Book Review: Girls' Night Out by Liz Fenton

Girls' Night Out by Liz Fenton
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟(3 stars)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

This was a bit of a disappointment for me. A middling 3 stars because I'm feeling generous. Also, it may be that I have mixed feelings about the ending but those feelings are much more positive than those I had while reading the first half.

I'll begin with the things I liked. I quite enjoyed the setting (so wonderfully described) and the setup. I seem to have landed in a patch of books lately where women in their latter 30s and early 40s have unravelled and gone completely out of pocket with disastrous results. The results here are no less disastrous but it wasn't an enjoyable ride along for me. I admit that I never dialled in on the three women (Ashley, Natalie & Lauren). It wasn't even that I didn't like them but I found them too juvenile and petty to care about them. A fate worse than character dislike for this reader. I understand how we can all regress with friendships but something was missing for me with these women. They didn't just argue, they went round in the same circles more than I cared to read about (a third of this could have been taken out & the thrust of the conflict wouldn't have been lost).

The first half of the book was very slow but this did eventually get off the ground. If I'm honest, the best part of this for me was the back 25%. The mystery is tied up neatly enough and while there's a closing of the case there's a final twist that makes that null though unknown by anyone alive. I don't know if this was better with that bit or best left without it.

I'm neutral on recommending this one. I'm sure these characters will strike a better note with an audience who has more patience for them than I did.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing for this ARC.

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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