Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m going to be posting my review of Tina Seskis’s latest novel, ‘The Honeymoon’. I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC of this, so thanks very much to Penguin Random House for that! So, keep reading to discover my thoughts…
‘The Honeymoon’ is Tina Seskis’s third novel, and is released as a paperback today (1st June 2017). Her debut novel ‘One Step Too Far’ was released in April 2014, and her second novel ‘When We Were Friends’ was released in April 2015. Prior to writing novels, Seskis studied Business at the University of Bath, and then spent over 20 years working in marketing and advertising. She now lives in North London.
Seskis’s novels have received positive praise, and ‘The Honeymoon’ is expected to be of no exception. Grazia stated “Tina Seskis is proving herself to be master of the twist,” Sunday Mirror called her writing “Astute and witty,” and Stylist referred to her writing as “Genius.” Author Sophie Hannah also praised Seskis, labelling her as “One of the world’s leading experts at pulling the wool over readers’ eyes until the very end.”
‘The Honeymoon’ is a slow-burning Thriller which is packed full of suspense and contains a killer twist. It centres around the disappearance of Jamie on his and his wife Jemma’s honeymoon, as Jemma works hard to discover exactly what happened to her husband. Jemma is isolated and alone on the Maldives, and must take matters into her own hands in order to solve Jamie’s mystery disappearance.
The narrative shifts backwards and forwards in time, taking the reader through Jemma’s previous relationship with Dan and her subsequent relationship with Jamie, and Jemma’s present day search for the truth. The two narratives motor forwards and eventually collide together, and all the suspense finally comes to a head. The narrative is mostly based around Jemma’s perspective, but we also read events from the perspective of Chrissy in Part Three.
The protagonist Jemma is a flawed but realistic character, and I truly felt a lot of sympathy for her. What should be her perfect honeymoon has turned into a disaster, and she struggles to cope with this new loneliness and uncertainty. When we are taken back through the events of years before, it’s clear to see that she has made her mistakes in the past, making her a very relatable character. She was my favourite character by far in the novel.
Jemma’s husband Jamie is a very confusing character; he’s hot then he’s cold, and his treatment of Jemma at times is questionable. Her ex-boyfriend Dan seems sweet and kind at first, but there’s much more to him than the reader may first anticipate. Chrissy and Kenny, two other honeymooners in the Maldives, are an odd couple, and Chrissy in particular is a much more complex character than she initially appears to be. The other minor characters, such as the resort staff and both Jemma and Jamie’s parents, are well-constructed and all bring something fresh and exciting to the novel.
As the narrative motors forwards, news and theories about Jamie’s disappearance are conflicting and troubling. Jemma’s mental state begins to deteriorate, as she has nobody to turn to for answers and nobody to comfort her throughout this process. She must, therefore, take matters into her own hands in order to discover exactly what happened to her husband. Seskis has a clear skill in creating brilliantly-executed characters, all of whom have their own secrets and demons lurking beneath the surface.
Just when the reader thinks they know where the story is going, Seskis throws a new revelation or question into the mix and the reader is left dumbfounded once again. Multiple red herrings are thrown in, making it impossible to accurately guess who is responsible for Jamie’s disappearance. This novel is more of a slow-burner than a fast-paced Thriller, but towards the end the pace really picks up and it becomes impossible to put down.
So, let’s talk about the ending. Just when it seems that hope is lost, an astounding revelation is made that practically made me gasp out loud. There’s a KILLER twist that I never could have seen coming! I actually had to stop and pause for a moment, and question if I really had read that correctly. I can almost 100% guarantee that you won’t be able to guess the ending – if you did, I’d be absolutely amazed. I could never have anticipated just how the events would turn out, and the ending just blew me away.
Overall, this novel is perfect for those of you who like claustrophobic, slower-paced Thrillers. It contains excellently-constructed characters, plenty of tension and an outstanding twist. What more could you want?! For me, personally, I do like my Thrillers to be a bit quicker in pace and have more actual events happening, but I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Honeymoon’ nonetheless and would highly recommend it. A fantastic read!
Happy reading 🙂