“Reckless Girls”

Secrets, retaliation, and survival on a not quite deserted island

“Reckless Girls” is the story of an “island in paradise” vacation that terribly went wrong, but perhaps it was doomed from the start. Lux McAllister and boyfriend Nicholas Johannsen III, Nico, live in Hawaii; the narrative unfolds mostly in Lux’s narrative and occasionally in other voices. Chapters alternate between events “before” and events “now.” These flashbacks show how people got to this time and place and what baggage they brought with them. There are also interludes containing unsettling reports of past tragic events on Meroe Island.

 Amma and Brittany charter Nico, and his boat to take them for a two-week on exotic Meroe Island, a getaway from everyone and everything. It should be exciting, restful, and fun, but it turns out to be something quite different. The trip to the island is dangerous as storms pound the ship, and that is just the start of the drama. The island that should provide rest from the traumatic journey and a peaceful respite from the world holds surprises. Another boat with another couple arrives, and suddenly nothing is going as it should; no one can be trusted. Secrets from “before” come crashing into “now” with disastrous results. Dark currents of evil float beneath the playful, shining surfaces of the beach waves.

This vacation was not supposed to an adventure, a good time on a tropical island; it was something very different. I received a review copy of “Reckless Girls” from Rachel Hawkins and St. Martin’s Press.  Accidents happen so easily on a deserted island; there are a million different ways to die. I read with trepidation as they perished one by one, wondering who would be left.