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Beneath the Marigolds

Rating 5 out of 5

"I knew too much. On that island, on that godforsaken singles' retreat. I knew too much."

When her friend, Reese, goes missing after attending Last Chance, an exclusive singles' retreat on a remote island off the coast of Hawaii, no nonsense lawyer Ann infiltrates the retreat. Ann quickly realizes there's more to Last Chance than meets the eye. The extravagant clothes, never-ending interviews, and bizarre dates hint that the retreat is a front for a reality dating show. Could Reese be safe, keeping a low profile somewhere until the premiere, or did something sinister occur after all?

So this book started off with a bang and really kept going. We get an ominous, somewhat ambiguous, but definitely not good beginning that leaves us concerned for the character. The book really just kept going with the same momentum throughout. It had a couple of moments that I would equate to the jump scare in a horror movie, which added to the tone of the book. The author provides a dual POV with the story told from Reese and Ann's perspective, but most of the story is from Ann's POV. It worked well because we were always given just enough information from each.

The author adopts an interesting technique of showing the visit to the island and the events from each woman's POV and then of course with Ann we get more of an investigation aspect, as she uncovers more and more about the island and Last Chance. Last Chance becomes more and more suspect when a man shows up who could pass for Ann's ex-boyfriend, they aren't allowed to eat on dates, and they must interview with Christine (the one in charge of the island) in specified rooms and she always tries to lead them to say certain things.

The book does a good job of not giving much away at a time, unless you are really good at figuring out these types of things. I called things with the island and those involved pretty early on, but even still there were some parts that I did not call or even see coming. I loved this book because it was one of those that was hard to put down and left you wanting more. The whole concept was incredibly different from things I have read before and it was for sure a psychological thriller.

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