Cover Image: The Long Weekend

The Long Weekend

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Member Reviews

This is the second title that I have ready by Gilly Macmillan and it didn't disappoint.
The Long Weekend is about four men one of whom is recently deceased that had been friends from school. The three remaining male friends had planned a weekend away together with their wives when each of the husbands are unexpectedly get called away at the last minute  but plan to join their wives the following day.. The three wives arrive that the converted barn on a remote farm that neither has a land line or mobile phone signal and are met by a present of champagne and a menacing note suggestive that one of the remaining wives was going to become a widow. Was the note real or a hoax and if it was real which husband would it be and why. 
Meanwhile amid all the hysteria of the women, a storm is building up outside. 
The narrative is multi character including that of the initial unknown murderer leading to the suspense of who and why.
It was a book that I found very difficult to put down and look forward to reading more Gilly Macmillan.
#TheLongWeekend #NetGalley
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WOW! PHENOMENAL! GRIPPING! UNPUTDOWNABLE ROLLERCOASTER OF A RIDE!.  Gilly Macmillan is the Queen of misdirection and this unforgettable read proves it. It grabs you from the beginning and when I was about twenty percent in I was asking myself "how much more can happen in this book" it's fast paced with brilliant characters who all have their own deep dark secrets. The plot is cleverly written and Gilly certainly knows how to lead her readers down the wrong path. The whole book is phenomenal and the ending is mind blowing with unexpected twists. I was holding my breath and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It truly is a rollercoaster of a read and I would highly recommend everybody to read this book. LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT!.
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Reading this one, couldn’t put it down. Loved the actually story and the way all things come to an end to together! Look forward to more from the author.
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Unfortunately this was not a book I.could get into. 

I don’t think this author is for me. 

I would still recommend but not a favourite
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The Long Weekend had a really interesting plot and the tension and suspense created by the author, I quite enjoyed that. It was a very atmospheric read. 

There was quite the twist about 100 pages in that I didn't see coming, something that I enjoyed. 

On the critique side, I felt that the book was a bit drawn out for my liking. Also, the husbands were all quite interchangeable and I only later managed to start remembering who was who. I was really disconnected from the characters and that took away from the reading experience for me.

Overall it did keep you guessing though, as to what was going on and what the connection was between the killer and their intended victim/s. It provided plenty of twists, but just the characters were lacking a bit for me.
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Before I review it needs to be said it was hard to read this book due to lack of formatting. There are many shifts in narration, plot, and narrators. Unfortunately there are no chapters or scene breaks to denote these, often making it tricky to figure out the changes. 
That said, this is a well written novel, full of tension, and many complex, broken characters. 
I found the lack of chapters made it feel rather long and drawn out in places. I think chapters would add more tension and give more weight to cliffhangers and twists.
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A satisfyingly twisty story, which was difficult to predict.  I enjoyed the multiple points of view.  However, i didn't feel that any of the husbands really came alive, and at times the narrative dragged a little.  There was too much detail about being out on a  stormy night for example.  A clever story though.
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"Hi Ladies, Your weekend starts here! I hope you have a great time! I didn't come along because I know I'm not welcome. This is goodbye. I'm going away. But I wouldn't want you to forget me. By the time you read this, I'll have killed one of your husbands. E"

When a group of friends decide to go away on a long weekend, things don't start out as they planned. Firstly, the three women's husbands all said they'd come a day later, coming up with weak excuses (suspicious much?). One of their friends, a recent widow, didn't want to come. And then there is the letter that greets them when they arrive at a barn house with no phone reception on a remote farm.

The letter, purportedly written by their widowed friend, indicates she's murdered one of their husbands. But which one? Understandably, the women are freaked out. Of course, an epic storm means it's difficult for them to go anywhere with phone reception to check on their spouses, or to call for help. That doesn't mean some of them won't brave the weather, with disastrous consequences.

In the meantime, we're given the first-person perspective of a psychopath. I don't usually like this literary device in thrillers, but it worked brilliantly in this book. As the book progresses you can MAYBE try to narrow down the suspects but the intrigue and tension are well maintained. By the end, all I wanted to know was who the damn killer was and see if I was right (I wasn't).

