Her Last Holiday by C.L. Taylor, Clare Corbett (Narrator)
Published April 2021 by HarperCollinsAvon
This is my first C.L. Taylor book, and since I have read many review stating this is not her best book, I will definitely read more, as I did enjoy this one. Jenna attended a retreat on Gonzo (Malta) when she disappears, presumed dead. Tom, the charismatic leader of the retreat has just been released from prison for manslaughter when two other attendees die, but he claims he does not know what happened to Jenna. He is struggling, but his wife Kate, the driving force behind Soul Shrink, is determined that all will go well. This story has two timelines: the first is Jenna when she arrives at the retreat in Gonzo three years earlier, and present day with her sister Fran (using the alias Geraldine when her mother can’t follow through with her reservation) at a similar Soul Shrink retreat in Wales. We also have a third POV, that of Kate, Tom’s assistant, who is actually his wife.
Fran is a sympathetic character. She was bullied as a child and has disappointed her parents, never marrying so of course, not providing grandchildren. Her mother is rather mean to her but she continues to try and be a good daughter. Jenna was flighty. The youngest by twelve years and the princess. Her parents have not gotten over her death and her mother wants revenge. Tom is the leader of the Soul Shrink retreat. He is handsome and charismatic, but seems to be controlled by Kate, to the point where there is some question of spousal abuse. Kate is controlling, manipulative, greedy and wants power at almost any cost. She is abusive towards Tom. The secondary characters all have a role to play in the story and we get to know them well enough for this to happen. I will say that most of these characters are unlikeable, but I was still able to connect with many of them. There were several secrets, some tense and dangerous moments, and several twists that had me trying to figure out what really happened to Jenna. I was also scared for Fran a few times. This is a psychological thriller, as well as a fun ride. I definitely had to suspend belief with this one, but I did enjoy it. My one niggle is that after the climax, the book began to drag somewhat. Her Last Holiday has a lot to enjoy: scenic locations, adventure, twists, danger and a bit of romance. Family relationships also come into play. I do recommend this book to those who enjoy thrillers and suspense.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Clare Corbett. She did a wonderful job with this story, adding accents, tone and expression to differentiate the characters as well as to add dramatic interest. I enjoyed her rendition of this book. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
About the Book: 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 suspected 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 nail-shredding, heart-in-mouth rollercoaster ride from the Sunday Times bestseller.
About the Author: C.L. Taylor is an award winning Sunday Times bestselling author of eight gripping psychological thrillers including SLEEP, a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for autumn 2019. Her books are not a series and can be read in any order. She has also written two Young Adult thrillers, THE TREATMENT and THE ISLAND, which will be published in January 2021. C.L. Taylor’s books have sold in excess of a million copies, been number one on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play and have been translated into over 25 languages and optioned for TV.
Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014. She lives in Bristol with her partner and son.
Sign up to join the CL Taylor Book Club for access to news, updates and information that isn’t available on the web, as well as exclusive newsletter-only competitions and giveaways and the books that CL Taylor thinks will be the next big thing. You will also receive THE LODGER for free when you join: cltaylorauthor.com/newsletter