The Villa

by: Rachel Hawkins

Goodreads description:

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Helen says: 🤓🤓🤓3/4

When Holly and I were talking about our February book choices, I enthusiastically endorsed the new Rachel Hawkins book….and then I started thinking…Is it Rachel Hawkins that I like so much? No…I was confused…I like Paula Hawkins’ books (Girl on the Train). Ha! It turned out to be great…and funny as hell in parts. Very original! Read it just for the beautiful cover art alone.

Holly says: 🤓🤓🤓3/4

I really liked this book as well. Murder mystery meets Daisy Jones and the Six, meets Mary Jane. Twists and turns that travel between two periods in time and include book excerpts. You will have a love/hate relationship with the characters, but two of the main characters are from Asheville and went to UNC, and the rest is set in a beautiful, albeit creepy, Italian villa. What’s not to like? Read it! I’m looking forward to another one by Rachel Hawkins!

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