This is a delicious suspense novel, in which almost every character has a secret to discover. I thoroughly enjoyed it and gobbled it up in less than 24 hours.
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I'll be honest, for at least half of The Long Weekend, I didn't have high hopes. I struggled to warm to the characters (the women were all pretty dull sadly) and I felt like the plot took a long time to get going and it dragged too much to begin with. I can however appreciate the creepy atmosphere the author was building. For me though, things got a lot more interesting once the characters left Northumbria and returned home, this was where the book really picked up and everything got a lot more exciting. As well as exploring mental health through several different avenues, the author absolutely nailed some fantastic twists which were really well executed and there were lots of red herrings to confuse things even further. The format of the book can do the work - the POV is constantly changing and it's not always entirely clear whose POV we're reading from. I personally would have enjoyed reading from Edie's POV from the past as I think this would have been a really great addition to the plot.
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Told in multi character first person this novel has plenty twists and turns. It certainly gets your brain cells working as you try and figure out exactly what is happening. I did enjoy the book but found it hard to empathise with the characters particularly the husbands.
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I loved this book. The storyline was strong and was full of suspense, with a sound ending that tried everything up nicely. If I had any criticism it would be the way it is set out, ( not sure if it has anything to do with the advanced copy). There were two threads to the story. The events in the barn and the events around the lock up and then Imogen. There are no chapters and half way through a paragraph the setting changed, leading to some confusion. I had to back track several times to realise which thread I was reading. If this was sorted before publication I am sure it will get rave reviews. I am certainly going to look out for other Gilly Macmillan in the future.
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Wow…what a read I was at the edge of my seat reading this.  First book I’ve read by this author and can’t wait to read more.  Would highly recommend this book!
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Phew – what a read.  I can’t say I ‘enjoyed’ this book because I didn’t – it had my nerves in shreds!  All the way through I was worried, horrified and terrified, and the dark and dismal descriptions of the dreadful weather in that bleak countryside didn’t help one bit.  SO well written, and with such dramatic twists and turns and so many red herrings that I could hardly contain myself.  I felt exhausted and shattered at the end, and it was so powerful that it just has to have 5 stars!  This is one very, very, clever author.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this preview in return for an honest review.
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This is a gripping read with twists and turns along the way. It’s very cleverly written so that we believe one person is responsible for some events. There’s a lot of guessing who might be who in this book which adds to the suspense. 

However I felt the end fell very flat. It didn’t feel necessary to the story, it was as though the author felt she needed to tie the story up nicely. Other than the last chapter I felt the book was excellent. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC in return for an honest and unbiased opinion.
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A gripping and engaging thriller full of unexpected twists.

Janyne, Ruth and Emily had planned a long weekend away with their husbands, however for various reasons, they arrive a day earlier than the men. They've rented a barn from John and Maggie. It transpires that the fouth member of the group, Edie, won't be joining them as she's still struggling with the loss of her husband Rob. A courier delivers a parcel from Edie with a sinister question, which unravels the women, each struggling with their own issues- alcoholism, PTSD, insecurity.

Meanwhile, Imogen (Edie's daughter) thinks her mum's away on a spa retreat and plans to party with her friend, Jemma but things don't go as she planned.

The structure of this book was unusual. There are no chapters and since it is written from many different perspectives, it felt like there was a lot of 'head-hopping.'. Just as drama and tension are built up in once scenario, we move to another and I felt this lost the momentum a little. I can see why the author has done this as the reader falsely assumes who the narrator is , until she drip feeds information that it's actually someone else. I feel it would have helped to even have a line break between characters/locations, to help the reader keep up with who's talking and where they are.

Although I found this a bit confusing, I still have to give it 5 stars. The premise was great and well executed, it was very well plotted and paced and the characters were interesting.  There's some really good writing, especially the vivid descriptions throughout.

Thanks indeed to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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My thanks to NetGalley and publisher Random House UK, Cornerstone, for the ARC.

Well, this is quite something!  The Long Weekend is a gripping, tense and atmospheric psychological thriller, with lots of red-herrings, twists and surprising reveals.  It's cleverly written although there are no chapters and you have to concentrate to realise when one character's point of view ends and another begins, I actually think that format enhanced the book.  

Set in Northumbria where John & Maggie Elliott rent out Dark Fell Barn to guests wanting open spaces and peace and quiet.  Unfortunately John is suffering from advanced dementia and Maggie is afraid that he may be responsible for driving previous guests away.  But they need the money.  En route to prepare the Barn a courier stops them and hands them a present and envelope  to be left prominently in the Barn for the expected guests.

Jayne, Ruth and Emily are driving there without their husbands as each of them had given some reason not to be there that Friday night.  It was an annual getaway for the "gang".  Edie is missing this year as husband Rob had died in a swimming accident five months previously.
Jayne is married to Mark - both have an army background and both are scarred by their experiences; Ruth is married to Toby, she's a GP and recent mother to Alfie but her life is spiralling out of control; Emily is married to Paul - she's ten years younger then Paul as well as Jayne and Ruth and doesn't feel she fits in.  The men and Edie are close friends from their school-days.  On the drive each of the women get lost in their own thoughts and you begin to get a feel for their characters.

When they reach the Barn and open the envelope they're shocked  to read a note from "E" stating that by the time they had read this "I'll have killed one of your husbands".  They each begin examining their thoughts on each other and on their husbands and lots of suspicions arise - Edie is known for malicious pranks - is this a hoax or is it real?

They have no transport, no phone nor internet and a storm is brewing, all conspiring against their individual desperations to contact their husbands, as they each sink into darker thoughts of what all this "friendship" means.

Intermittently the narrative allows the reader into the mind of the person controlling all this activity - but who is it, and why?

As said, there are lots of red-herrings and misdirection along with shocks and surprises.  There are secrets to be revealed and mental health issues explored in this gripping thriller.

Thoroughly recommended.
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This had an interesting premise to it and it started off well when the three women end up heading to their weekend away in a barn without their husbands when they find a note that holds a serious threat but it all gets a bit too dramatic and unrealistic from there. The women all have their own problems and trust issues and I didn't really like any of them much. It also took me a while to get used to who married who as none of the men made an appearance for a while and it was hard to distinguish them.
There were a few unexpected plot twists which were surprising and made me want to carry on but there was so much information packed into the last 25% that was hard to keep up with.
An enjoyable, fast paced read with plenty of twists but boring characters.
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Enjoyably preposterous but started to unravel a bit as the premise was stretched thin. Still, an easily consumed thriller and a few twists and turns along the way keep you hooked.
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I really enjoyed this light thriller story. I thought the premise for the story; a weekend away with close friends in a remote area, beautiful scenery with all the peace and quiet you could want, was an excellent basis for the story. This is well written but, for me, the layout of the book was confusing as there were no chapters and often the characters POV changed quite rapidly within the paragraphs, which I found difficult to keep up with who was talking at times. Also, the pace of the story was a little slower than I would have liked..

I did enjoy the chemistry and the conflict between the women in this story, how they start off polite and friendly; they are friends after all. However, when they get to the cottage where they are staying and find a note stating that one of their husbands will die, then we see all their faults and insecurities start to emerge and things start to slowly fall apart. Knowing the husbands are following up the next day, each wife tries relentlessly to contact their husbands with no success leading to frustrations and worries that eventually come to boiling point.

The setting is eerie and worked well, the twist at the end of the book was a good one and I completely didn't guess that, so it was a surprise as well. All in all, this was an enjoyable suspense book.
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I love Gilly Macmillan's novels but admittedly this is not my favourite.

It is still a very good read, atmospheric and a little disturbing as a group of friends on an isolated holiday receive a strange of their husbands is dead...

It is a tale full of twists and turns, a difficult to predict mystery and a really edge of the seat finale, in most respects the type of page turner you want in a psychological thriller.

A couple of small, subjective issues lessened the impact for me personally- the characters are occasionally undefined and blended so you have to unravel who's who and one protagonist is the clichéd alcoholic whose addiction prevents sensible action.

Despite these small things The Long Weekend is a classic example of its genre and I read it avidly.
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