Cover Image: The Weekend Escape

The Weekend Escape

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Member Reviews

I really liked the sound of this book and it is a good read. Six friends take off to an small island for an adventure trip but the weather turns into a really bad storm. There is lots of tension throughout the story and the descriptions were very good. I did guess whodunnit quite early but still enjoyed the creepiness and excitement of the remainder of the story.
Thank you to One More Chapter for an early ARC to read and review via Netgalley.
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3.5 stars 

The Weekend Escape is the latest standalone novel by Rakie Bennett. This is the first book I've read by this author. 

The story follows six childhood friends, Lyndsey, Sonia, Amanda, Val, Juliet and Bobbie as they arrive on Shell Island for a weekend getaway. After one of the friends is injured while climbing, things quickly take a turn into suspicion, paranoia and fear as they realise they are isolated, stranded with a storm incoming. As things turn deadly, they start to question, is there someone else on the island, or is one of them to blame?

The story takes place over a weekend from Friday through Sunday. The story starts out really fast paced. The prologue opens with a statement telling us that something bad has happened and things move quickly from there. The middle of the story slowed down a little but picked up again for the final third. 

The atmosphere and tension set up by the setting is the best part of the novel. The island setting is perfect and stirs up paranoia and suspense as we see the characters second guess each other as they come to the conclusion that it must have been one of them. 

The characters themselves are my only dislike about the novel. It felt like the fast pace and atmosphere came at the expense of character development. We learn very little about each characters lives or backstory. While each characters personality is different enough that you can tell them apart, id have liked to learn more about them and especially them as teens. I felt the book could have benefited from some flashbacks to their shared past. It felt difficult to grasp how they all connected to each other and how their relationships changed over time. 

Each of the characters has their own motivations and opportunities and this helps to keep you guessing. I felt the author did a good job of throwing enough red herrings around to keep you guessing. I did guess the ending early on but later dismissed it and got lead down another path by the author. 

Overall this was a quick, fun and thrilling mystery whodunit. Id read more by this author. 

Thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for a review.
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For six friends, the activity weekend on an isolated island was to be a reunion and a time to reminisce about the past and to reconnect and have fun again with each other.

However, from the offset things go horribly wrong and disagreements and suspicions soon begin between them.   

An unusual bunch of characters who all have their own secrets, a great setting and plenty of action made for an enjoyable read and I would certainly like to read more from the author.
Many thanks to Netgalley and One More Chapter for an ARC  for my honest review .
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I love a good stranded on an island book. First time I've read a book by this author and will definitely be seeing what else is available on the kindle store
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<b>Note:</b> I received an advanced copy of this book from HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter via NetGalley.

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…

This book had a nice plotline even though the dialogue was a little repetitive at some points in the book.  I liked how the book was set around one main character trying to figure out what was going on with her friends around her and how their individual secrets and the secrets of the past were the reasons they were in the predicament in the first place.
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The Weekend Escape by Rakie Bennett
Green Gables Book Reviews thoughts:

I enjoyed everything about The Weekend Escape-the mystery, the suspense, the remote location. The intense interactions of the friends in the group with each other and with the warden, Marnie.

Do you enjoy weekends away? Maybe somewhere with your oldest friends to reconnect? Possibly somewhere remote, rustic, off-grid with a fantastic view? You can laugh, and re-live old adventures, and reminisce. Doesn’t that sound great?

What if the weather might not be quite what you expected? You can still make it fun. But, what if, during your first planned activity, a friend falls during her rope descent down from the lighthouse? And then you discover it may not have been an accident. Did someone cut the rope?

But, you and your friends think she’ll be ok. Yes, we need to get help as soon as possible; the Coastguard will come. She will be ok. It is then that you realize there is no cell phone service here. But! The warden will have a way to get help. Until they find her, Marnie, and discover the radio is broken.

“The Weekend Escape is well-written, and Bennett does a great job of helping readers keep track of who is who in the book by giving subtle reminders about their descriptions.

