C.L. Taylor is one of my favourite authors and I always feel as though I’m in safe hands when I read one of her psychological thrillers. In Her Last Holiday we are transported to both Wales and Gozo as Fran tries to find out what happened to her sister, Jenna.

Jenna disappeared on a retreat in Gozo two years earlier. Was she murdered, did she commit suicide? It appears as though she disappeared into thin air. In a bid to find out what really happened and to try and shut up her unpleasant and overbearing mother, Fran books herself onto a retreat in Wales run by the same people, Tom and Kate.

First of all, I don’t ever want to go on a retreat! Both of the ones in the book end up being quite dangerous places consisting of some rather dubious activities and some distinctly strange people. More than once I found myself grimacing at what was going on, and at the twists and turns taking place.

I loved Fran. She’s one of those sorts of people who are quite blunt and who say exactly what they think but also she stands up for people and throws herself into all situations with a kind of gung-ho attitude. In fact, all of the author’s characterisations are brilliant and I really feel she excels at nailing people’s traits and foibles, pinning down exactly what makes them tick.

Her Last Holiday is another great read from Taylor. I was kept guessing and never knew which wellness retreat resident to trust. Fran meets some who were on the Gozo retreat. Do they know what happened to Jenna? I certainly couldn’t work it out but I really enjoyed being along for the ride. Full of suspense and tension, with a compelling storyline and fascinating characters, I thought this was an excellent read.

Reviewed by Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes

Published by Avon (29 April 2021)
Hardback, ISBN 978-0008379223