‘I’m your husband, Chloe. We’re a partnership now and we do what’s best for us as a couple.’
Chloe finally feels like she’s got her life together. After a difficult childhood and losing both parents, she worked hard for the life she loves in lively Brighton, helping people as a physiotherapist. And then she meets the perfect man.
It’s a whirlwind romance, but Dan is handsome, funny, and simply the kindest man she’s ever met. When she sees him standing by the altar, tears glistening in his eyes, she knows this will be for always.
As they sunbathe on their honeymoon island, laughing over drinks, planning their future with their feet in the sand, Dan jokes that he’d like them to stay there forever.
At first, Chloe couldn’t agree more. It’s tempting to imagine truly leaving her troubled past behind. But as the honeymoon goes on, he becomes increasingly adamant. They shouldn’t leave. In fact, he won’t let her…
Is he protecting her, as he claims? Or is it something more sinister? An utterly gripping psychological thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Clare Mackintosh, and The Wife Between Us.
The Honeymoon is a dark and indulgent mystery set on the idyllic island of Menorca. Immediately drawn in by its seductive opening chapters, I found this slow burning claustrophobic story hard to tear myself away from. Straight away the reader is sucked into a whirlpool of tension and suspense as we meet Chloe, newlywed and about to embark on the honeymoon of her dreams, after a whirlwind romance with Dan. Almost straight away the reader is alerted to the fact that all might be as it seems, when the couple go to board the plane and Chloe realises she is not going on honeymoon to the Maldives as she thought, but to the less extravagant Spanish isle Menorca. Dan is evasive as to why he lied, and alarm bells are already beginning to ring for Chloe, however despite her instincts she boards the plane and instead of jetting off to the holiday of her dreams, lands in the holiday of her nightmares.
The story is written well, split between the present, with alternate flashback chapters scaling back a couple of months to when Chloe first met Dan and how their relationship suddenly engulfed them and quickly became all consuming. The paradoxical sense of menace in such a picturesque setting left me feeling anxious and uncomfortable. The author lulls the reader into a false sense of security, setting such a beautiful relaxing scene to sink into, only to slowly tighten the strain and increase feeling of unease, until you are left with nothing but a cold sweat and knots in your stomach. I found the contrasting passages a highly effective technique to seriously crank up the tension. If I had a knife, I could have cut through it.
The plot is twisty and unpredictable. I was never really sure where it was going, whether to trust Dan or not, and I did become slightly obsessed myself with trying to work out what had happened to him. Were his motives genuine, or was he a complete sociopath?
The Honeymoon is a well written chilling and tense story. I was enchanted by the picturesque setting but couldn’t shake the feeling of agitation as I teetered on a knife-edge eagerly awaiting the ending. There is a final twist at the end and I was pleased the author chose to finish the book in that way.
I received a free review copy of this book. Thanks to the author Rona Halsall and the lovely Noelle Holten at publishers Bookouture.