New review: The Villa by Rachel Hawkins


Chess and Emily have been best friends for over 30 years, but due to some life changing events, the friendship has been strained.

Emily is going through a recent breakup with her husband after a mysterious illness. Chess has quickly became a famous author.

Chess invites Emily to a villa in Italy with her to rekindle their friendship. This particular villa named Villa Rosato has a long history of a murder back in 1974.

In 1974, Mari and her stepsister, Laura, travel to Villa Rosato to follow her boyfriend who is a musician. That summer her boyfriend is murdered. This murder resulted in Mari writing a bestselling horror novel, and her sister also wrote a bestselling album. The details of that summer with the rock band filled with drugs and sex was never detailed.

Emily becomes deeply invested in the story of Mari, and she hopes it will inspire her to get out of her writing slump.

The storyline bounces back and forth from 1974 to current day with many parallels becoming truly evident.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book even more than Reckless Girls! I enjoyed the characterization and the details of the summer and the villa.

Hawkins does an excellent job of writing these parallel plots. It was really well done!

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a thriller-it is more of a dramatic suspense mystery. The first portion was slower, but it was definitely needed in order to set up the storyline and provide the background info about Mari and Laura.

I gave The Villa 4 out of 5 stars.

The Villa will be available in January 2023.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the Advanced Reader’s Copy of The Villa!

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