by Rachel Hawkins
Publication Date: January 4, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover: 320 Pages
From Rachel Hawkins, the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, comes Reckless Girls, a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.
When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.
Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.
But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.
When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.
About the author
Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, as well as multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.
“Evocative prose and a palpably foreboding atmosphere complement Lux’s present-tense narration, which Hawkins studs with flashbacks exposing the secrets, lies, and betrayals that brought each character to this point. Danger and interpersonal drama abound, with a slew of outrageous twists adding to the fun. A soapy, claustrophobic page-turner.”–Kirkus
“This diabolically plotted nail-biter makes for dangerously addictive reading”–Publishers Weekly
“Hawkins twists revenge, madness, and an increasingly menacing setting into a cleverly plotted nightmare in paradise. A must-read for fans of Ruth Ware.”–Booklist (starred)
“With a gothic sense of foreboding and plenty of dark secrets…the plot builds to an explosive conclusion. Hawkins uses the tensions among her young, beautiful characters to take a look at the intersections of class and gender, but there are no innocent people in this treacherous paradise. Fans of the film The Beach and television’s Lost will be enthralled.”–Shelf Awareness
“Like its seductive island setting, Rachel Hawkins’ sharp and feral Reckless Girls is a shimmering mirage of a novel that tantalizes from page one. Perfectly crafted and compulsively readable, each twist in this gripping tale of trust and survival is a gift just waiting to be unwrapped.” – Katherine St. John, author of The Lion’s Den
“Sharp and taut with a slow burning tension that builds into an inferno, Reckless Girls takes the reader to remote Meroe Island. Beautiful, desolate, and sinister, six friends must grapple with secrets uncovered, guilt and grief, and a desperate fight to survive. Reckless Girls is a thriller worth staying up all night to finish.”–Julie Clark, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Last Flight
“When six adventurous twenty-somethings set sail for a South Pacific Island in Rachel Hawkins’ un-put-downable new thriller, you might wish you were on board with them. That is, until the secrets they’ve packed expose themselves, the island turns menacing, and it suddenly becomes clear there’s a killer in paradise. Forget an early night. As the body count mounts in this fresh and riveting take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, you’ll tear breathlessly through the pages and won’t stop until you reach the stunning, jaw-dropping conclusion, one that makes you ask, ‘Can anyone ever be trusted?'”–Kate White, New York Times bestselling author of The Fiancée