Amma and Brittany can think of no better way to end their trip around the world than with a visit to an isolated, uninhabited, yet very Instagrammable island in the Pacific. In Hawaii, they find Nico, who is willing to captain a boat for the journey—especially for the fee they are willing to pay—as long as his girlfriend, Lux, agrees to come along.
After a multi-day sail, Nico’s boat arrives at Meroe Island—a rumored site of shipwrecks and cannibalism—only to find another party already anchored. Disappointment quickly turns to camaraderie, though, as Eliza and Jake welcome the newcomers with a bounty of food and alcohol.
As the sunny days pass, the six twenty-somethings enjoy leisurely days lounging on the beach or exploring the interior of the island, dense with vegetation, home to an abandoned WWII refueling station with epic parties in the evening. However, the idyllic paradise hides simmering tensions, tragic pasts, and deeply held secrets, and the vacationers realize they don’t know each other as well as they think.
The arrival of a third boat, with Robbie, a crew of one, disrupts the fragile equilibrium as his subtly threatening demeanor puts everyone on edge. When one is found dead and one missing, it’s unclear if any will leave the island alive.
The story is told in dual timelines, Now and Before, from multiple points of view which works well with this book as it contributes to the uncertainty about which characters are trustworthy. It took some time to establish the setting and story; I would have preferred this to have been condensed. However, once Robbie arrived on the island, the action picked up, and there were many unexpected bombshells, although I also noticed a few confusing plot points.
If you liked the movie A Perfect Getaway or the true crime book And the Sea Will Tell, this is a book for you! Look for it at your favorite bookstore on Tuesday, January 4, 2022!
Thanks to @stmartinspress and @netgalley for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review!