the assumption that you could rad between the lines and figure it out. I didn’t like that, because I’m not a read-between-the-lines person. I like things laid out, bare.
But I really did enjoy this book: once I was about halfway through, I couldn’t put it down, I had to know what was going to happen. Fans of who-dunnits or atmospheric thrillers will really enjoy this slow-burn mystery!