BOOK CLUB: The Honeymoon

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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.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Honeymoon

  1. What a page turning read this was as I was fully immersed in the entire book. Two couples honeymooning at the same place have dinner together the night before their honeymoons were ending and got back to their lives at home. Then there was an incident but was it really an accident or murder? This mystery book goes on to unravel the truth of what really did happen that night before Erin and Jamie left their honeymoon, my mind changes a little after odd things that happen and Sophias digging into information with the help of Amira brings out some very truthful and suspicious information that can have very dangerous consequences. Secrets, lies, manipulation and just when you thought you knew what the truth was, theres more!
    I really enjoyed this and would love to read more of Kate Grays books. This one got me hooked with its twists and turns and I was right by Erins side at the start with a big high five for Sophia who was a great character in the book especially towards the end.
    You just have to give this one a read

  2. Thankyou Beautyandlace and Wellbeck Publishing for the opportunity to read ‘The Honeymoon’ by Kate Gray.
    Newly married and on honeymoon Erin and Jamie meet Sophia and Mark also on honeymoon and staying in the same Bali accomodation.
    Sophia is between jobs and Mark is a mortgage advisor. Erin is to do renovation work on a property they have just purchased while Jamie owns a security system business.
    Things really begin when the couples meet up for a meal out at Blue Fin Restaurant, there Erin whilst taking a phone photograph of them all at the table açidently knocks her drink into a man carrying a drink. The result is a nasty scene and after this events happen….
    Each chapter is dedicated to one or other of the characters.

    This was such a great story and it was definitely a can’t put down book for me!
    I thought I had it all sorted out only for my assumptions being wrong.
    Unexpected happenings and so exciting it’s a must read!

  3. When plain jane Erin meets the beautiful Sophia on their respective honeymoons in Bali, the 2 strike up a holiday friendship & end up going to dinner together with their new hubbies to a fancy oceanfront restaurant. The events that ensue that night change the courses of all their lives forever.

    ‘The Honeymoon’ was such an addictive read. A cleverly written thriller/mystery that had me constantly guessing and changing my suspect list, right until the very end.

    Kate Gray has done a fantastic job of engaging the reader and keeping us on our toes. I really couldn’t put this book down!

  4. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Wellbeck Publishing for the opportunity to read Kate Gray’s book, The Honeymoon.
    I absolutely loved this book, it had me up late at night reading and each morning at breakfast! The story is well told and gives a good background (over a few chapters) of each character to help build and shape them for the reader. The story is based on a simple story of 2 people on a honeymoon, then there is a murder/accident in Bali and once back home it seems there is more to the story than first realized. The plot thickens with each day and also due to the investigative nature of Sophia as the hotshot journalist who has a nose for a story starts to find the people and stories being told ….just don’t add up and everyone is hiding something.

    The story looks into each character and unveils a few well hidden secrets that lead the reader to many different thoughts of “who did it”. The unravelling of these stories and the actions of each of the characters is done very well and very entertaining for the reader. The story ends with all the little strings nicely tied up and leaves you with no questions.

    I loved the story, the pace, the plot and the outcome. I have recommended this book to many friends who love a good suspense filled story that keeps you turning pages. I look forward to reading more of Kate Gray’s books, this is sure to be a best seller!

    Thank you again for letting me review and read this book

  5. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review The Honeymoon by Kate Gray.

    The story begins when Erin Steele and Sophia Spencer meet at a beach in Bali, while both women are on their honeymoons with their husbands. Once Erin and Sophia start talking and getting along Erin invites Sophia and her husband Mark to join her and Erin’s husband Jamie for dinner on their last night. They dine at a restaurant called Blue Fin there Sophia notices that Jamie is outgoing and Erin seems insecure. While they are at dinner an occurrence happens with someone at the restaurant. After dinner there is a horrific storm and an incident which changes their lives. Both couples keep in touch when they go back home to England and then the story becomes very interesting.

    The story is told by multiple angles so which one can you trust? I really enjoyed this book and found it had many twists and turns. I would recommend it to everyone.

  6. This book begins with two English couples meeting on their honeymoons in Bali. They become casual friends before one couple is involved in the death of another tourist, which they keep quiet about to avoid police investigation. Once back in England, the couples meet up again but it’s clear that there are secrets, lies, and gaslighting of the women by one of the husbands. It’s hard to work out who the good and bad guys are (which I like), new information is drip-fed throughout and we’re never quite sure what’s true and what isn’t. The narrative comes mostly from the perspectives of the two women, although the two men have their turn. At least two of the characters are unreliable narrators, which adds to the mystery.
    I liked the tension, the mystery about the characters, the constant level of fear and stress that the women felt. It was well written for a debut novel, filled with twists and suspense. On the other hand, I’m not sure how plausible the characters were, and why the killer had committed the crimes they had (I couldn’t really identify motives for past crimes). As a minor point, the word “bribe” was used where it should have been “blackmail.”
    Thank you Welbeck and Beauty & Lace for this enjoyable read.

  7. Many thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review The Honeymoon by Kate Gray.

    This is a book that will grab you from the very beginning. The Honeymoon has so many twists and turns it was captivating to read.

    Two couples on their honeymoons meet in Bali. This is an incident and another person dies. The honeymooners return to the UK and get on with their lives but things start to unravel.

    The Honeymoon is told from the different characters, who seem at the beginning to be uncomplicated but turn out to be anything but!.

    Everyone in this story has something to hide and the reveal of those things make this a gripping book for any reader. The murder on Bali is only a small part of the overall story (but an important one) and the depth of the characters really bring this story to life. Its hard to put down once you start!

    Highly recommended! Many thanks again for the opportunity to read this cracking debut novel by Kate Gray.

  8. Kate Gray’s The Honeymoon is a fabulous and tension filled thriller centred on the aftermath of a dramatic and gruesome final night of two British couples honeymoons. It turns out that everyone has secrets they want to keep hidden. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep us guessing and the use of multiple narrators is effective. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review The Honeymoon. Would definitely recommend this book and will looks forward to more from Kate Gray.

  9. Honeymoon was a really interesting read, story about two English meeting at a restaurant in Bali while on their honeymoon. One of them get involved in a murder and their paths crosses again in their home country.

    Its a hard to put down book where story is constantly narrated from the perspective of two women Sophia and Erin, its great how the suspense stays till the end and suspects keep on changing. This book is a must rest and thanks to Beautyandlace for giving this opportunity.

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