Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Books Read: Girls' Night Out by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

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I'd like to thank Annabelle at ED PR for sending me a proof copy of Girls Night Out to review and Sian for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.

If you've not spoken to your friend in a while, or are having a disagreement with your other friend and business partner over the direction of your company, then what better way to reconnect with your two friends than a girls trip away together in Mexico.  But what Ashley thought would be the chance to mend bridges turns into anything but, the issues that they all faced back home can't be easily forgotten about and tensions are still very much bubbling away between them.

The story alternates between the days leading up to, and the days after, the fateful night of Ashley's disappearance with events and recollections told from the viewpoints of all three main characters, Ashley, Natalie and Lauren, giving us an insight to how they were/are all feeling.  I will admit that I did struggle with the structure of events, jumping back and forth, but after a while it all became second nature and I just went with the flow of the story wondering what little nugget of information was going to unfold next.

They say that 'two's company and three's a crowd' and that seemed to be very much the case with this trio of friends as Lauren appeared very much on the outside although they once were all very close back in college but life has taken them in different directions and their friendships have suffered.  For Natalie and Ashley they have the strain of maintaining their friendship whilst trying to jointly agree what the future of their company looks like,  but there's not only trouble in their work lives as both are dealing with issues at home too.

I have never been to Mexico personally, but do have friends that go on holiday there regularly, but I will have to say that it didn't get a very good portrayal in this book at all with accounts of police corruption, how dangerous it was for women to travel on their own etc.  I know that this is a work of fiction and creative license has been used, and the same warnings could be relevant no matter where we travel to especially when you don't speak the native language, but it didn't make me think that Mexico is a place I need to add to my travel bucket list!

Knowing I was reading a book that has been jointly written by the two authors, I am fascinated as to how these types of collaborations work to tell a story seamlessly, I was trying to see if I could see any signs of differences in writing styles as well as reading the story that was being told.  As Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been friends for a long time, and have now written four books together, it's evident that they know each other so well as there were no obvious joins within the storytelling, well not to me anyway.  Writing is typically a solitary affair so I guess it helps having someone to bounce ideas off and work through any issues that may crop up. 

Girls' Night Out has been labelled as a thriller but personally I didn't feel that it fitted into this category as for me it was more a focus on the relationships between the three women and their lives, although of course there is the mystery element as to what did happen to Ashley on their night out.

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