Cover Image: The Weekend Escape

The Weekend Escape

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Member Reviews

The Weekend Escape is the story of a girls weekend gone horribly wrong. The overall  story is interesting and had some good plot points, but there are numerous inconsistencies that made it difficult, at times, to buy into. The grown women, friends when teenagers, meet at an island for a weekend of outdoor adventures - climbing, etc. They are alternately referred to as the best of friends, and complete strangers who haven't really spoken much in the 10 years since they were teenagers. I couldn't get a handle on their friendships at all due to the conflicting stories. There isn't much character study, but that's okay as this is all about the ominous tone of the weekend and all the misadventures that befall them. The right tone is set - one of isolation and desperation to get off that island. The story moves right along, and I was entertained enough to keep reading. It became clear early on who the culprit is, so there isn't much mystery. The ending is abrupt and ambiguous in a way that doesn't really make sense, and it honestly sort of ruined the whole book. With a different ending this had promise, despite the flaws.
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Six women in their twenties who knew each other at school agree, some reluctantly, to have a reunion on Shell Island. It may be August but the weather is nothing but storms. That sets the background for their stormy relationships. The first disaster is when one of them, Amanda, fallen when abseiling and they suspect the rope has been cut. Then one dies. The finger is pointed at the woman warden who look after the bird life on the island but is that an accusation they can prove? It is fairly obvious early on who is behind the disasters so there is no suspense there. The storyline itself is not particularly original and it is told in a very descriptive style. It is a fairly straightforward read.
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My thanks to HarperCollins One More Chapter for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Weekend Escape’ by Rakie Bennett in exchange for an honest review.

It’s a pretty fair bet that if a novel’s premise is that a group of friends, who have drifted apart, are going on holiday to a remote location in order to rekindle their bonds that bad things are going to happen. Very bad things….

Here the destination is Shell Island, a barren rock off the coast of Northern England. The six women are there to climb, abseil, sleep on uncomfortable bunk beds, eat poorly, and generally rough it. Not my idea of fun. 

The only other person on the island is the warden who lives next to the bunkhouse in the bird observatory. Of course, things go wrong and even the weather gangs up on them. Tempers flare, the women begin to turn against one another as secrets are revealed. As I said bad things but no more details to avoid spoilers.

‘The Weekend Escape’ by Rakie Bennett proved a diverting psychological thriller. I will admit that I found it hard to relate to any of the six friends. I did feel for Marne, the bird warden, who clearly wasn’t pleased at having this group descend onto the island and interfere with her duties with their constant needs and traumas. 

The isolated island setting, its crumbling lighthouse, and the turbulent sea with its treacherous currents were very atmospheric though again not my idea for a holiday destination.

Definitely an okay read though I found the plot a little predictable.
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‘When I first came here,’ Marne said then, ‘they told me this whole island was cursed. I suppose that’s probably true of every island which has tidal currents and hidden rocks – after the first couple of shipwrecks, people start making up stories to explain a run of bad luck . And then, climbers can be pretty superstitious too. It doesn’t take much for a place to get a reputation. People embellish stories. There was that diving tragedy, about twenty-five years ago, when those two young fellas died. One of the wardens told me you can still hear their ship’s bell, on a particular night of the year, if the wind’s right. Islands like this are full of ghosts, apparently.’

In this story, we follow a group of friends who have reunited after years apart to spend a weekend together on an island. It's supposed to be a fun bonding experience. But then one of their party gets injured almost immediately, and their radio doesn't work. A major storm is coming in, stranding them on the island in the middle of winter.

As more and more things start going wrong, the friends begin to turn on each other. Each one is hiding a secret, and maybe it's enough to make them into a murderer. Tension builds more and more as suspicious events pile up.

I know there are lots of similar types of books out there. There is nothing particularly unique about this storyline when it compares to similar books. What makes this stand out, however, is how well it is executed. It was very enjoyable, except for maybe the ending.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter for giving me an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A great suspense thriller. This book gets straight into the action from the get go. Although I found it a little predictable in parts it is a true ly enjoyable book.
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Let me start by saying I love any kind of thriller that has our characters isolated anywhere, an island is a bonus, so felt this was right up my street. Although I had worked out what was going on quite early on, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story (although I may have been actually screaming at these characters to use their brains from time to time), the part at the very end left me a bit confused though. The author did a really good job at describing the island and made you feel like you were actually there.

*Thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins UK and Rakie Bennett for the copy of this book. All views are my own.*
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This is a non-stop thriller! It has lots of action and keeps you turning pages.  The women have no time for relaxation all the care about is their survival. I loved atmosphere in this book. The author really pulled that off well. The characters are unlikeable, yet I was dying to learn who was behind it all.  Definitely a good escape read.
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Six friends who were close to each other but who haven't seen each other in about 10 years reunite for a weekend away on a remote island.

