“The Vacation” is about the secrets people keep, ones they keep from family, from friends, and from themselves. These secrets leave a swath of damage that forever follows like a ghost, unseen but always there. Four lifelong friends from university days take a well-earned vacation with their families to mark the year they all turn forty.
Logan tells the story in Kate’s first person account structured almost like her personal like a diary. Kate is a crime analyst, collecting data and tracking patterns for the Metropolitan Police, so she is constantly analyzing events. She talks to herself and second guesses everything and everyone. The narrative is interspersed with accounts from the point of view of other characters. Chapters also note the day of the week.
The vacation is filled with family, fun and comradery. The seaside resort is lovely, but it also has craggy rocks, vast isolated spans of beach, and stark unprotected overlooks. A lot of things can happen. Kate suspects that her husband is having a secret affair, and as she “investigates,” she worries that she is being misled. She is compelled to look harder, and look she does. The pace is cautious and deliberate, and what Kate finds is not what she expects.
“The Vacation” is filled with personal mysteries. Previously hidden secrets are revealed, and no one is the same ever again. I received a review copy of “The Vacation” from T. M. Logan and St. Martin’s Press. The book is easy to read and yet compelling as the elaborate game unfolds.
It is like a car crash happening in slow motion, you know it will be bad, but you just cannot look away.