“The Weekend Escape by Reiki Bennett is written so that you can see it in your mind playing out, like a movie. And, the ending was a total surprise!”-Green Gables Book Reviews

I am so happy to have gotten an advanced copy of The Weekend Escape to read and review!
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ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

In “The Weekend Escape,” a group of friends get together after ten years for a girls’ weekend of adventure on a remote island.  The only other inhabitant of the island is the bird warden.  The girls’ plans kick off with abseiling down an old lighthouse, which quickly ends in a near-disastrous injury for one of them.  Was it a simple accident or something more sinister?  While doubts linger, it becomes clear that this was only the beginning.

The book starts off strongly, piquing the reader’s interest from the opening chapter.  The eerie atmosphere of the secluded island lends itself to the burgeoning mystery.  As the characters develop, the reader begins to learn that everyone seems to be hiding something.  

However, the book begins to drag a bit after the first third.  Some character points begin to become a bit repetitive, and I found myself beginning to lose interest in where the story was going and my investment in the characters.  I’m a die-hard for a mystery, though, so I kept reading as I wanted to see how it would end.  By the time I reached the final quarter of the book, I found myself skimming over the paragraphs.  The plot which had been moving along so nicely during the first part of the book had slowed dramatically to a crawl.  

The last bit of the book finally picked up the pace a bit for the big reveal.  Unfortunately, at that point I wasn’t really surprised as it seemed the only logical explanation after dissecting every other avenue ad nauseum in the prior chapters.  However, even this ending was inevitably called into question on the closing pages, which brought about another twist and left the book on a question for the reader.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad book.  It made for a quick read (especially given the skimming I found myself doing).  The author does have an easy way of writing that allows a reader to stay in the story, except when the book got a bit over-detailed and drawn out in the middle.  I wasn’t thrilled with the final ending.  I don’t mind ending on a bit of a question, but it just didn’t feel right with how the overall story was set forth.  I would recommend this book if you want a quick read to pass the time, but if you’re looking a more inventive, engaging story, this isn’t for you.
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A weekend getaway on a secluded island. What could go wrong? 

A group of six friends who haven’t been close since school decide to go on a weekend trip to a remote island. They have the whole weekend planned with climbing, coasteering, and other outdoorsy activities. But since this is a thriller, their plans go up in flames almost as soon as they arrive. As things start going wrong, these once close-knit friends begin turning on each other, suspicious that someone among them is sabotaging their weekend escape. 

The last quarter of the book is when I began to feel the tension spike. The group’s unlikely theories about who the saboteur was and their half-baked attempts to rescue themselves had me rolling my eyes more than a few times. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose. None of the characters were that likeable either, which I don’t usually mind. But if they are unlikeable, then they must be interesting, which these characters were not. The constant snapping at each other and frequently throwing around accusations ended up being tiresome to me. 

I will say that this is very atmospheric. I could feel the cold and sense of isolation through the pages. It was also great to read a thriller with some LGBTQIA representation. And, while I correctly predicted who was behind it all, I was still compelled to find out how everything would turn out. 

Thank you to One More Chapter for inviting me to read this arc via Netgalley.
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I was really disappointed with this book, I found it difficult to get into, none of the characters were very likeable, I thought it was obvious who the baddie was and didn’t like the ending.  I thought it sounded like it had such a great story line but really didn’t deliver for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and one more chapter for the advanced reading copy.
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I love Thrillers and was hooked on this from the beginning. I would have liked more of a background about the characters, how they met, etc. I felt as though the book was lacking in that department. You don't know too much about any of them besides the one who is telling the story.

The storyline was very good and keeps your attention. There was always something going on so you wouldn't lose interest. Some wording was confusing, but that's because I'm not familiar with certain UK slang. 

I will say that everything was very obvious, who was coming after them and why. I figured it out very early on. However, I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others.
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Could have been five stars, but…

A weekend adventure on a nearly deserted island. The accommodations are “less than ideal.” The weather turns fierce. All the makings of a good thriller. 

Ten years after high school, six friends, Lindsey, Bobbie, Juliet, Amanda, Sonia, and Val, agree to meet up for a weekend of adventure. As is often the case they drifted apart, but Juliet is determined to get them back together.

