By: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publication Date: 01/04/2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
From Rachel Hawkins, the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, comes Reckless Girls, a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.
Beautiful, wild, and strange―Meroe Island is a desolate spot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. It’s the perfect destination for the most adventurous traveler to escape everything... except the truth.
Six stunning twentysomethings are about to embark on a blissful, free-spirited journey―one filled with sun-drenched days and intoxicating nights. But as it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in, sending them on a dangerous spiral of discovery.
When one person goes missing and another turns up dead, the remaining friends wonder what dark currents lie beneath this impenetrable paradise―and who else will be swept under its secluded chaos. With its island gothic sensibility, sexy suspense, and spine-tingling reimagining of an Agatha Christie classic, Reckless Girls will wreck you.
Indie Next Pick and LibraryReads pick
"This diabolically plotted nail-biter makes for dangerously addictive reading"–Publishers Weekly
"Evocative prose and a palpably foreboding atmosphere complement Lux’s present-tense narration, which Hawkins studs with flashbacks exposing the secrets, lies, and betrayals that brought each character to this point. Danger and interpersonal drama abound, with a slew of outrageous twists adding to the fun. A soapy, claustrophobic page-turner."
"Hawkins twists revenge, madness, and an increasingly menacing setting into a cleverly plotted nightmare in paradise. A must-read for fans of Ruth Ware."
"Like its seductive island setting, Rachel Hawkins’ sharp and feral Reckless Girls is a shimmering mirage of a novel that tantalizes from page one. Perfectly crafted and compulsively readable, each twist in this gripping tale of trust and survival is a gift just waiting to be unwrapped."
–– Katherine St. John, author of The Lion's Den
"Sharp and taut with a slow burning tension that builds into an inferno, Reckless Girls takes the reader to remote Meroe Island. Beautiful, desolate, and sinister, six friends must grapple with secrets uncovered, guilt and grief, and a desperate fight to survive. Reckless Girls is a thriller worth staying up all night to finish."
––Julie Clark, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Last Flight
"When six adventurous twenty-somethings set sail for a South Pacific Island in Rachel Hawkins’ un-put-downable new thriller, you might wish you were on board with them. That is, until the secrets they’ve packed expose themselves, the island turns menacing, and it suddenly becomes clear there’s a killer in paradise. Forget an early night. As the body count mounts in this fresh and riveting take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, you’ll tear breathlessly through the pages and won’t stop until you reach the stunning, jaw-dropping conclusion, one that makes you ask, 'Can anyone ever be trusted?'"
––Kate White, New York Times bestselling author of The Fiancée
Wicked. Gothic. Sinister. Wild.
Do not get on these girls’ BAD side. Watch your back. REVENGE. You know something sinister and evil is coming.
My nerves are shot after reading two very claustrophobic thrillers in isolated places with little way to get help PLUS not knowing the true identity of the people you are traveling with spells tragedy waiting to happen.
First, Lisa Gardner’s ONE STEP TOO FAR, where Frankie is in the wilderness mountains with a group with a killer among them and no way to escape (incredible)!
Secondly, Rachel Hawkins’ RECKLESS GIRLS, where they are stuck on a deserted island with no radios, with more than one killer as their travel companion, and no way to escape. DARK SECRETS.
Note to self: Travel alone is the safest way.
Let me catch my breath!
I might have to read something less heart-pounding next. Maybe take a break and try a historical fiction title between my next thriller. Don’t laugh. I just read 10 thrillers back to back but do not want to take up all the space talking about them.
Now back to RECKLESS GIRLS. TRUST NO ONE!
Lux and her boyfriend Nico are living in Hawaii. They live with many people (all twenty-something) with no money, and Lux just wants to travel on the boat to exotic islands and experience adventure.
She has dead-end job cleaning rooms at a swank resort. Nico is a rich, good-looking boyfriend who takes no money from his family, works at a marina, and has a boat that needs expensive repairs. She thinks fate has stepped in when she gets fired from her job (funny story here) and they get an offer.
Then next, two wealthy female college students (Brittany and Amma) want to pay Nico to take them to this mysterious Meroe Island in the South Pacific. They will pay big money and a way to get the boat repaired, and Lux can come along.
All sounds too good to be true, right?
What sounds like a perfect getaway adventure on an exotic island turns into a nightmare from hell.
They find another rich guy, Jake, and his girlfriend, Eliza, upon arrival. They did not plan on sharing the island, but they seem cool, plus they have good food and wine. (so much more).
However, mix tons of booze, sex, drugs, and isolation with fellow travelers with hidden pasts and secrets— a disaster. An easy way to hide bodies.
Then another boat shows up with a guy named Robbie, and he is not so nice and causes more problems. Two weeks in and their radios stolen, all the facades start crumbling. Will anyone make it out alive?
Who will be the survivor?
Hats off to the author! What a complex, multi-layered crazy, witty, and suspenseful tale that I read in one day! You must keep reading to discover how all these characters’ pasts connect.
If you enjoy survivor stories and those mysterious islands with history and boat murders, this one is for you. A fun note is included from the author, and it sounds like she enjoyed writing this one as a dream from childhood.
Yes, the summary is right on. Those fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley most definitely and fans of authors Megan Miranda and Lisa Jewell will enjoy this suspense thriller. In addition, if you watched or read Harlan Coben’s STAY CLOSE, you must read RECKLESS GIRLS.
Get ready for a wild journey and have your lifeboat ready. You may want to think twice about your next voyage.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 4/of 5 Stars
Pub Date: Jan 4, 2022
About the Author
Photo Credit: Erin Sterling
Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, as well as multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries.
She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.