30 July 2021

Review: HER LAST HOLIDAY, C. L. Taylor

Synopsis (Publisher

You come to the retreat 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?

My Take

This novel, and others by this author are billed "gripping psychological thrillers".

Fran, in her 50s, is 12 years older than Jenna, and consumed by guilt, feeling that they were never as close as they should have been, and that she let her younger sister down when she most needed her. Their mother Geraldine, is convinced Jenna is still alive, and feels that Fran ought to try one more time to find her. At the time Jenna disappeared Fran went out to the Maltese island of Gozo but found out nothing. 

Now Tom Wade, the man who was holding the retreat on Gozo, has been released from prison and is holding another retreat, this time in the UK. Geraldine books herself into the retreat but insists that Fran goes in her place. Fran discovers that a number of the people at the retreat were also at the Gozo one, and she feels that they must know what Tom Wade, and his wife Kate are hiding.

The narrative predictably swaps between Now and Then, and Fran discovers she is not the only one who is hiding who she is. She also works out that there is someone else on the retreat who wants to sabotage her efforts to find out what happened to Jenna.

There is enough mystery in the plot threads to keep you reading.

My rating: 4.4

About the author
C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and been published by a variety of literary and womens magazines. Cally works in Higher Education and has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology. She also loves knitting, Dr Who, Sherlock, Great British Bake Off and Margaret Atwood and blames Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected for her love of a dark tale.

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