Latest review: The Vacation by TM Logan

July 22, 2020

Genre: Thriller

Release date: July 21, 2020

Rated: Bookmark it! / 4 stars

When a woman goes on vacation with her three best friends and their families, she makes a startling discovery that threatens her marriage. As she tries to figure out the details of the secret, she fights to stay calm. Soon, however, she realizes she’s not the only one with problems or secrets. Author T.M. Logan is back with another thriller in the fun and surprising novel The Vacation.

Kate Connelly can’t believe it, but she’s finally on vacation with her three best friends, Izzy, Rowan, and Jennifer. The four went to university and lived together; at one time, they made it a point to travel together every year too, just the four of them. No husbands, no children, no jobs to worry about.

But in the year Rowan got pregnant with her daughter, Odette, the trip didn’t make sense. That break caused a five-year gap, which the friends have finally gotten to breach. So that no one felt left out, they’ve decided to bring their families along too. It’s not a girls’ weekend away, but at least they get to see each other.

Rowan finds them a picturesque home in the tiny French village of Autignac, and the four families arrive ready to enjoy the countryside for a full week. Hours within arriving, though, Kate makes a horrible discovery. A woman has been texting her husband, Sean, and it sounds like they’re having an affair. Worse: the woman says she wants to sort things out with Sean during the week in France.

As a crime data analyst, Kate’s trained to examine facts and right now the facts are telling her that one of her best friends has been sleeping with the man she thought was the love of her life. But who could it be? Throughout the week, Kate recounts reasons why each of the women might hold a grudge against her. She’s hurt all of them, albeit indirectly, in some way or the other. Would Izzy, Rowan, or Jennifer stoop to this level?

In the meantime, Kate’s noticed that something isn’t right with her daughter, Lucy. True, she’s a teenager, and teens are notoriously glued to their technology. But now that they’re not in the rat race of their normal lives, Kate realizes that Lucy’s been acting in strange ways for a while now. Something isn’t making sense.

She tries to ignore her misgivings, but it burns her blood that Sean would cheat on her. Also, the vacation isn’t turning out to be as ideal as anyone hoped. Jennifer’s style of helicopter parenting gets dialed up to a loud pitch. Rowan seems more inclined to let her young daughter, Odette, get away with everything and everything, even as her husband, Russ, complains that she isn’t parenting Odette. Izzy seems the most content with her life as a single person, but then she confides in Kate that she isn’t exactly available anymore. Could that mean that Izzy is guilty of betrayal?

All Kate knows is that this vacation was supposed to help her reset with her friends, and instead it’s turning into one mini disaster after another. Never mind that it’s easier to focus on the mini disasters so she can ignore the one looming over her: the end of her marriage.

Author T.M. Logan keeps the story moving at a good pace. He gives Kate the opportunity to take the lead in solving her own problems. After careful deliberation, she confronts Sean about the purported affair. When she receives vague answers, she doesn’t give up.

Logan uses all of the classic genre devices to great effect, and thriller lovers will grin with glee by the end. In particular, a funeral scene will begin with readers believing one possible conclusion to the story but will lead them into another direction altogether. While it comes towards the end of the book, it’s worth waiting for.

At times the point of view shifts to one or the other characters, but this is Kate’s story from start to finish. Despite staying in her head for most of the book, Logan conveys all the necessary elements of the plot with ease. He’ll have readers guessing all the way to the satisfying conclusion that proves justice appears with many faces.

Anyone wanting a fast read that will keep them turning pages definitely needs to read this book. I recommend readers Bookmark The Vacation.

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