The Weekend Away - Sarah Alderson

Getting away for a girls-weekend is exactly what Orla needs and her best friend's ex-husband is footing the bill, what could be better? Well, anything. When Orla's best friend goes missing she is determined to get to the bottom of it, but secrets start flying the deeper she digs.

Thank you to Avon Books for providing me with a review copy of this publication via NetGalley!

I always enjoy a closed environment mystery (think, trapped on the Orient Express) and whilst Orla and her best friend, Kate, have all of Lisbon to explore but Alderson creates a tightly closed atmosphere. Whilst some may not enjoy this I revelled in it and loved the closed list of characters and environments Orla travelled through. This exclusivity created a steady progression of the story and ensured with me as a reader that there was nothing unexpected going to pop up. Thrillers usually rely on the "unexpected" but knowing a sudden surprise character was going to be the culprit gave me a sense of comfort.

Orla was a difficult character to warm to, she didn't feel as well-rounded as the plot did and that meant the plot suffered by attachment. Her attitude changed with varying levels of enthusiasm and it was often difficult to follow her actions with any level of commonsense. Kate, on the other hand, felt more real although absent for a lot of the novel. Her actions made sense to that of a woman trying to unveil her betrayal to her best friend.

Whilst there was a lot of padding in this novel and skimming was easy there was a solid plot that was enjoyable. The mystery surrounding Kate's disappearance was interesting and kept me hooked right to the end, at which the big reveal was unexpected. It teetered on the edge of unrealistic but the closing paragraphs made it lean back into the comfortable territory for contemporary thrillers.

I read through the whole novel in a day, but that isn't to say it was unputdownable, it was just easy to put one foot in front of the other and move along with the story.

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