Bride-to-be Aoife is murdered on her hen weekend in an isolated villa in Marbella. A few years later, to mark the anniversary of her death, her best friend, Dani, persuades the other 'hens' to go back to the villa. She'd blacked out when the murder took place and she is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and find closure.
The multiple viewpoints and timelines make for an interesting, multi-layered read but, for me, gave the novel a disjointed feel, lacking in flow. I didn't like any of the characters - they all seemed self-absorbed and shallow - but I did want to know who had killed Aoife and why.
The first half was slower than the second half, when all sorts of motives were thrown up, confusing the reader into identifying the killer. I didn't see the ending coming but when it came, the big reveal felt a bit of an anti-climax, with lots of information dumping.
The Villa is an easy, read, ideal for the beach or a plane/train journey.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK Cornerstone Century for giving me an advance copy.
I wasn't a big fan of this book. The ending was too rushed. The storyline didn't flow amazingly well. It felt a bit disjointed as the different characters all had the same voiced narrative which made it hard to differentiate between the people.
Mostly everyone has reviewed this at 5 stars so I am the outlier.
I couldn’t cope with the multiple timelines/narrators when it all sounded like one person.
It’s a decent thriller until the end where it feels like time ran out.
Thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for ARC.
Please be aware that there are themes of violence and sexual assault, as well as alcohol and other substance use, which some people may find very difficult reading.
Three years after Aofe died horribly at her hen do, the other hens have assembled in Marbella to honour her memory. One of her friends (Dani) has her reasons to want to fill in some of the many blanks from that weekend, while the others have reason to avoid doing just that.
Full disclosure - I'm probably 35 years too old to be the target market for this book and the original hen weekend and the return visit sounded like very bad ideas to me. I found the recreation of the original fateful weekend rather laboured and the characterisation sketchy. Despite that, I admired how Ryder brought all the elements together and painted a picture of the expectations on young women and the harm that can ensue, including complicity in our own harm. I will look out for more from this writer.
I enjoyed the Villa, I did guess the ending but it was enjoyable and fast paced, it moved between now and when the event happened three years ago.
Firstly truly greatful for my copy from #netgalley for my honest opinion
I am .afraid I guessed the ending 😕 but i enjoyed the book and wanted to know what happened, kept me interested
I really enjoyed the book. Set in Marbella it was fast-paced and smooth. The back and forth timelines were very interesting to follow especially in the second half of the book where it rushes with a sense of urgency. The revelation was great but the aftermath of the big reveal fell a bit flat for me. The characters were the main appeal and the fact that the crime has happened in a close space. What I also noticed was how throughout their weekend, the girls keep being in danger because of men. It really portrays all kinds of problematic men: toxic and pushy but also controlling or even dangerous. It's not super obvious but I liked that it shows how women have to think to keep themselves safe.
The characters are also not very likable but I cared about them and wanted to know what had happened. Some dialogues were not the best though, sometimes they were so basic they didn't feel authentic, Thankfully, it wasn't all of them so I could enjoy the rest of the story.
Thank you to NetGalley, Jess Ryder and Penguin for providing me with a free Advanced Reader Copy, in exchange for my honest review.
The Villa is about 5 “friends” who go on a hen do where the bride mysteriously dies. 3 years later the remaining 4 hens return to the villa and uncover what really happened that weekend.
I really enjoyed this book. I think I read it in less than a day as it was very fast paced, exciting and kept me hooked all the way through. I feel like I somewhat suspected the plot twist but then I was still blown away with how it all linked together. The Author does a really good job of making you suspect everyone at some point, but still shock you with the reveal.
I did struggle slightly with how plausible some parts were, especially around the investigation, but I feel like I could say that about literally any thriller book ever in some way. I also struggled with the writing a little at times as it didn’t really make sense to me why Dani had third person POV and everyone else had a first person POV, but maybe I’m just missing something there.
I am definitely interested in reading more of Jess Ryder’s books.
