The RetreatThe Retreat by Karen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say Karen King sets the location for this story beautifully. I was right there at the ‘The Retreat’ nestled in the lush vegetation of the Andalucian mountains. And what a twisty journey I had! The author’s excellent characterisation drew me immediately into José and Eva’s story and their dream to turn José’s grandparents’ run-down villa into a holiday and wellness retreat. The scene is set when, having decided on a trial run and offered a 50% discount to six guests, both José and Eva recognise the names of two people on the list who they worry will bring with them ghosts from their pasts. The couple, as people do, are keeping secrets. As are some of their guest. We embark on a suspenseful journey of sabotage and intrigue where suspicion abounds culminating in… Shhh! No spoilers! But who is the culprit? What is their motive. Is it a simple case of someone seeking revenge? In psychological fiction we often have characters who are unlikeable. We might be engaging readers with a character who is likeable. Can we forgive a likeable character who does something which appears morally ambiguous? It’s a tricky question, one which Karen King poses perfectly keeping you reading right to that last page. I loved The Retreat and would highly recommend it!


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