It was a enjoyable easy good read with a decent pace to it. Had suspense and mystery to it. Good round up of characters. Enjoyable plot line however much like a lot of other books out at the moment. 

The back of the book synopsis:
A deserted island, a vicious storm, a murderer amongst friends…
It was meant to be a fun reunion, a chance for six friends to reconnect and relive the adventures that brought them together in the first place. But from the moment they arrive on their island home for the weekend, Lyndsey, Sonia, Bobbie, Amanda, Juliet, and Val realise that their paradise is filled with peril, and there are consequences when you try to outrun the ghosts of your past.

As everything starts to fall apart, and the friends begin to turn against one another, deep, dark secrets are revealed, and an unimaginable horror is unleashed. They came seeking adventure, but now they’ll be lucky to leave with their lives…

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me an Arc in exchange for an honest review
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I loved the book, loved the characters, loved the setting, loved the suspense. Glad I read it! 5/5 stars for sure!
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It seems like I've read a lot of novels this year about a group of old friends who get together for a weekend retreat or vacation or wedding.  I'd put this one somewhere in the middle of the pack.  The plotline is about six women who were once close friends, but haven't gotten together for ten years.  In the past they used to enjoy hiking, abseiling, rock climbing, etc., so Juliet arranges for them to all go to a remote island whose only inhabitant is a park warden who takes care of a bird observatory.  The group is scheduled to spend their weekend in a bunkhouse and enjoy the great outdoors.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature has other ideas, and although it's August, their arrival is greeted by strong, cold winds and rain.  Personally, I wouldn't have even made my way off the boat that delivered them to this bleak island.

Right off the bat, the group gets off to a very rough start.  They are taking turns abseiling down a cliff next to a non-functioning lighthouse..  Juliet sails down, but the other five struggle.  When the last one down, Amanda, takes her turn, the rope breaks and she falls the last twenty feet or so, badly injuring her leg.  When the others check the rope, they see that it was severed.  But the island is supposed to be deserted so who could have done it?  Maybe there actually is someone else on the island?   Nonetheless, the group heads to the bunkhouse to find a phone or radio so they can contact the Coast Guard and get help.  What they find is a desolate bunkhouse with no electricity and no heat!  Moreover, once they find the park warden, she informs them that her radio has been broken for a couple of weeks and she doesn't know how to fix it.  This is a thriller, so of course the group is stranded with no way to get help, and their boat ride back isn't due for another two days.  And then one of the group is found dead, and things go from bad to worse.

I liked that this weekend getaway took place in such an desolate area instead of some chic resort; it was very atmospheric.   I also liked that the characters were all women who had fallen out of touch with one another, but I did struggle to distinguish them.  On the downside, I thought the killer was really obvious very early on, which ruined some of the suspense for me.  I also felt that the ending felt a bit unresolved.  Overall, it was a decent read and a nice change of pace.

My thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter/Harper Collins for providing me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I always gravitate toward books that have a secluded island, friends going away for the weekend, and things that go horribly wrong.  Six friends, Lyndsey, Sonia, Bobbie, Amanda, Juliet, and Val go away for a fun reunion. It is supposed to be a time of fun, catching up and reconnecting. But what it became was a place of havoc. As the description says <i>"...there are consequences when you try to outrun the ghosts of your past."</i>

The six friends once enjoyed outdoor activities, so why not indulge their favorite pursuits here?  maybe because they have changed, they are older, less athletic, and perhaps not as excited to push themselves. Plus, the island is remote, reachable only by boat so naturally communication on and off the island is not the best.  As the friends begin to turn on each other, secrets begin to be revealed.  This is where you know the proverbial you-know-what is going to hit the fan!

First off, an island with a lighthouse! Sign me up!  Well, hold off on that it, because as the chills sets in and the weather changes, so does the group of friends.  Reunions should be fun!  This is not the case here!

This book has atmosphere galore but didn't offer anything that left a real mark for me. I love atmosphere this was my favorite part of the book. The author really pulled that off brilliantly. The characters are unlikeable, yet I was interested in learning who was behind everything.  Things go downhill for them fast which made for a fast paced read.  

Overall, an enjoyable read when you are looking to escape.


Thank you to Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
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This intense, atmospheric thriller opens with one of the main characters being questioned by the police whilst she is led in a hospital bed. Then the story slips back in time to the previous Friday morning and we are introduced to the six main characters whose weekend on a isolated island had descended into a terrifying fight for survival. Lyndsey, Amanda, Juliet, Bobbie, Val and Sonia had been friends since their school days but hadn't all been together as a group due to life commitments. The weekend was supposed to be a fun packed adventure, a chance to reconnect, get drunk, catch up on each others lives and reminisce about their shared memories. But things started going wrong almost from the moment that the group arrived on the island, one of the women was injured in a incident whilst they were absailing. Their accommodation wasn't what they had expected, they couldn't get any signal on their phones and as time passed, the weather just kept getting steadily worse.

