On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping debut novel by C.L. Taylor, Her Last Holiday.
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 two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third 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’m a huge C.L. Taylor fan, so I couldn’t wait to start her latest book, Her Last Holiday. As I have found with all of her books, I was desperate to keep turning the pages once I got to the end of each chapter. This is the type of book which you can quite happily lose an afternoon to.
I was intrigued right from the beginning when Tom Wade was released from prison. He was arrested for the deaths of two people at one of his wellness retreats. I wanted to know more about what had happened at that time and who this man really was. But it’s also revealed that another woman, Jenna, also disappeared. He has never said what happened to her. What is he keeping secret?
I really wanted to get to the bottom of what had happened to Jenna. When Tom is released from prison, his wife, Kate, is desperate to get their business up and running again. Tom is reluctant to go ahead with it, but it’s Kate, who is really driving his return to the business. I didn’t know what to think about Kate. There’s no way I would feel comfortable in going along to an event run by a man who has just served time in prison for being responsible for two deaths. There is tension right from the start, but what can Tom do now that guests have arrived?
But there is someone among the guests who wants to find out what happened to Jenna and what Tom knows. Fran is Jenna’s older sister, and she is desperate to find out the truth. Fran has no closure; she has no idea if Jenna is alive or dead. There are some very tense scenes when she tries to confront Tom, and I had no idea just how dangerous he was. I could never predict how he was going to react.
There are some bombshell moments when the truth is revealed as C.L. Taylor wraps the plot up. She brings everything altogether very well, and I loved how she gradually did this. Her Last Holiday isn’t an action-packed book, but it is very gripping, and I love C.L. Taylor’s writing. If you’re a fan of her books, then you are in for a treat. I loved it.
Publication date: 29th April 2021
Print length: 388 pages
Her Last Holiday is available to buy: