Book Review: The Wild Girls

Today’s review is another book I picked up through Net Galley. The release date is April 26, 2022, but it’s available for preorder.

Blurb

FOUR FRIENDS. A LUXURY RETREAT. IT’S GOING TO BE MURDER.

It’s been years since Grace, Felicity, Alice, and Hannah were together. The “Wild Girls,” as they were once called, are no longer so wild. Alice is a teacher. Hannah has a new baby. Grace is a homebody. Only Felicity seems to have retained her former spark.

Then Felicity invites them all on the weekend of a lifetime—a birthday bash in Botswana. It will be a chance to have fun and rekindle their once bomb-proof friendship… and finally put that one horrible night, all those years ago, behind them for good.

But soon after arriving at the luxury safari lodge, a feeling of unease settles over them. There’s no sign of the party that was promised. There’s no phone signal. They are on their own… and things start to go very, very wrong. 

A fresh approach to the classic locked-room mystery, The Wild Girls is sure to appeal to fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley. 

My Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Promising but Predictable

The classic locked-room mystery. Four friends gathered in a remote resort. Has all the makings of a great story.

Despite a life-long friendship between Grace, Hannah, Alice, and Felicity something happened two years earlier that drove them apart. But when Felicity reaches out to the others, inviting them to celebrate her birthday with a long weekend in Botswana with all expenses paid, they agree to go. It’s supposed to be a time to mend fences and rekindle their friendship.

When Grace, Hannah, and Alice reach the lodge (Felicity arrived a few days earlier), it’s apparent something is wrong. No staff members, poor cell phone service, no internet, and weirdest of all, no locks on their doors. They receive a message from Felicity saying she is sick but will catch up with them in the morning.

Each one receives a cryptic welcome note which could be easily described as passive-aggressive, but they choose not to share this information with one another. From that point, the situation becomes more bizarre and leads to murder.

The killer’s identity and motive were obvious from the start. However, the author did throw in a twist near the end to make the reader second guess.

The Wild Girls is written in three parts. The first begins with the invitation and leads up to the murders. Part two delves into the event two years earlier that caused the rift between the friends. Part three comes back to the present and follows to the end.

Scenes are written from each woman’s POV—two characters in first-person present tense, the other two in third person present. At times, those written in third person appeared to be author intrusion. This annoyed me.

Each character had secrets (not surprising) but there were several loose threads that weren’t tied up. Why throw those in if you’re not going to do anything with them? There were also too many details that served no purpose. For instance, one character is brushing her teeth and sees blood mixed in with the toothpaste residue in the sink. Was there a reason for writing that or was the author just trying to reach a specific word count?

None of the characters are that likable. Another issue I have is related to the title. They were known as the wild girls, but the back story didn’t provide any information that wouldn’t leave the reader to believe they acted like normal teenage girls. Nothing “wild” about them.

This book had promise, but it didn’t deliver.

27 thoughts on “Book Review: The Wild Girls

  1. Thank you for sharing your review, Joan. Once a story is predictable, my interest drops notably. Your “heads-up” is very helpful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I felt the same way about this one, Joan. I think I rated it 3.5 rounded up to 4 for review purposes. I LOVED the first part leading up to the first murder. After that, things fell apart for me, and the underlying theme turned me off. Like you said…a lot of promise, but it didn’t deliver as expected.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for an honest review. I have to admit the title and blurb drew me in. Sorry this one didn’t deliver. I think the mix between 1st person POV and 3 person POV wouldn’t work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There are so many books out now on this theme, and for me it’s getting way over cooked. Remote place, no easy escape, and that one awful night in the past. I think if an author is going to jump on this theme, they need to bring something unique to the table as well.
    Great review, Joan. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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