**** - The Long Weekend
THE LONG WEEKEND GILLY MACMILLAN ****
By the time you read this, I'll have killed one of your husbands.
In an isolated retreat, deep in the Northumbria moors, three women arrive for a weekend getaway.
Their husbands will be joining them in the morning. Or so they think.
But when they get to Dark Fell Barn, the women find a devastating note that claims one of their husbands has been murdered. Their phones are out of range. There's no internet. They're stranded. And a storm's coming in.
Friendships fracture and the situation spins out of control as each wife tries to find out what's going on, who is responsible and which husband has been targeted.
This was a tight-knit group. They've survived a lot. But they won't weather this. Because someone has decided that enough is enough.
That it's time for a reckoning.
MY REVIEW ****
I enjoy thrillers that are written from multiple character perspectives - I think when done properly they can be really engaging and interesting and can be used cleverly to mislead the reader throughout. When I first started The Long Weekend, I changed my mind about this technique as it started to be used with our 3 leading ladies: Jayne, Ruth and Emily. Macmillan starts the narrative jumping perspectives almost every paragraph which became very confusing. As the book went on, only a few jumps were made per chapter but moving between characters so quickly at the start really made it hard to separate the characters in my head and they lost their unique narrative voices. Even towards the middle I found myself getting Jayne and Ruth mixed up in particular, as they seemed very ‘samey’ in personality types. This could have been helped with formatting to clearly signpost which perspective you were in, or even just a paragraph break or dinkus (my word of the day!)
The addition of the outside perspectives was really clever though and I didn’t see a very important twist about one of them coming. I’d made a really big assumption about the characters which had proved to be very foolish indeed! In fact, throughout the book I had no idea where the story was going next – even at 90% I couldn’t guess the outcome which always impresses me in a book. The pace is also kept high throughout, although I did think it got a little repetitive after a while in places. The way that one character is written is very creepy and enjoyed those chapters as they interacted with Imogen. I didn’t like how Jayne’s dissociation due to PTSD was played out as a narrative device though – I think in 2022 this should have been avoided and the plot would have worked without using it. I liked how Ruth’s alcoholism was depicted though and thought that was really cleverly (and frustratingly) handled.
Overall, The Long Weekend is a little frustrating, with unclear narrative perspectives and characters that blended together, but it’s a puzzling thriller which will keep you guessing. Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone & Century for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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