I don’t know if I just wasn’t in the mood for a thriller but I really struggled to get into this book. It took a while to get going but the second half had good pacing. I found the change of prose a little peculiar as it switched from third person to first person depending on which character’s chapter it was. That being said, I didn’t expect one of the twists at the end which was a nice surprise as the rest of a little predictable. Overall it was an okay book - would make a nice summer read.
Three years prior a group of friends went out to Spain on a hen do, 5 people went out but only 4 came back. Dani has no memory of what happened on the night that her friend was murdered, so in an attempt to find out what happened she engineers a group trip back to the island.
This was one of those novels that had me in two minds. Whilst reading it I absolutely enjoyed it and sped through as I found myself closer and closer to finding out what happened. Yet after I’d finished and was thinking about it a bit I did think that the ending and motive was a bit weak.
However despite that I most definitely enjoyed it. The novel was written from multiple viewpoints, and back and forth timelines as we find out not only what happened leading up to the night of the murder but also what led to the group of people being at the Villa together in the first place.
I liked the way the characters all had their own secrets and unique take on the others and it was interesting to see the build up from the individual points of view. This is another story that focussed on friendship and how toxic they can become. Overall I really enjoyed this story and would definitely look out for more
I loved the premise of this story, but my God do I hate back and fourth time lines. They are over used and I personally struggle to stay absorbed in the story when it flicks all over the place. So while this isn't a book I would rave about it is still a book I would recommend to people who like that then/Now trope.
Would definitely try another book by Jess Ryder
Wow, what can I say- I LOVED this book!
The Villa is an excellent, fast-paced psychological thriller. It follows four hen's (Dani, Beth, Tiff and Celine), who travel back to Marbella, to try to find answers as to who may have murdered their bride-to-be friend Aoife, during their fateful hen weekend there 3 years earlier. It is an emotive book, revealing an array of lies, deception, jealousy and secrets, alongside trials and tribulations in different relationships, friendships and social gatherings, both old and new.
The Villa is told from multiple POV's (though mostly focusses on Dani) and keeps switching between a 'then' and 'now' timeline. I often get a little lost and struggle to remember who said what and when it happened, with this type of back-and-forth, multiple POV format usually, but Jess Ryder nailed it perfectly, in my opinion. I couldn't find any almost inevitable plot holes or unfinished leads, which often accompany this format either, so that was refreshing! I was gripped from the very first page! I read the whole book in less than 2 days, even staying up until 4am to finish it as I couldn't bear to wait any longer to find out what was going to happen next! Like a good TV psychological thriller (I'm looking at you, Harlan Coben), every time I suspected who the murderer was, I was then railroaded again moments later. Though I had my major suspicions on one character in particular, right up until near the very end of the book, there was yet another shocking plot twist which blew me away! I'd love for The Villa to be made into a TV series-i'd binge-watch that with popcorn for sure!
This was the first book that I've read by Jess Ryder and if this book was anything to go by, she will be added to my 'must buy' author's list from now on. I look forward to reading her previous releases.
Thank you to NetGalley, Jess Ryder and Penguin for providing me with a free Advanced Reader Copy, in exchange for my honest review.
Lots of threads and it flashes back before the death of the bride. So good and really interesting but not sure I would want to relive something so tragic. Well written and a good read.
The Villa by Jess Ryder
This book is set in a beautiful villa in Spain where, 3 years previously, a bride-to-be was brutally murdered whilst on her hen weekend. Now, in an attempt to discover her lost memories from the night her friend died, Dani engineers a plan to bring all the hens back to the villa as a way to try relive the days leading up to Aoife's death. I very much liked how this luxury villa in the middle of gorgeous Spain was juxtaposed with the horrific, bloody crime that occured there.
I loved the flashback elements to this book, which allowed the readers to get an insight into the character's minds and see for ourselves the events that led up to Aoifes death. The author masterfully drops hints and red herrings throughout the book, leaving the reader constantly suspecting every character of horrible deeds. Due to this, the plot is packed full of suspense, which will leave the readers hooked and desperate to uncover the secrets that the author so expertly hides from us.
