For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight’s retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy. It should be paradise, but it’s turned into a nightmare.
Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they’ve been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all – where has her husband gone?
Review: I’ve read some good books this year so far. In fact, I’ve read some very, very good books this year so far. You could say, I’ve read some of the best books I’ve ever read this year so far. That’s what I thought… until I read The Honeymoon. First of all, a massive thank you to the publishers for sending me a surprise copy in the post. I rarely literally gasp out load at a parcel but I did when I ripped the packaging off of this one. So ta very much! I’ve seen this book around a bit, not massively but everything I have seen seemed to be pretty positive. Most notably tweets from Rebecca Pugh who has been harping on about how brilliant it is for a while now!
So without giving too much away (I wouldn’t even know where to start with “giving too much away” with this one so you don’t have to worry about spoilers here!) Jemma is on her Honeymoon with her husband on a beautiful, idyllic Maldivian island. It’s literal paradise, with clear water, their own private bungalow with private infinity pool, delicious food, gorgeous weather – the works. It should be a newlywed couples dream but there’s trouble in paradise and her husband has gone missing. With only 100 or so people on the island, he should be easy to find, right? Jemma can’t believe what is happening and her world turns upside down right there in paradise whilst she frantically speaks to the police, tries to look for her husband herself and work out what has happened to him. Has he drowned? Secretly left the island? Or something more sinister? And how does Jemma’s past tie into this huge mess?
Now I hope I’ve made that sound super duper exciting – probably not as I’m rubbish at summing up books. First of all, the writing style was utterly effortless. You know those books that you sorta read on autopilot, that you don’t even have to think about and your brain and your eyes and the words on the page are in total synchronisation? That’s how I felt with this. It was an effortless read. The language used pulled you straight in and I got such a sense of this beautiful island that I almost felt like I was there. I loved the format of the book; first of all it was in 4 “sections” and within some of those sections we have “now” as in what is happening on the island right now with Jemma and her missing husband and the 7 or so years before the wedding and everything that has led up to this moment. Oh it was oh so clever and I loved how Tina went backwards and forwards between past and present.
This book is the literal epitome of “drip feeding” you information. She keeps you guessing until the end. The very, very end. And I can honestly say, hand on Bible, truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth that The Honeymoon contains the most clever of twists, the most effortlessly shocking sentences that make you question everything and the ability to mislead you right until the end. We’ve all read thrillers where we can get a sense of what’s going on about 2 3rds of the way through but not this. My gosh. I’m speechless. And it’s not often a book renders me speechless.
As for the characters, there’s a right mix of them and even each individual character has a vibrant story and aura to them. They all have secrets and elements to them that you don’t originally see until the end of the book. Some of them are exceptionally misleading and I didn’t expect my thoughts on some of them to change so dramatically throughout. The person you meet at the beginning of the novel is far from the complicated person you know at the end. And it’s brilliantly done. There really is a huge element of the “you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors” phrase in this book which, whilst interesting to read, is quite an important message as it’s so true and even the most perfect looking of couples are golden.
This entire book was just electric. Every chapter leaves you on the edge of your seat, knowing that it’s building up and building up to something massive but you have no idea what or when we will ever get there. At one point, I wondered honestly if we would ever find out what happened to her Jemma’s husband because it was looking so impossible. I wondered if the author was going to be incredibly mean and leave us in the dark forever! Not forever, but she leaves us in the dark long enough to go a little bit haywire with anticipation. Tina is a master a pulling the wool over your eyes in The Honeymoon and this is probably the most unpredictable thriller I have ever read. And undoubtedly, the best book I’ve read in 2017 so far. It’s going to take a lot to beat.