Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group
Four wives fly off in a helicopter no less for a Girl’s Weekend in Monte Carlo. Serena Schofield, a former U.S. Champion skier, she is the one footing the bill for this weekend. Her husband provides for her but it really is a loveless marriage. Bryah Gordon, born in Johannesburg under the oppression of apartheid, her husband is very controlling and at times physically abusive, so this is her first ever weekend away with just the girls. Winnie Brookes, an exotic Brit, beautiful inside as well as out. Her husband was in British Intelligence for years and now works at the British Embassy in Bern. Then there is Abbie Elliot, her husband is a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Bern. She can’t believe these women are her friends.
They are all having a fabulous time hitting the casinos and clubs, eating delicacies, drinking champagne, sitting by the pool, drawing the attention of many handsome men. Sounds like a wonderful weekend right?
When the “girls” wake up on a yacht surrounded by police they realize something awful has happened. They are arrested for a crime so unbelievable. The vacation of a lifetime becomes the fight of a lifetime.
A few years ago I read that James Patterson has so many story ideas that he basically just writes about a 100 page outline for each idea and then passes off to a co-writer to complete. This formula has produced many bestsellers. I had read two books earlier this year by David Ellis and was very impressed with his work.
The theme of this book is interesting but there are just a couple of things that are keeping me from loving this book and giving it 5 stars. I am really starting to hate the 2 or 3 chapters at the beginning of a book that tell us almost word for word something happening later and then the story moves back to where the events started. It ruins the flow when you get to that part of the book and you think, “I already read this/knew this”. Then early in the book the readers are given a huge clue to what really happened and we keep reading until the characters realize the truth and have that “aha moment”. It takes away from the suspense.
With that being said I did enjoy the story. The procedures followed by the French officials, detectives, prison guards and the ease of buying certain ones off really showed the French in a bad light. I have never been to France or in this situation but realize being in prison is no picnic. What these ladies experienced could very well be true. It does make for a fine piece of fiction.
Patterson and his co-writers do deliver good stories. After so many and releasing so many each year I feel like they are getting to be rushed out to rake in the cash. This book will still be a bestseller because of Patterson’s reputation but this really could of have been great with just a few changes. My recommendation when you read this book start on page 15 and only read the first paragraph on page 31. Then you will love this book!!!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”