The book begins with them abseiling down a deserted lighthouse. That’s when the first near-tragic event happens resulting in an injury to one of the women. Then another one turns up missing. It appears someone doesn’t want them around. But who and why?

Will they be able to get off the island alive? With no cell phone service and a broken radio, they’re not even able to call for help.

The action was fast-paced. This is one book I didn’t want to put down. Although my suspicions proved correct in the end, the author threw in enough twists and turns to keep me guessing.

I was ready to give this five stars until the end. It’s a matter of personal preference, and I can’t say too much without giving it away, but I’m a reader who likes things wrapped up.

Five stars for the story, one star for the ambiguous ending for an overall rating of four.

Thanks to Net Galley and HarperCollins for an advance review copy.
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I feel like I've read a spate of novels lately in which the basic premise is a group of women who don't particularly like one another go away together anyway and are picked off one by one. This is a weird trend.
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This is a thriller with a classic setting. Six friends decide to reconnect and spent a weekend at an isolated island. However, as soon as they arrive they start realizing someone or something is set out to harm them.

I love that the story takes right off. The characters are already on the island and weird things immediately start happening. Then we gradually learn more about every character as well as how and why they ended up on the island as the story progresses. The atmosphere is pretty intense and the novel has that element of mystery and creepiness. There is something much darker that connects these friends and you are trying to put together how that relates to what is happening now. Overall, I think it’s a good thriller, especially if you’re looking for something to read on a chilly day but you also want something that won’t stress you out too much.

The reason for my rating thought is that I found it to be a little too predictable. There is somewhat of a “twist” toward the end but it really didn’t feel like one, I mean after a while you can already guess half of it. The characters start suspecting one another and like each one has something that could make them guilty. They also start suspecting it’s someone else on the island. But just the addition of a certain ~element~ rules out all but one option. So whenever it tries to lead you to other conclusions it’s just not convincing enough and some things felt more pointless than entertaining.

Also, at certain times and especially at the first 30% it felt somewhat slow despite jumping right into the story. It takes some time to introduce us to each character and their life situation which took me a bit to get through. But once it’s passed that it really picked up and was a lot more fun.
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A group of friends, secrets and an uninhabited island combine to create an enjoyable, rollercoaster of a thriller by Rakie Bennett.

Six old schoolfriends reunite for a weekend of outdoor pursuits on Shell Island. Ten years ago, as school goers, the group were firm friends and frequently went abseiling and Rick climbing together. No adventure was too big in those days. Now however, there are slight rifts appearing within the group and their secrets are slowly driving them further apart.

As the storm approaches the island, 
Lyndsey, Sonia, Bobbie, Amanda, Juliet, and Val realise that the first accident may not be an accident after all. Not shortly, a tragedy occurs. Now the women realise that someone is targeting them. But is the threat coming from someone hiding on the island, or is one of the group to blame?

As the tale progresses, our formerly close-knit group of friends start to suspect each other and attempt to escape with terrible results. 

There have been numerous attempts to use the uninhabited island/remote location, group of individuals, storm etc tale but for me the greatest version is 'And then there were none' by Agatha Christie. 'The Weekend Escape' makes an admirable attempt to ape the tension and excitement of the aforementioned novel. Yet, this tale is more predictable and I was able to guess the truth fairly early on. Perhaps the clues provided by the author are a little too obvious but this does not take from a well-written tale.
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When the old ‘college gang’ get together on one of those ‘fun’ wild abandoned islands, it doesn’t take long for old tensions and disagreements to resurface. Accidents and strange things that go bump in the night. A bit confusing and a bit sinister, this tale will keep you reading past your bedtime to find out what exactly happened to Cherry, and what is actually going on. Accidents or sabotage?

Thanks to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review
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Finished this in one literal, 4 hour sitting. I could not put it down. Extremely atmospheric, completely riveting, full of surprises and twists that I genuinely didn't see coming. I really love the stranded feel of this story and this was such a great read.
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My thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for allowing me to review. 

