I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Marriage Retreat by Laura Elliot
Published by Bookouture on August 17, 2023
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Ireland, Scotland
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
'Welcome to Serenity Falls, ' I say, forcing a smile as I guide our new guests across the courtyard and through the doors of the old house. This should be a fresh new start for the couple, but how can I help them when my own life is being torn apart?
My husband Victor and I have been married for twenty-five years and we've created a successful marriage retreat business together. The tranquil hotel, with its cherry blossom trees and the sound of the waterfall in the backdrop, is the perfect setting for couples to repair their fractured relationships. My own marriage has been a shining example of honesty and trust. Or at least that's what I believed...
When a police officer knocks on my door to tell me the man I loved has been killed in a tragic accident, I'm left trembling with shock. But that isn't all. An unnamed woman was by his side when Victor died, and she now lies in a coma. As my husband's secrets unravel, I discover that my whole life has been a lie.
Now my future is at stake and my life is in danger. And I have to make a choice to protect myself and my family.
A choice that will turn me into a liar, just like Victor.
And will end in murder...
What readers are saying about The Marriage Retreat:
'Holy hell... What an absolute mind-blowing thriller. I cannot put into enough words how phenomenal this was... Like nothing was as simple as it seems, there was so many possible options that I didn't even see them coming... page-turning.' @book_brilliance_xo, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
'EXCELLENT... kept me glued to my kindle!!!!... WOW!!!!... This book I will NOT FORGET for a long time, definitely will be telling my friends about it.' Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
'A fantastic gripping dark thriller which had me up late reading needed to know how it was going to end... intriguing... excellent... A fantastic gripping story.' Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
'A wild ride and one that kept me on my toes with reveal after reveal... I was gripped throughout... I encourage you to pick up if you enjoy psychological mysteries full of twists.' Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
'I raced through this book. Gripping from the start and everything that a psychological thriller should be. Don't take my word for it, read it! You wont' be disappointed... Awesome.' Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
'Brilliant... Will hook you from the beginning until the very end... Loved it.' Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Marriage Retreat is a story about grief, pain, and a tangled web of deceit. I usually love a domestic thriller especially from Bookouture, but this failed to hit the mark for me. I had a few problems with it mainly the believability of the story. Now, as a reader I know that you need to suspend a fair bit of disbelief in reading, but I did feel that certain aspects just weren’t the actions of a rational human even during the fog of grief.
The story follows Lorraine and Victor, the owners of the well renowned marriage retreat, Serenity Falls. It’s a roaring success with only a few failures – a journalist who is infamous for covering the gang land murders that are rife in Ireland. He has a personal vendetta against Victor after indirectly ruining his marriage. When Victor dies in a road traffic accident and the small detail of an unknown female being his passenger, the journalist vows to discover Victor’s secrets with devastating consequences.
Lorraine is flummoxed to who the woman could be. The police ask if he had a daughter in which his wife staunchly denies but she’s still confused to who she could be. The news is a devastating blow, and she starts to question the validity of their marriage. Their business deals in the sanctity of marriage and to think that Victor was keeping secrets from her brings out a rage that she didn’t know resided within her.
So, the issues I had with this book stem from a letter that Lorraine discovers amongst Victor’s belongings. The contents shock her, and she immediately travels to another country to basically go on a fact-finding mission. I mean I can understand someone having that knee jerk reaction but for me I thought it was awfully drastic. I think if I really wanted to find out who the woman was then I’d have handed the letter over to the gardai and let them deal with it. It could just be me but that kind of irked me a bit.
The woman with no name is in a coma and one thing I did enjoy was the chapters while she was under. It went with the idea that the patient was able to hear everything and react to it in their mind. Those chapters were fun and enlightening.
I wanted to love this story more but as previously stated it just wasn’t something that really resonated with me. I also found the first 70% incredibly slow, the last portion of the book was fast paced and it was a great ending to the story.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Elliot lives in Malahide, a picturesque, coastal village in Dublin, Ireland. She enjoys writing psychological thrillers and, to date, she has written eleven novels: The Thorn Girl, The Wife Before Me, Guilty, Sleep Sister, The Betrayal, Fragile Lies, Stolen Child ( also titled On Your Doorstep) The Prodigal Sister (also titled The Lost Sister) The Silent House, After The Wedding and her latest novel, The Marriage Retreat.
In the UK she is published by Bookouture, Sphere and Avon – and by Grand Central Publishing in the US. Her novels have also been widely translated.
AKA June Considine, she has written twelve books for children and young adults. In her earlier career, she worked as a journalist and magazine editor.