The Summer Holiday - S.E. Lynes

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

One loving couple. One surprise guest. One week to destroy everything…
When the doorbell rings, I take one last look round the villa. The nuts and olives are in bowls; the white wine is chilling in the fridge; everything is ready for my old college friend, the guest I’m dying to impress.
When I open the door, Coco steps from the dusty street into the cool tiled hall, as effortlessly beautiful as ever. But then her face freezes in horror, her mouth falling open. I turn to see my husband Jeff behind me, his eyes wide, his cheeks pale.
After a moment, they both smile, pretending nothing happened at all. But I know what I saw. This holiday was meant to rescue my marriage, not ruin it.
But the connection between my friend and my husband isn’t what I thought.
All three of us have something to lose, and something to fight for.
And when the truth comes out, not all of us will survive…

My Thoughts:

The Summer Holiday by S.E. Lynes is a fast-paced thriller that kept me hooked from start to finish. The story follows Kate and her husband, Jeff, as they embark on a holiday alone without their daughter for the first time in forever. They are holidaying in their privately owned villa in Catalonia, and the ostentatiousness of the story doesn’t end there, as these are two very successful people.
From the outset, it’s clear that something is not quite right between them, though, and as the tension builds, we’re drawn deeper into the mystery. This intensifies with a chance meeting with a university alum, Coco Moss. The girl that had everything and everyone wanted to be. While I enjoyed the overall plot, there were moments that made me cringe, particularly when Kate becomes something of a fan-girl over Coco. Some of her decisions didn’t quite fit with someone who had been married for over thirty years and was in her fifties. She acted more like a silly teenager, which was sometimes embarrassing to read.
I appreciated how everything unfolded throughout the book, with Lynes skilfully weaving together past and present memories to create a sense of unease and suspicion. It was all skilfully unravelled, so we got the complete picture of what had happened then and how that affected the now.
The ending, unfortunately, felt a bit rushed, and I would have liked to have seen more of Jeff's punishment. That said, I did appreciate how everything fell into place, and Lynes' attention to detail was impressive. Overall, I found The Summer Holiday to be a gripping read, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a suspenseful thriller.

The Summer Holiday
by S.E. Lynes
Date Started
11th April 2023
Date Finished
15th April 2023