The Honeymoon is Kate Gray’s genre debut: a generally assured and absorbing crime novel that goes in unexpected directions.
Erin and Jamie have been enjoying a blissful honeymoon in Bali. It’s been perfect. On their last full day, Erin is lounging by the pool when she meets Sophia, also honeymooning. Erin impulsively invites her and her husband to dinner that night, and Sophia agrees.
The evening doesn’t go smoothly, and Erin is sure that when they return to England, they’ll never see Sophia and Mark again. But after they return, a body is found near the restaurant they ate at in Bali. The incident leads to Sophia contacting Erin again.
Quite apart from the question of what happened in Bali, both women are finding that the blissful honeymoon hasn’t translated to marriage. Something is very wrong, and tension and fear escalates.
The novel starts as more or less a straight murder mystery, but takes a sharp turn into something closer to domestic noir. It is mildly disconcerting initially, as the shift is so specific that you can almost see it. However, it works for the novel as a whole.
Without it, the plot would have been too thin to sustain the length. The shift increases the tension and makes it even harder for the reader to work out what’s happening – intentionally, and in a good way that sustains the suspense.
Erin and Sophia are both strong characters who take turns narrating the novel. They are very different women, experiencing very different problems with only minor cross-over. Again, this serves both to heighten the tension and makes it more challenging to see what’s happening.
While some minor plot points are pretty obvious, I think they were deliberate signals to the reader. Some are pointers to what’s going on, and some are red herrings – but which are which?
Overall I found this an absorbing read. It’s not, perhaps, the most plausible plot I’ve ever encountered, but the strong writing and characters meant I didn’t notice that while I was reading it.
The various plot strands come together and are explained towards the end of the novel. Readers will close the book feeling satisfied.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Honeymoon by Kate Gray. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember, and I love sharing that joy.
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, across all genres. There’s not much I won’t at least try. I’ve been an enthusiastic book reviewer for years. I particularly enjoy discovering writers new to me, and sharing good writing with others.
My career has included time spent writing and editing technical documents, but it’s fiction that really moves me. I’ve reviewed for a number of different outlets over the years, and have been a judge in literary competitions.
I’m now raising little bookworms of my own, which brings a whole new kind of joy to sharing books.
More of my reviews can be found on my review blog www.otherdreamsotherlives.home.blog .