The Retreat by Sherri Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days
Pages - 352
Publisher - Titan
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
Sherri Smith illuminates the dark side of the self-care and wellness industry in a thrilling ride of revenge perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers. The Retreat is a twisting, bone-chilling suspense that asks: how well do you really know your friends?
A weekend that will change them forever...if they survive.
Katie Manning was a beloved child star until her mid-teens when her manager attacked and permanently scarred her face, effectively ending her career and sending her on a path of all-too-familiar post-Hollywood self-destruction.
Now twenty-seven, Katie wants a better answer to those clickbait "Where Are They Now?" articles that float around online. An answer she hopes to find when her brother's too-good-to-be-true fianc�e invites her to a wellness retreat upstate. Together with Katie's two best friends--one struggling with crippling debt and family obligations, one running away from a failed job and relationship--Katie will try to find the inner peace promised at the tranquil retreat. But finding oneself just might drudge up more memories than Katie is prepared to deal with.
Each woman has come to the retreat for different reasons. Each has her secrets to hide. And at the end of this weekend, only one will be left standing.
We open with the killer, we know from the first few pages deaths have occurred at the retreat, the killer is a woman and now is her time. All of the women have their problems/secrets, all looking to benefit from this weekend away but one has a deadly plan and doesn't care who she has to put down to succeed, she is emerging victorious.
The chapters give each of the women their voice, perspectives and hints or shows their issues, leaving the reader with constant speculation to who is the killer. Katie is the group leader, the glue, that orchestrates everything. Ellie is her sister in law to be, they couldn't be more different, Katie is a famous child star now struggling has been adult but still has money and clout. Ellie is all natural, a bit uppity but will try for the sake of her betrothed. Carmen is broke, looking after her family, siblings, ill parent and all her dreams are dust because they come first. Ariel is friendly but very insecure and desperate to be liked and popular just like Katie always has been. Ariel and Carmen have been friends with Katie for years but life gets in the way so the retreat is an offer too good to pass up and off they all go.
The retreat is a bit dodgy, very lovely, harmonious and ran by a husband and wife, he is good looking and knows it. The place is expensive to attend and offers the ultimate experience for everyone, limited outside contact, reliance on others, a drug led ceremony - really a killers dream.
I really liked it, the characters are quite shallow and not very nice people to be honest but it makes you want to read more and more. I suspected everyone, questioned everything and had the killer pegged and changed every few chapters, well once I got into it). This was my first time reading this author, I did like it so I will have a look out for her other books 3.5/5 for me this time.
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