Tom Wade, the man behind Soul Shrink Retreats has just been released from prison after serving time for his role in the death of two people. There was a third victim, Jemma, but Tom has never revealed what happened to her. Now Jemma’s sister, Fran, is determined to uncover the truth after she finds out that Tom is about to run another retreat. What did happen to Jemma and why is someone keen to do anything to stop the truth from emerging?
From quite early on in the book, it becomes apparent that secrecy is one of the main themes. After his release from prison, Tom is clearly still troubled by what happened at the retreat in Gozo but is it guilt he is feeling or something else? As we do not find out the circumstances of what actually happened until later in the book, I found myself warming to Tom although was constantly on my guard, looking for clues as to what it was that he was actually hiding.
The story is told from the point of view of three of the characters: Fran, Jemma and Kate. Kate is Tom’s wife, a pushy woman who has stood by him throughout his time in prison and feels that he owes it to her to continue with his work. I enjoyed the silent battle between Kate and Fran as neither of them trusted the other, the chapters written from their points of view revealing their innermost feelings. Through the chapters written from Jemma’s point of view, we get to see what happened during the retreat in Gozo. We also discover that some characters appear in both time lines, leaving me wondering, again, what secrets people were hiding.
This is a perfect holiday read with a plot that is easy to follow yet testing enough to deliver many surprises.