Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Retreat

The Retreat by Sherri Smith
Tom Doherty Associates: 8/13/19
eBook review copy; 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9780765386731

The Retreat by Sherri Smith is a recommended thriller. Four women head to The Sanctuary, a wellness retreat. Will they make it out alive?

We know from the start that someone has killed multiple people, we just don't know who. The four women who head to the retreat are all connected through former child star Katie Manning. Ellie Rose, Katie's brother's fiancĂ©e, invited Katie. Katie, in turn, invited her two friends from her brief college attendance, Carmen and Ariel. All four of these women have some big secrets they want to hide, but the whole purpose of the retreat is to find themselves and inner bliss. The weekend culminates with the ceremony where all the retreat attendees drink the hallucinatory ayahuasca tea. 

Smith does develop her characters to give them depth; however they all seem to be caricatures of a type of person. The whole novel is populated by unlikable and unreliable stereotypical characters. It is also relatively easy to figure out early on who is the killer, so the thrill is in reaching the conclusion and find out what happens to tie the opening scene to the story. The narrative is told through the four women who travel together to the Sanctuary, so the reader is privy to their secrets, schemes, and insecurities. All of these women are vastly different characters. 

The writing is good, in spite of the fact that the plot is predictable and the characters stereotypes. There are also scenes that really serve no purpose except to be disturbing or depraved. This is an airplane book, read it to pass the time, but you won't cry if you misplace it or never finish it.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the Tom Doherty Associates.

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