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 2 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?
I’d love to hear someone disagree but I don’t think you can go wrong with a novel by C.L. Taylor. Unfortunately she did write one about a secluded place with a select yet big cast of characters at the same time as many other authors did (is this the 2020/2021 trend?) so it’s maybe harder to stand out this time. One thing is for sure though, I haven’t read this kind of ending in any of the other novels I read recently.
But let’s start at the beginning and I’ll tell you what that’s about. Fran’s sister Jenna went missing when she went on a retreat in Gozo, organised by the charismatic Tom and his wife Kate. Their company Soul Shrink offers to heal people from trauma, freeing them from anxieties and letting them face the future with optimism instead of fear. At the time the police ruled it as a suicide but Jenna’s parents, especially her mum Geraldine, aren’t so sure so they instruct her sister Fran to attend a retreat incognito and to find out what happened to Jenna.
Her Last Holiday might not have had the same power over me as Strangers, hence the four instead of five stars, but it really was a very enjoyable read with plenty of suspicion to cast. At first all my thoughts settled on one particular person and I’m convinced everyone will have this person in mind as a perfect suspect to commit foulplay and who you’ll love to hate (I really really enjoy it when that happens), but then some of the other group members slowly come more into view and before you know it you don’t trust anyone anymore. It seems that Fran isn’t the only one there under an alter ego. The novel recounts both Jenna’s time at the retreat and Fran’s investigation and the alternation between these two time frames really kept me on my toes. I don’t think there’s anything left to say without spoiling the plot, so to wrap up all you need to remember is that it’s a solid good read so if you love a good mystery novel you’ll find everything you want in this one, and the ending is quite a nice bonus!
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Avon Books UK via Netgalley. This is still my honest opinion.