The hope of Lux McAllister, the protagonist of this diabolically plotted nail-biter from bestseller Hawkins (The Wife Upstairs), that sailing the Pacific with her hot new boyfriend, Nico Johannsen, will help put a tragic past behind her stalls in Maui, along with Nico's damaged boat. Then a pair of strangers, college besties Amma and Brittany, offer the couple a huge sum that covers the boat's repair to take them to remote, notorious Meroe Island. Insecure Lux accurately anticipates sexual tension among the four 20-somethings during the voyage; what she doesn't expect is to arrive at their middle-of-nowhere destination to find a luxury catamaran already anchored off the beach, GQ-ready twosome Jake and Eliza on deck. Later, while exploring the island, Lux is alarmed to stumble on a skull clearly too fresh to be from the 1821 shipwreck that gave Meroe its name. As tempers fray and tensions mount, Lux belatedly realizes she has unsuspectingly ventured into treacherous waters indeed. Though several of the startling twists leading up to a killer climax are as arbitrary as those in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (itself among Hawkins's apparent inspirations), this thriller still makes for dangerously addictive reading. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Jan.)
Indie Next Pick and LibraryReads Pick
"It started as a romantic idyll. It ended with a stack of corpses. In “Reckless Girls," a vacation on a remote atoll in the South Pacific goes very, very wrong...the ending feels like that great moment in “Body Heat” when the camera swoops down to reveal the identity of the last person standing at the end of all the mayhem. Who will it be?" ––The New York Times
"A literary piña colada…Hawkins merges pitch-black comedy and wicked, gasp-inducing thrills, surprising at every turn as she uses the genre to comment on vengeance and femininity…Irresistible." ––Entertainment Weekly
"This diabolically plotted nail-biter makes for dangerously addictive reading." ––Publishers Weekly
"Hawkins twists revenge, madness, and an increasingly menacing setting into a cleverly plotted nightmare in paradise. A must-read for fans of Ruth Ware." ––Booklist (starred)
"Evocative prose and a palpably foreboding atmosphere complement Lux’s present-tense narration, which Hawkins studs with flashbacks exposing the secrets, lies, and betrayals that brought each character to this point. Danger and interpersonal drama abound, with a slew of outrageous twists adding to the fun. A soapy, claustrophobic page-turner." ––Kirkus
"With a gothic sense of foreboding and plenty of dark secrets...the plot builds to an explosive conclusion. Hawkins uses the tensions among her young, beautiful characters to take a look at the intersections of class and gender, but there are no innocent people in this treacherous paradise. Fans of the film The Beach and television's Lost will be enthralled." ––Shelf Awareness
"After reinventing Jane Eyre in The Wife Upstairs, Rachel Hawkins is giving Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None a modern twist in Reckless Girls." ––PopSugar
"This fun and exciting tale of suspense that happens to be both topical and tropical...Hawkins keeps the fun, engaging writing style of The Wife Upstairs, but gives readers a totally different experience with Reckless Girls—a darker tone with higher stakes, more tension, and much edgier characters." ––The Nerd Daily
"Hawkins cleverly doles out the clues...Reckless Girls again proves her talent for frightening adult novels." ––Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Like its seductive island setting, Rachel Hawkins’ sharp and feral Reckless Girls is a shimmering mirage of a novel that tantalizes from page one. Perfectly crafted and compulsively readable, each twist in this gripping tale of trust and survival is a gift just waiting to be unwrapped." ––Katherine St. John, author of The Lion's Den
"Sharp and taut with a slow burning tension that builds into an inferno, Reckless Girls takes the reader to remote Meroe Island. Beautiful, desolate, and sinister, six friends must grapple with secrets uncovered, guilt and grief, and a desperate fight to survive. Reckless Girls is a thriller worth staying up all night to finish." ––Julie Clark, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Last Flight
"When six adventurous twenty-somethings set sail for a South Pacific Island in Rachel Hawkins’ un-put-downable new thriller, you might wish you were on board with them. That is, until the secrets they’ve packed expose themselves, the island turns menacing, and it suddenly becomes clear there’s a killer in paradise. Forget an early night. As the body count mounts in this fresh and riveting take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, you’ll tear breathlessly through the pages and won’t stop until you reach the stunning, jaw-dropping conclusion, one that makes you ask, 'Can anyone ever be trusted?'" ––Kate White, New York Times bestselling author of The Fiancée
Praise for The Wife Upstairs:
"Compulsively readable...a gothic thriller laced with arsenic." ––EW
"A Southern Gothic twist on Jane Eyre that’s full of suspense, twists and turns...the story of this twisted love triangle will have you on the edge of your seat all the way until the end." ––CNN
"A delightfully surprising and suspenseful twist on Jane Eyre." ––Newsweek
"Consider us enthralled." ––The Skimm
"A clever page-turner...this modern Gothic novel proves that creaky houses that harbor big secrets never go out of style." ––Oprahmag.com
"A delicious thriller that you'll likely want to read in a single sitting." ––TimeOut
"A thrilling, suspenseful tale of will-they-or-won't-they that will keep you on the edge." ––Woman’s Day
"Read to find out whether either of them can ever escape their secrets, or if their forbidden tryst is doomed to failure." ––Good Housekeeping
Seeking escape from a going-nowhere job and deep family sorrow, Lux McAllister agrees with boyfriend Nico to sail two young women to an island in the South Pacific, never mind its past history of shipwrecks and bloodshed. They're surprised to discover a yacht anchored in the bay, with bright and shiny couple Jake and Eliza aboard, but everyone bonds happily. Then the scary stuff starts. Following the New York Times best-selling The Wife Upstairs; with a 200,000-copy first printing.
Beautiful, rudderless 20-somethings find trouble in paradise.
San Diego waitress Lux McAllister has led a joyless existence since quitting college to care for her dying mother, so when hunky customer Nico Johannsen invites her to sail the seas with him aboard his new boat, the Susannah, she accepts. They arrange to rendezvous in Hawaii after Lux ties up some loose ends, but when she gets off the plane, she learns the vessel sustained damage en route. Nico can’t afford the repairs, so rather than living aboard the Susannahas planned, the pair starts crashing in a cramped house with four other people while Lux cleans hotel rooms to make ends meet. When adventure-seekers Brittany and Amma, both 22, offer Nico $50,000 to rent a boat and take them to Meroe Island—an uninhabited Pacific atoll with a gruesome history—Lux extends a counteroffer: pay to fix the Susannah, and the four of them will spend two carefree weeks exploring the place together. Though the voyage proves harrowing, Meroe is stunning, and they bond instantly with wealthy, hedonistic fellow travelers Jake and Eliza, whose catamaran is in the harbor when they arrive. As the days stretch on, however, tension mounts, and the group’s idyllic existence takes a dark turn. Evocative prose and a palpably foreboding atmosphere complement Lux’s present-tense narration, which Hawkins studs with flashbacks exposing the secrets, lies, and betrayals that brought each character to this point. Danger and interpersonal drama abound, with a slew of outrageous twists adding to the fun.
A soapy, claustrophobic page-turner.