Cover Image: Her Last Holiday

Her Last Holiday

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Member Reviews

This is my fourth CL Taylor title and her books seem to just keep falling short of the mark. They’re not bad but I feel like they are missing some vital ingredient for me to love them. (The Strangers is the one that's gone the closest and is still my fav so far.)

Her Last Holiday’s premise was pretty good. Fran’s sister, Jenna, was at a wellness retreat in Gozo, Malta when disaster struck, leaving two attendees dead and Jenna missing, presumed dead. A couple of years later, the guru head of the retreat, Tom, and his wife, Kate, are arranging another retreat. Fran, convinced by her mother, goes undercover to attend the retreat. The plan to become friendly enough with Tom and Kate so they might reveal the truth about what really happened in Gozo.

By using the retreat, Taylor has the opportunity to use one of my favourite tropes - the locked in with the killer but isolated from the rest of civilisation one - in a new way. I had to, however, suspend belief when it came to the group of suspects. Other than Tom and Kate, they were the people who had attended both retreats. Why would people want to do such a thing after the first disaster? I would have thought most people would be running the other way, suffering from PTSD as opposed to tempting fate a second time.

The story is told from Fran, Jenna and Kate’s point of view. It’s also set in two time periods. ‘Now’ with Fran at the new retreat and ‘then’ with Jenna attending. Unfortunately the three women were all pretty unlikeable. Fran is essentially the heroine and she does show some feminist spunk now and then but she is also quite pompous at times. None of the other characters were very nice either, I must add. Fran’s mother is a piece of work and the retreat attendees are all crazy.

I did think the book might have worked better if it was trimmed down. That is, I was enjoying the book more at the beginning and then my interest started to wan -- a sure sign that there wasn’t enough plot for its length.

I will keep trying Taylor’s books though. They’re enjoyable enough in a comfortable sort of way. 3 out of 5
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I was really excited when I received this book from NetGalley because it sounded so intriguing. The chapters go between the past and present and are told from the POV of Fran, Jenna and Kate. I felt like this book was a slow build up to the amazing ending and the further you dive in the more you become desperate to know what happened to Jenna. I felt a lot of dislike for some of the characters and that made it hard to know which characters to trust, which I feel made this book even more enjoyable. I did not see the ending coming and loved the way it all unfolded. I recommend this to crime fiction lovers out there, who enjoy a slow unfolding mystery.
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Three years ago, Fran's sister Jenna attended a SoulShrink retreat run by charismatic self help guru Tom - but she never came home. Two people died in a sweat lodge gone wrong and Tom was sent to prison for negligent homicide - meanwhile Jenna was ruled a suicide due to her shoes being found at a cliff edge. 

But her battleaxe of a mother has never believed it, and now that Tom is out of prison and running another retreat, she railroads Fran into attending the retreat to sniff out the truth from the last person to see her sister alive. 

I'm a sucker for the "isolated retreat/location and people with lots of secrets" trope so I really enjoyed this. It's told from three perspectives - Jenna's older sister Fran, Jenna herself, and Tom's wife Kate - and jumps between two time periods - then, at Jenna's retreat, and now, with Fran attending the new one. In this way, agendas and truths are slowly revealed in a way that has you constantly guessing. I love that style of writing - I enjoy the short chapters and the feeling of wanting to know what's true and what really happened. This was meant to be my "kids bedtime read in the dark" kindle book but it soon became my main read as I raced through, not wanting to put it down. 

I admit I felt that Fran's ending was a little too neat and sweet, but Kate's ending probably makes up for that. 

I definitely had fun with this one and I'd be keen to look up the author's other works.
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Two years ago Jenna went on a retreat ran by a husband and wife team.
The retreat went horribly wrong and 3 people end up dead including Jenna.
Tom the man behind Soul shrink spent two years in prison for the deaths. After his release his wife Kate convinces him to have another retreat.
Fran, Jenna’s sister attends this retreat in hope of finding out what exactly happened to her sister.

This novel took me a while to get into. It starts of slow and there are a lot of characters to remember.
I did not like any of the characters especially Tom and his wife Kate. Everyone just seemed to be out for themselves and had no redeeming qualities.

There is a nice twist at the end which I did not see coming.
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CL Taylor never disappoints, and Her Last Holiday is no exception. Set in two wellness retreats over dual timelines it is led by three strong female characters that set the narrative for the story.
After her sister's disappearance on the retreat in Gozo Fran goes in search of her lost sister Jenna by signing up for the latest retreat to get the answers her grieving family long for.  

Here is where the story starts ramping up and the two timelines make for furious page turning. What happened to Jenna, was it suicide or was it murder? With many possible perpetrators over the course of the two retreats including Tom the guru leading the wellness ventures and his overbearing wife Kate. 

Follow Fran in her pursuit of the truth but in true CL Taylor fashion be prepared for things to not always be what they seem! A great thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Australia for this early reading copy.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins Australia for the advanced digital copy of this book- to be published April 29th.
I’ve read all of CL Taylor’s books and enjoy them for their ease of reading with twisty story lines, intriguing characters and often destination locations. This latest book tells the story of Fran, who attends a retreat to find out what happened to her missing sister who attended a previous retreat two years ago where two people died. It’s difficult to know who to trust in this story, and it moves quickly with lots of incidents to keep the reader guessing about what the end will bring for Fran. It’s a fast paced, easy read- perfect for a rainy weekend or beach holiday!
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With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital arc of this book, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Her Last Holiday by C. L. Taylor is the first book I have read by this author.

Tom is a self-help guru with his puppet strings being pulled by secret wife/assistant Kate. He has just been released from jail after two deaths at their last retreat. Fran gets sent by her mother to their next retreat to uncover what happened to her sister Jenna a possible third victim from that retreat.

Told from Kate, Fran and Jenna’s perspectives the author weaves us through now and then seamlessly with other characters who were at retreats helping the pieces fall into place.

Unfortunately while I was interested enough to keep reading, I wasn’t super invested in the story as I didn’t really like any of the characters.

This was an average three star read for me. I will look for more of this author’s work in the future to see if other books are more to my liking.
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So this was my first C.L. Taylor book and I'm impressed! The story is told from the POV of the three main female characters and it is full of suspense from the word go! With nice short chapters, which I love, likeable characters (mostly) and a few twists and turns, this one kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. 

Thank you to Harper Collins Australia and NetGalley for a copy of Her Last Holiday to review
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Thankyou to NetGalley,  HarperCollins Publishers Australia,  Avon Books and the author,  C L Taylor, for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of Her Last Holiday in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion. 
A really good,  captivating read. 
Fast paced and a few twists keep you hooked. 
Worth a read.
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This is an entertaining and twisty psychological thriller, told from three perspectives and two timelines.

It’s dark and full of secrets, lies which creates a lot of suspense and keeps you hooked to find out what will happen next.

Part of the end surprised me and overall I found it wrapped up nicely.  

I found it to be a quick and fun holiday read.

I would read another book by C.L. Taylor.. 

Thank you NetGalley, HarperCollins Publishers Australia and C.L. Taylor for this ARC.
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