Cover Image: The Long Weekend

The Long Weekend

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Member Reviews

A group of friends go for a remote weekend in a Scottish barn, only things don’t quite go as planned. 

Brilliantly written, with good depth to the plot. Easy to engage and didn’t guess until the big reveal. 

Grateful for the ARC.
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I found this book very confusing.

Books with multiple narrators are nothing new, but this one absolutely fails to distinguish clearly between them. With the exception of the mysterious killer, all the other characters just seem to chip in randomly. 
Yes, I know it can be irritating when every page has the name of a different person, but in this case, it's very confusing to have so many indistinguishable voices all piping up.

The Long Weekend felt like a Very Long Read. 
It dragged on. Filled with unlikeable or utterly unpleasant characters, it took a very long time to get going. 

Three women who don't much like each other stomp about in bad weather on a hillside cut off from civilisation and mobile phone signals wondering where their husbands are and whether they may have slept with a woman who has sent a note to say she's killed one of them. Hoax, game or just general weirdness?

Meanwhile, the daughter of a fourth woman is in serious peril from somebody who ought to be looking after her. 

It didn't work for me. Sorry.

With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my copy.
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I absolutely loved this! It had the perfect mix of thriller qualities; an isolated setting (deep in the Northumbrian countryside) multiple timeframes and POVs, and a bunch of characters all hiding secrets. I thought the plot of this was very clever and left me guessing throughout. I could not put this down and was desperate to find out what was going on and who was behind the mystery letter the wives received when they first arrived at the location. This also questions whether you know people as well as you think you do! Also packed full of twists, many of which I did not see coming, all in all a fab thriller!
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Three couples book a retreat in a renovated barn in a remote location. The only way to get there is by a 4×4 vehicle and there is no mobile reception – you are totally off the grid surrounded by nature. Sounds perfect? That wasn’t the case for the couples…

Jayne, Ruth, and Emily arrive at Dark Fell Barn on a Friday. Their husbands were supposed to come with them, but each one of them made an excuse as to why they couldn’t arrive until Saturday afternoon. Jayne and Ruth had known each other for a while, whereas Emily is the newcomer to the group. Missing from their group is Edie, who declined the invitation, because of the recent death of her husband, Rob.

When the women arrive they find a letter on the kitchen table. The letter states that by the time they finish reading it, one of their husbands will be dead. The letter is signed with the letter ‘E’. Was it written by Edie? Why would she want to kill someone?

The three women react differently to the news: Jayne is calm and stoic, Ruth drinks herself to an oblivion and reckons it wouldn’t be too bad if her husband was dead, and Emily panics so much she sets off to the woods, in the middle of a raging storm, in hope of finding mobile signal.

What will happen to the women? Is the letter a prank?

You’ll have to read for yourselves to find out. I really enjoyed this book, I found it pacy and full of twists and turns.

My favourite parts were the account of the killer, who was clearly deranged and disturbed. As soon as I found out that there was a body in a boot of a car, I wanted to know who it was. My heart went out to Imogen, Edie’s daughter, who got caught up in the killer’s deadly game.

I must admit that I was suspecting the identity of the killer and I guessed it towards the end of the book, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story.

Overall, it is a tense psychological thriller that will keep you guessing.
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Thanks Netgalley for the ARC.

Three couples arrange a secluded weekend away in Northumberland only for the ladies to have to go alone with the men following on the next morning. On arrival at the secluded, isolated Dark Fell Barn do things start to go wrong. A note left for them chillingly stating that by morning one of their husbands will be dead sets off all sorts of twists, turns and re herrings. Secrets are uncovered and set against the back drop of the dark, rainy, mountainside, as well as the farmer and his family that rent out the barn, things take a creepy turn. Who will survive the weekend?

Really enjoyed this. It was dark and atmospheric and the red herrings and twists had me going back to read again as I thought I'd missed something. Fab read.
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I really enjoyed this book, I read it over a few sessions. A group of friends are going away for a weekend in a remote Scottish barn but thinks go awry!

The characters are well rounded and believable and I didn’t guess who it was until the reveal!
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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
What a great blurb, A compelling, intriguing and suspenseful book. Unlikeable characters, but that adds to the plot. A recommended read.
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A great twisty thriller
Will keep you reading to see what happens
A gripping read
Will read more from this author 
Thanks NetGalley
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An isolated retreat, deep in the Northumbria moors. Three women. Their husbands joining them in the morning. Or so they thought.. On arrival at their weekend getaway, they find a note.. one of their husbands has been murdered. But they have no phone signal. No internet. A storm coming in. Stranded. The women have survived a lot together as a tight-knit group. But someone has decided enough is enough


This was my first read by Macmillan - a tense psychological thriller based on a weekend away for a group of friends and their husbands. Told through several different perspectives, including the unknown perpetrator, this was very dark in places with a creepy setting and plenty of secrets and drama.

The story was fast-paced and compelling with a well thought-out plot which should have made it a real page turner (and probably would make a great Netflix series) BUT there were literally no.. chapters. It was incredibly difficult to differentiate between perspectives/timeframes with nothing separating the book into chapters, sections or even just natural breaks. I'm guessing this is probably due to being a pre-publication review copy and I'm sure would be rectified in the final copy — but reading a book that is one big chapter of 400 pages was stressful for someone whose favourite feature in a book is short chapters, and unfortunately did take away from my enjoyment.

