Lucy has dreamt of her wedding day for as long as she can remember. And now the day is almost here. Her nearest and dearest are gathered on an idyllic Greek island and she just knows it’s going to be perfect. It has to be.
But even the best-laid plans can go horribly wrong. Why are her parents behaving so strangely? Why won’t the rather odd lady from the airport stop hanging around? Who is the silent stranger her sister brought as a plus-one?
It’s going to be a day to remember… and then they find the body.
I’ve read one book by Tammy Cohen before this—Dying for Christmas—which I loved. The fact that it was extremely dark and hard to stomach at places perhaps made me hesitant to pick another one. Until I came across this on NetGalley.
A body has been found on the beach at a resort. There is no clue as to its identity or how it got there. But that takes a backseat for now.
Lucy’s perfect destination wedding is planned to the minutest detail except for her sister’s bridesmaid’s dress. Jess was sent a specific colour choice to pick her dress to fit Lucy’s wedding palette but it’s down to the last moment and there is no news of Jess, or her dress, until she arrives at the resort. With a total stranger she met on the plane ride as her plus-one.
Shelly—Lucy’s BFF—also as an interesting arrival story to share: of the woman wearing a headscarf who was washing her breasts in the sink of the ladies toilet at the airport. Except that she’s now at the same resort as the wedding party and insists on inserting herself in every conversation.
What could have otherwise been a dreamy romance novel with a beautiful wedding on a Greek island, Tammy Cohen turns into a suspense thriller.
Told from multiple points of view, the characters introduce themselves to the reader as they mingle among each other. Lucy’s anxiety is growing by the minute and she may not have been entirely truthful to Jason, her fiancé, about the wedding budget. Shelly is the only person who can calm her down but this doesn’t sit well with Jess who sees Shelly as a leech. Lucy’s parents are behaving oddly and Jason’s mother has struck up a friendship with Jess’s plus-one. As for Gil, he spends most of his time calming Zoe, his wife, who seems to be getting into a battle of words with Jess every time they see each other.
Behind the glitter and gloss of the impending wedding, secrets begin to surface, some harmless, some sinister and these characters are forced to examine their relationships. The plot is constantly evolving with plenty of motive to go around and you find yourself hooked.
Coming back to the dead body – the narrative is interspersed with transcripts of police interviews with the guests. Though this is meant to serve as part of the investigation, it is more a revelation of their opinion of each other.
I thought this had a similar vibe to The Guest List by Lucy Foley. However, unlike the spooky setting for that one, Cohen brings a dreamy romantic feel to this until it all explodes into one big mess on the day of the wedding with one person dead and at least two versions of what really happened.
I enjoyed reading this primarily for the characters. Each came with their own flaws and it was fun to watch them being dissected as the story progressed. One character shares their therapy journal through the course of the narrative which reveals secrets tying up with the main plot. This adds to the mystery and brings in some psycho-thriller elements that are surprisingly addictive.
When you’re looking for a summer read that’s not all romance, this whodunnit with its glamour and picturesque location, grips you with a twisted, creepy thriller.
Book 38 of 2021.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2.
Available on Amazon*.
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