01 Jun One Of The Girls by Lucy Clarke
Sun, sea and backstabbing abound when a hen weekend goes wrong!
While I love a bit of romance in my holiday reading, I’m always happy to find a book that offers an extra element of tension, danger and suspense.
One of the Girls does that in spades, promising us a plot where friendships explode in a passion of petty grievances, fuelled by past secrets and lies that stalk the pages in a fast-burning narrative that holds more than one delicious twist.
So what’s it about?
When six hens arrive on the Greek holiday island of Aegos to celebrate prospective bride Lexi’s upcoming wedding, all they’re looking for is a bit of fun.
Or are they?
It’s always going to be tricky for six very different people to get on, but when at least one has a hidden agenda, and others are hiding secrets, things are bound to go wrong.
At their hub, Lexi is looking forward to her wedding to charming Ed. A professional dancer turned yoga teacher, it’s taken her years to settle down, but she is 99 per cent sure she is doing the right thing.
Her best friend from school, Bella, isn’t quite so certain – she wants the old Lexi back, the one who got drunk, danced on tables and swore never to get married or have kids. Bella’s own life has been turned on its head by a shameful secret only hinted at – she doesn’t want to lose her friend now, too.
Third of their schoolchum trio, Robyn, knows domesticity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She’s been left a single mother to little Jack, and is looking forward to a few days of freedom. But will it come at a price for her?
New to their group is Ana, whom Lexi met through yoga, but who has yet to meet the others. What will they make of her? And she of them …?
Also meeting the others for the first time is Eleanor, Ed’s sister. A woman who lost her own fiancé just a month before their wedding, she cuts a tragic, lonely figure. Will the group welcome her to their fold?
And finally there is Fen, girlfriend of Bella. Though it’s her aunt who has lent them her villa, Fen has been strangely reluctant to return to Greece.
As the hen weekend progresses, events unravel, friendships fractures, and more than one person finds herself facing danger.
And in a killer twist on the last evening of their celebrations, it looks like one of the party may never return home from Greece …
This story has so much to offer the reader!
Told from multiple viewpoints, from the outset there are tensions waiting to explode as the narrative explores each of the women’s thoughts, dreams and fears.
Intercutting the chapters is a series of very short flashbacks, alerting us of a tragedy to come. This adds a delicious air of tension to an already enthralling tale.
Then there is the wonderful atmosphere of a Greek holiday island, with descriptive prose to engage all the senses – I could almost smell the beautiful scent of flowers, taste warm feta cheese and honey, feel the sun on my skin and the breeze on my hair.
And by no means least there are the characters. Complicated, flawed and yet very likeable, they’re all so different, and so very empathetic in their various ways.
A bit like Little Women, I kept trying to choose a favourite, only to keep changing my mind.
Is Lexi a bit too perfect? Bella a shade too jealous and irritating? Eleanor too passive-aggressive? What’s Ana hiding? What’s eating at Fen? Why can’t Robyn be more assertive?
Danger comes not just from outside, but from within as each is forced to confront their own demons.
With its well-paced plot, engaging setting and fantastic cast of characters, this is a great book for anyone who wants their summer romance reading set on fire with added element of darkness, danger and disaster waiting in the wings.
One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke is published by HarperCollins and available in hardback and ebook here. It will be out in paperback in July
About the Author
Sunday Times bestseller Lucy Clarke writes from a beach hut, using the inspiration from the wild south coast to craft her stories. Her debut novel, The Sea Sisters, was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, and she has since published A Single Breath, The Blue/No Escape, Last Seen, You Let Me In, and The Castaways, which was a Waterstones Thriller of the Month. Lucy lives by the sea with her husband and two children.
Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blogtour and to HarperCollins and NetGalley for the advance copy of the book.
Catch up with the rest of the blogtour at the links on the poster