Thank you to Gilly Macmillan and Penguin for an advanced digital copy in return for an honest review.

𝗥𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
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This book is one that most mystery books fans will really enjoy.
The plot had so many twists and turns I couldn’t put the book down
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery or thriller,
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I do enjoy thrillers of this very specific type, and once again, this novel didn’t disappoint. I enjoy the multiple POVs, providing us clarity, and yet also twisting the truth around us. Brilliant
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Literally could not put this book down and it kept me guessing to the very end - I had to read it in one sitting.
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Three couples plan a weekend away. The men are delayed so the women go ahead. It starts off as a formulaic thriller but when the twists and turns start coming you realise you’re reading something a bit different. Highly enjoyable.
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Gilly Macmillan, The Long Weekend

Gilly Macmillan’s The Long Weekend is a riveting novel - complex, dark and disturbing. Close friends have planned an idyllic weekend away in a remote, beautiful Northumbrian retreat. But their long weekend, it turns out, is also a ‘lost’ weekend. The landscape itself becomes impenetrably dark and dangerous as a storm approaches: “the clouds have dipped so low it’s as if Dark Fell Barn is being squeezed between land and sky. The valley is veiled with rain. The place still feels like a fairy tale and definitely not one with a happy ending.”

Characters venture out vainly searching for a phone signal that will enable them to connect with the people who are expected to arrive the following day. Lost or non-functioning mobiles themselves become an image of desperate and fruitless efforts to ‘connect’ with the others and make sense of what’s happening. 

As the characters wander in a treacherous terrain, their normal selves break down under pressure and they discover that what were familiar relationships are in truth unreliable. They lose all sense of their own and other people’s assumed identities – identities that disintegrate as the weekend descends into fear and suspicion:

“She feels as if she’s stepped into an alternative version of her life, as if she has only the slightest of connections with reality. Reason deserts her. A sense of danger pulses. Emily. Ruth. Who are they, really? Anyone can be a danger to others.” 

Just as the characters are confused about where they’re walking as the storm worsens, we as readers often feel unsure about whose headspace we’re occupying. Inner terrains are treacherous, and we experience our own form of disorientation. Drunkenness, deceit, mental instability and hysteria mount, challenging us to make our way through an unreliable, sometimes sinister human and natural landscape, in which everyone loses hold of familiar landmarks of place or identity. 

The Long Weekend is a novel that makes us as readers watch our footing, looking carefully at our preconceptions about how we’re orienting ourselves as we navigate the tricky, often deceptive human relationships. On the surface, The Long Weekend tells us the story of a familiar outing of old friends, but underneath, as darkness descends, what we witness is an encounter with all that’s hidden in the normal social round of the characters’ lives. It’s a haunting and compelling journey.
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Oh my gosh! What a rollercoaster of a book!
Emily, Jayne and Ruth head off for a long weekend away ahead of their husbands, only to arrive at the remote location to find a letter informing them that one of their husbands has been killed.

The letter makes them spin out of control and what should have been a relaxing weekend turns into a nightmare. Meanwhile the story is also told by the murderer’s perspective but the author keeps giving us misleading clues on his identity so I kept changing my mind on who it was!!

I absolutely loved it, as I said a true rollercoaster, full of twists and turns! Highly recommend it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK for letting me review this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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It was a long read. This story was told from view points of different characters which I personally cannot stand as it's like groundhog day.   Coupled with that you could not work out which character it was you were reading about.  The story had so much potential but it was ruined.
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I enjoyed reading this book as it had some unexpected twists which kept me guessing. I thought it was going to be a formulaic murder mystery where people are trapped in a remote house with no means of contact but that was just a small part. 
I liked the first person narration and it made me question assumptions I had made. 

I didn't like any of the characters, non of them came across as likeable but they were believable, I just wouldn't want to be friends with any of them. 

I think the ending fell a bit flat especially the epilogue, everything was too neatly tied up. 

Overall an enjoyable book and I would look out for others by the same author.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advance copy.
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The Long Weekend is a psychological thriller, full of twists, told from multiple POV. 
A group of friends have arranged a long weekend away at Deep Fell Barn, a remote barn in Northumbria. Owned by John and Maggie Elliott, with no mobile coverage, it seemed like the perfect getaway for the three couples. When the husband of each couple cries off at short notice, the wives travel ahead, with the expectation that their husbands will join them the next day. 
They arrive to find a letter and parcel warning them that “By the time you read this, I’ll have killed one of your husbands.”
I found this (as an ARC) quite difficult to track, with no chapters and a shifting POV without warning. 
It was very atmospheric, chilling and fast paced, I read it pretty much in one sitting. 
Another excellent thriller from Gilly Macmillan, thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book.
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I struggled at first with the shifting POV as it just flowed from character to character with no warning. But once I got used to it, I found it easier to follow, and I'm so glad I persevered! 
I was on the edge of my seat for the second half of the book, trying to work out who the culprit was and it really kept me guessing until the end.
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Thank you for this advanced copy. I tried to read and listen to this book more than once and nothing grabbed my attention. I skipped to the back and even the ending seemed uninteresting to me. Unfortunately Gillys last two books just haven’t been written to my liking. Not for me.
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