Several years ago, I read Vincent Bugliosi’s And The Sea Will Tell, the true story about two couples who sailed to a deserted island in the Pacific. Only one couple came back alive. I was reminded of that book when a friend recommended Reckless Girls. After reading her review, I immediately snatched up an ARC.
This book is scheduled for release on January 4, 2022.
When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.
Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.
But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.
When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.
Lux and her boyfriend Nico want to sail the seas. They get stuck in Hawaii when their boat needs repairs. Two friends, Amma and Brittany, hire them to sail to the deserted island of Mereo. When they arrive another couple, Jake and Eliza, are already there in a luxurious cataraman. But the six people strike up a friendship. Each character has baggage from the past.
Mereo has a dark history with tales of marooned soldiers and cannibalism. It was last used by the navy in WWII. All goes well until the arrival of a third boat carrying a single passenger. That’s when strange things begin happening. Smashed radios, people disappearing, dead bodies.
The author weaves in timelines from the past which begins to reveal the secrets of Lux, Brittany, Amma, and Eliza. While I did figure out one part of the mystery, the ending was a total surprise.
This is a quick read and one you won’t want to put down. Perfect for fans of page-turning psychological fiction. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Net Galley for an advanced reader copy.