6 friends get together on an island for a vacation/retreat.  What starts out as fun turns into murder, revenge,secrets revealed, and plotting the friends to turn against each other.

The premise was very intriguing.  I thought it had a bit of And Then There Were None element, but as the book progressed it was things I've seen before in plots.  Ending just let you hanging.  I didn't hate this but my expectations were a bit higher.
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Shell Island

Six high school friends now in their thirty's decide to embark on a climbing weekend on an Island. They haven't actually interacted with each other for years but Juliet has gathered the old group together for a weekend to reminisce and reconnect. That is six of them as the seventh member is dead but that is a secret that is never talked about. There is Juliet the leader, Lyndsey, Amanda, Val, Bobbie and Sonia.

It starts off badly with Amanda falling during the first climb, a mysterious cut rope, a dilapidated cottage, an odd game warden and stormy weather. Then other odd things begin to happen and one of them ends up dead on a cliff. Then it gets very strange and no one trusts any of the others and least of all the game warden.

The radio is broken so they try different ways to get the attention of the mainland, but they fail in most of their attempts. The storm breaks the lights are out, the heat is off and they do not know if any will survive.
Are they alone on the island, or is there someone else on the island stalking them? What other happening take place and what secrets are revealed. Each of them have secrets and it appears all of them begin to emerge. Will they be rescued, will any of them survive?

This was an exciting mystery with suspense and a lot of juicy secrets. Very interesting story. I would recommend it.

Thanks to Rakie Bennett, Harper Collins U.K. , One More Chapter, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review.
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Rating:  3.0/5

I had not previously read anything by Rakie Bennett, though I am aware that she has written other books under the names of Rachel Bennett and Rakie Keig.  Having just completed the book I am left with mixed feelings about it.  There are facets that I really enjoyed, but there are other aspects that I found disappointing and even a little irksome.

"The Weekend Escape" contains a number of elements that will be very familiar to regular readers of the genre:  A  remote island setting; a group of friends trying to rekindle the strength of their past relationship with each other; limited ability to communicate with the outside world; inclement weather adding to the sense of isolation; a dramatic past event; secrets being kept from other members of the group; and last, but not least, a mysterious death.

In the opening chapters I really wasn't convinced that this was going to be the book for me.  The way it began seemed more like the opening to a short story rather than a novel, where the reader is dropped straight into the action without any scene-setting.  My initial feelings of doubt were not helped by the fact that the writing in the first few chapters struck me as being a bit clunky and simplistic.  In addition, there is quite a large cast of characters and in the early encounters it wasn't easy to distinguish between them.  Although it improved markedly as the novel progressed I wasn't particularly impressed with the dialogue at this stage either.  Stylistically, I was also uncomfortable with the writer's repeated use of contractions (must've, could've, should've, it'd, etc.).  I have no issue with this being employed in dialogue, but I find it grating when it is used in the narrative text.  (This aspect isn't confined to the early chapters and continues throughout the novel.)

I hate not finishing a book, but I was preparing myself for this one to be a struggle.  Thankfully, once the story gets into its stride it actually becomes an enjoyable mystery adventure - though the pace did wane unnecessarily at times and could have benefitted from some further editing.  That said, Rakie Bennett makes good use of the setting to add a strong sense of menace throughout.  The group dynamics are constantly shifting as paranoia sets in and suspicion of each other builds.  There are a number of very well-written sections when the heart-pounding tension is palpable.  I also had strong liking for the way the author chose to end the story, though for the sake of remaining as spoiler-free as possible, I shall say no more than that.

All in all, I found this an enjoyable reading experience.  Although there were certain aspects that didn't sit well with me, there is nothing to say that other readers will feel the same way and I would still happily recommend this as a worthwhile read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for supplying an ARC in return for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed this book and found the drama started quite quickly into the book and the story got going and kept going at a good pace.  I did feel the book ended slightly prematurely without providing a certainty as to what happened to everyone.  The story is mainly focused from Lynsey’s point of view, although I didn’t feel you found out much about her as a person.  A good thriller which kept you guessing the majority of the way through.
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