2021 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release · suspense · thriller

New Release Book Review: Her Last Holiday by C.L. Taylor

Title: Her Last Holiday

Author: C.L Taylor

Published: May 5th 2021

Publisher: Avon GB -HarperCollins Books Australia

Pages: 400

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller

RRP: $24.99

Rating: 4 stars

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?

The master of suspense is back. Prepare yourself for the latest heart-in-mouth rollercoaster ride from the Sunday Times bestseller.

Review:

A strong cohort of authors have pledged their support of Her Last Holiday by C.L. Taylor. From Liz Nugent, to Claire Douglas, Rosie Walsh and Elizabeth Haynes, this impressive list of fellow writers willing to endorse C.L. Taylor’s latest instills early confidence in Her Last Holiday. I have to say I really enjoyed this title, which marks my second experience of C.L. Taylor’s work.

Her Last Holiday is a story of belief, lies, self preservation, family bonds, relationships, betrayal and hidden truths. Told via the perspectives of three very different women, Her Last Holiday looks at the build up and the fallout from the disappearance of a young woman from a popular wellness retreat in the Mediterranean. We learn about the fate of Tom Wade, the leader of a company named Soul Shrink Retreats, a wellness based business. Tom has recently served time in prison, following his involvement in two deaths. But questions still remain around a third possible death of a young woman named Jenna. Tom refuses to impart any information regarding Jenna’s death.  Still haunted by her sister’s disappearance and probable death, Fran is on a mission to find out the truth. This leads Fran to book a spot on Tom’s first retreat since has was released from prison. Fran knows to get to the truth she must confront Tom. But Fran is in danger, can she find out what happened to her sister and make it out alive?

C.L. Taylor is author who has managed to slip a little under my reading radar. I have read one young adult fiction offering by this author, but until I picked up Her Last Holiday I had not encountered her adult fiction novels. I have seen a few other reviewers call C.L. Taylor the master of the thriller genre, so I was keen to delve into Her Last Holiday. I’m glad I plucked Her Last Holiday from my review book pile, it was a gripping read from cover to cover.

Narrated from the viewpoints of three different key players, two of which feature in the present and the other in the past, Her Last Holiday is a complex tale. I loved getting inside the mixed up psyches of each of these women and the male lead. Taylor does an excellent job of inhabiting the mindset of her female leads, along with the charismatic Tom Wade. Taylor also works to illuminate the past history of her leads and their related family history, which impacts on the current events of the book.  I had a few suspicions and trust issues in regards to these protagonists, along with their related testimonies. I loved the cast of doubt Taylor creates in Her Last Holiday, thanks to her unreliable protagonist set.

Taylor creates a really interesting setting base in Her Last Holiday. Combining a wellness retreat with a beautiful Mediterranean backdrop makes for a compelling line up. I was seduced by the allure by this location base, it was tense and escapist. There is a sinister thread that runs right through the centre of this tale and it rises to the surface as the plot gradually unfurls. I wasn’t sure what would eventuate in this novel as surprises and shocks were unveiled. Taylor directs her latest novel towards a very unpredictable ending. I’m still not sure that I completely agree with the actions of one of key characters in relation to the final reveal, but it did make for a flooring read!

Her Last Holiday will take you into the unknown as secrets, truths, revelations and questionable actions are exposed in this explosive thriller. A good novel for fans of suspense stories, do not hesitate to add Her Last Holiday to your reading pile.

Her Last Holiday by C.L. Taylor was published on 5th May 2021 by Avon – GB. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Her Last Holiday, C.L. Taylor visit here.

*I wish to thank HarperCollins Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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