The characters are a huge selling point to this book and are the biggest reason as to why I rated it so highly. Each of the hens have their own secrets, some relatively harmless and some that are ticking timebombs just waiting to detonate. Each character is explored via their own POV at some point in the book, which I loved. This is usually done in the flashback sections, where we deep dive into each of their minds and get a first hand view into their lives prior to the murder. This helped us readers to build a connection with each of the characters, understand their motivations and be exposed to all they are hiding. The narrator makes us readers culpable in each character's lies, and we carry these secrets with us throughout the book, waiting for the moment Dani discovers them. All of the characters are portrayed to be unlikeable, Aoife in particular I would say, but this only made me perceive them as more realistic and relatable. We feel sorry for each of the women, but for different reasons, yet none of them can be said to have done the right thing and so they are, sooner or later, forced to face the consequences of their actions. Everyone makes mistakes, but the fall out from those mistakes, even if they are minute ones, can be catastrophic, and I think this message really came across strongly in this book.
This book portrayed a very interesting outlook on friendship and how it changes over the years, and the author seemed to make some ironic and critical comments on the awful way the friends treated one another. Each of the hens have their own glaring issues and faults which, when they are all forced together on the hen weekend, are brought into full focus and end up interweaving until the underlying tension becomes so great that it feels like something bad is undoubtedly on the horizon. I really enjoyed reading about their friendship, the way they interacted with one another and the betrayal, hurt and selfishness floating around the group showed that you never truly know your friends, no matter how hard you may try.
I rated this 4 our of 5 stars. I would highly reccomend this book if you're looking for a well-written murder mystery/thriller novel with masterfully crafter characters that will keep you guessing right until the end. The ending of this book had me gasping, amd was definitely a crazy plot twist I hadn't seen coming. Thank you to Netgalley and Jess Ryder for the ARC.
I do enjoy a good read based abroad. The villa follows Aoife and her hens as they venture to Marbella for the weekend. The story is told on a now & then timeline, the hen party three years ago resulted in a murder of one of the hens and the remaining hens have travelled back to marbs for the third year anniversary, they all have secrets they’ve hidden and as things unravel the finger of blame keeps moving.
This is a mystery thriller told in multiple perspectives with curveballs and twists.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher and author for my ARC
I really enjoyed this title. The plot going back and forth in timelines worked well, and I thought I had the answer to who did it but switched my opinion multiple times so the plot twist was clever. I didn't really 'like' any of the characters which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I don't think I really bought that they'd all agree to go back. However, the writing was fun, this is a great beach read and I am definitely going to look for the author's other books.
A destination hen party which goes wrong and the a few years later the ladies return! What will they find out, loved the thriller and mystery surrounding the story.
I’m giving this book 3 stars! I loved the writing style going from different people and back and forth in time, i personally love books like that! I found it very gripping and read it very fast and was excited to keep reading it but did find it a bit slow and quite predictable by page 81 i had figured out who had killed Alofie! But there where so many twists and turns which kept me gripped! I LOVED finding out about how all the girls had betrayed her, just love the drama. I felt very connected to danni and loved all the characters, a great read but i think it could of done with a bit more tension. Thank you to net gallery for giving me the opportunity to read this book before the release date in exchange for a review! really enjoyed it, well done!
I want to thank netgalley, the author and the publisher for allowing me access to this advance copy.
I loved this book! I was hooked from the beginning. The only character I can say I liked was Dani.
I had a feeling the story would end how it did but I still loved it and I was still shocked. This story was well written and I loved the dual POVs.
This story will make the perfect summer read! So grab your drinks and read this book!
I really enjoyed this!
I loved the dual timeline and the alternating POV’s. I was so intrigued where the plot was going and seeing the mystery unravel.
I did predict that the friends were involved but it didn’t affect my enjoyment. A great popcorn thriller.
A fab summer read that would be perfect to read on holiday.
I’d definitely recommend this book to fellow thriller lovers.