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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 31 star ratings
5 reviews
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4.0 out of 5
31
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Family Secrets

    3.5 Stars The plot line of this book is actually pretty good. The conceit is that a group of 4 university friends (Kate, Jennifer, Izzy and Rowan) all get together for a blissful summer week in a sun bleached France to celebrate their friendship and that fact that they are all about to enter the milestone of their 40th year. Previously they have managed to sneak a girly weekend away to catch up and keep the friendship group together but this is different, this time partners and children are tagging along. The length of their friendship means that there is history aplenty between the 4, exacerbated by the fact their partners really don't get on and then throw in a bunch of children ranging from their teens to pre-schoolers and more or less anything can happen. The majority of the tale is told from Kate's point of view and we only ever really get to know the cast of characters from her point of view. This is a shame as I found Kate to be rather irritating. Apparently she is a civilian forensics officer but seems to have no critical thinking skills. Early on in the story she sees a series of messages on her husband's mobile that sets the tone for the rest of the book. Basically it becomes a series of vignettes detailing blissful sunny days overshadowed by squabbles and Kate's internal monologue of doom. The author does produce a good study of family dynamics and how friendships change over time, often fracturing and only held together by habit rather than any joy in each other's company. The small glimpses in to how each family relates to each other and those outside the family group are also well drawn and realistic. Although, teenagers seem to be the enemy of mankind as a whole and the three in this book fulfill every stereotype going between them. Of course nothing is what it seems and we slowly wade through days of ennui that are building to a dramatic finale. I will admit that there is a nice twist in the end and the final night does erupt in to a spectacular Hollywood style crescendo with everything getting resolved. Unfortunately, the real situation that is revealed is slightly too far fetched to be believed and the secrets that are finally exposed don't really come as any great shock at this point. It was a solid enough read with good pacing and some excellent inter-personal dynamics. Unfortunately I just found myself frustrated by the narrator and ultimately disappointed in the scope of the ending. THIS IS AN HONEST REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED FROM READERS FIRST
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    Very interesting!

    Kept guessing till the end. Well written, couldn't guess the actual plot even when I stopped and gave it some thought from time to time. Have read another book by the same author but liked this better :)
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    Clever & Compelling

    I am a great fan of TM Logan having read 'Lies' and I was equally thrilled with "The Holiday". I loved everything about this book - the story-line, the characters and all of the many twists and turns as four female university friends go on holiday together to France with their families. The setting was glorious, but all was not perfect with the families' relationships, giving rise to surprises, shocks, drama and suspicion. The development of the interrelationships between the families and their children meant that I was totally addicted to this drama-thriller from start to finish and could not put it down. The clever writing by TM Logan made it unclear as to what exactly was going on but that resulted in an even more compelling story. "The Holiday" is very highly recommended and it is another must-read from this brilliant author.
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    Brilliant!!

    A really. Really good read. I read every line which is unusual as I very often speed read the uninteresting over descriptive pieces. Can't wait for the next book.
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    An ok read....

    T.M. Logan is the bestselling author of the standalone thrillers “Lies” and “29 Seconds”. Having enjoyed the latter novel, I was very much looking forward to reading this, his latest publication “The Holiday”. Although this is far from fast paced and a definite cliched ‘slow burn’ it did open with some beautifully atmospheric descriptions that pulled me into the French setting perfectly. I liked how the chapters were told through the different characters with the main voice being the female protagonist Kate. I did however, have some issues with the characters, Kate in particular. She didn’t suit her occupation of a crime scene investigator and felt that she was rather (for want of a better term) a wet blanket. Having discovered texts on her husband Sean’s phone, causing her to believe he was having an affair with one of her three best friends they were currently on holiday with, she is stunned to believe he could be so deceitful. To continue playing happy families with her husband and keep up social niceties with her friends, just didn’t ring true. I’m not sure many people would handle the situation in the same way but it did allow for the story to develop enough suspicions to keep the reader intrigued and focus on trust within friendships and relationships. Generally all the adult characters were uninspiring, unlikeable and odd, though I felt (through personal parental experience) the teenagers to be very true and realistic - moody, secretive and surly, generally due to the current world of communicating with peers, involving the internet and social media! It’s possible that due to the author being male and writing emotions for female characters, that was why the women seemed off kilter but I did sadly struggle to endear to any of them at all. I wasn’t sold either on the whole big twist and reason for Sean’s secrecy but I undoubtedly wanted to follow the story to the end and was intrigued enough by who it was having the affair with him to see it though. The story begs the question, can we ever trust our best friends, even those we’ve known for many years and explores many other issues, including how far would a parent go to protect their own offspring. Not earth shattering by any standard but a nice quick ‘holiday’ read that, if you like slow burn mysteries, you should enjoy and I was entertained enough to read more again by this author in the future. 3 stars
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