Title: The Girls Weekend by Jody Gehrman
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
For fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley, a riveting locked-room mystery about five college friends eager to reunite after years apart–only to be ripped apart again when their host’s disappearance unearths dark secrets and old grudges.
Their reunion just became a crime scene . . .
June Moody, a thirty-something English professor, just wants to get away from her recent breakup and reunite with girlfriends over summer break. Her old friend and longtime nemesis, Sadie MacTavish, a mega-successful author, invites June and her college friends to a baby shower at her sprawling estate in the San Juan Islands. June is less than thrilled to spend time with Sadie–and her husband, June’s former crush–but agrees to go.
The party gets off to a shaky start when old grudges resurface, but when they wake the next morning, they find something worse: Sadie is missing, the house is in shambles, and bloodstains mar the staircase. None of them has any memory of the night before; they wonder if they were drugged. Everyone’s a suspect. Since June had a secret rendezvous with Sadie’s husband, she has plenty of reason to suspect herself. Apparently, so do the cops.
A Celtic knot of suspense and surprise, this brooding, atmospheric novel will keep you guessing as each twist reveals a new possibility. It will remind you of friendships hidden in the depths of your own past, and make you wonder how well you really know the people you’ve loved the longest.
The Girls Weekend by Jody Gehrman is a riveting domestic mystery.
Thirty-eight year old college professor June Moody is unenthusiastic about an invitation from old college friend Sadie MacTavis. Sadie is planning a baby shower for her cousin Amy and she wants everyone in their group of friends to attend. June is still best friends with Em and after a demoralizing break up, she and Em set off for the pacific northwest. Soon after their arrival, Kimiko makes her appearance and the five women uneasily begin the festivities.
There is plenty of tension between June and Sadie due to the fact that June once dated Sadie’s husband, Ethan. But why would Sadie continue to harbor any ill-will since not only is she married to Ethan, she is a wildly successful author? And the MacTavish couple are parents seventeen year old Dakota who will soon be off to college. When June, Em, Kimiko, Amy and Dakota awaken their second day at the mansion, none of them have memories of the night before. And even worse, Sadie is missing and bloodstains indicate something might have happened to her. Fearing they will fall under suspicion, the women make a decision that could backfire on them. Will the police figure out what happened to Sadie? And more important, who would have wanted to harm her?
June quickly picks up on disquieting undertones in MacTavish household. Despite her uneasiness, she agrees to meet with Ethan and she soon realizes he is not the man she once dated. She soon discovers Sadie is still controlling and she is not one to back down or change her mind. And June notices that she is not the only one whose relationship with their hostess is not the same as their college days. Kimiko is openly defiant and it is obvious that Sadie is extremely irritated with her. Amy is also a little off kilter and June notices there is a bite to her interactions with her cousin. But she is most shocked when she witnesses an angry discussion between Em and Sadie. With Em refusing to answer questions, June is stunned by the realization her best friend has keeping secrets from her.
After Sadie’s disappearance, June tries to piece together the events of the night before. Unfortunately, she can only dredge up a smattering of disjointed memories. Once the police investigation turns much more urgent, it is obvious June and Ethan are persons of interest. Walking a fine line between truth and deception during questioning, June is relieved to return to Sadie’s house. After another round of interrogation, she is convinced someone is framing her. But why would one of her friends want her arrested for something she did not do?
Written from June’s perspective, The Girls Weekend is a fast-paced mystery with a clever plot. What happened to Sadie propels the story and keeps the pages turning at a blistering pace. The truth about what happened to Sadie and why is revealed during a shocking and dangerous confrontation. After justice is served, Jody Gehrman wraps up the novel with a delightfully uplifting conclusion.
I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend this intriguing mystery.