It was quite obvious from quite early in the story there was toxic undercurrents churning away below the surface of the relationships between the women. Problems in their personal lives, hidden secrets, resentments and animosities that caused the atmosphere between them to be so thick at times, you could cut it with a knife. As time passed and it became obvious that they were the pawns in someone's, mistrust spread throughout the group and accusations started flying around their damp, cold bunkhouse. Apart from Marnie, the bird warden, they were supposed to be the only people in the island, surely they could trust each other....or could they? What about Marnie, could she be the person who was terrorising them? Or was there a unknown enemy hiding amongst the trees and rocks that covered the island?

Each of the women was a vivid, relatable individual with their own unique personality and character traits. My feelings for each of them ebbed and flowed like the waves that crashed onto the rocks of the island. There was times when I liked each of them and times when I didn't and one who I admit I passed judgement on too quickly and changed my opinion on by the end of the story. I felt a lot of sympathy for Marnie due to the way that she was treated by the group, she appeared to be a very likeable individual but was she really or had the author cleverly manipulated me into believing that Marnie could be trusted when she was actually hiding her true nature behind a mask?

Wow....just wow, I loved this fast paced, intense, atmospheric thrill ride that hooks the reader in from the first page, keeps you captivated and hardly gives you a opportunity to draw in a breath as the story rockets along towards its mind blowing, unexpected conclusion. I love books that are based in isolated locations especially where the characters are cut off from civilisation and have no way of summoning help. I loved the author's descriptions of the island with its numerous hiding places, deadly cliffs the waves crashing on the rocks and the old lighthouse that stood guard over the island. I would love to watch a film or tv adaptation of this, addictive suspense packed story, worth far more than five stars, very very highly recommended and definitely going to be one of my favourite reads of this year.
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Six young women arrive at a small, rocky island with treacherous cliffs for a weekend of adventure, which turns into a frightening misadventure. As things start going wrong, these once close-knit friends begin turning on each other, suspicious that someone among them is sabotaging their trip. The setting was atmospheric, but for me the characters fell flat.
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Despite the fact that I did guess where this was going very early on, I found myself enjoying it anyway. Totally run of the mill but good if you want a decent page turner, read it in a couple of sittings.
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From the onset of this book, mystery abounds. It isn’t clear initially if there is someone from the group or an outsider out to get these girls. It felt all very intense, which is what you look for in a suspense! My qualms were with the slow evolution of the plot and how at the end you aren’t even sure if Lyndsey’s recount of the situation is accurate. The whole thing left me feeling askew.
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Six friends reunite for a weekend away on a deserted island off the north west English coast.  They've kept in touch but it's been ten years since some of them met up in person, and the trip dregs up old memories and suspicions.  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, an accident followed by a murder with a terrific storm brewing. The island's only inhabitant is the bird warden / keeper of the primitive bunkhouse for occasional visitors during the summer months, and she is decidedly odd, but perhaps isolation has dulled her social skills.

The book was very well written, mostly from Lindsey's point of view, and quite visual in that it was easy to picture the characters, events and places described.

However, the identity of the culprit was easy to spot and I felt disappointed with the ending which was somewhat inconclusive, leaving certain events and outcomes up to the reader's interpretation, and with some loose ends not adequately tied up.  I'm sure this was deliberate as it left me thinking about the ending for some time, and changing my mind more than once.  But a book is supposed to make you think, isn't it.
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Six high school friends plan a reunion weekend getaway to a remote island.  A weekend of roughing it and hours filled with physical activities was the plan until those  plans were upended.  When an accident occurs on their first day, they quickly find out just how isolated they really are. Catastrophes continue to plague the group and there’s no guarantee any of them will escape this weekend with their lives. Is there someone else on the island with them or worse yet, does someone in their group want them dead.  Six friends, but it should have been seven!
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A friends reunion on a remote island is the setting for this thriller. The eight friends take a while to distinguish themselves in the plot. A tale of action packed survival. As secrets unfold, they have to question how well they know each other. Nail biting till the end.
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A good book to keep with you while you lounge on the beach—even if your holiday isn't great, it's better than this friend group's island trip,

An easy enough read. Decent pacing and a well-rounded group of characters. Don't expect to be shocked by the twists, however.
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A locked room thriller taking place on a deserted island that will keep you guessing right until the end. Six friends are meant to have an enjoyable weekend away on an island but things quickly turn very wrong. 

It was quite fast paced at the beginning but I felt it drop in the middle to pick up again by the end. I did struggle to like any of the six women on the island but that probably was the author's point.

Would recommend for fans of thrillers and who did its. Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC of this book.
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