Book Title: Girls’ Night Out
Author(s): Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Pub Date: 7/24/2018
Rating: 4/5 stars
I received an ARC from Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Overall I thought this book was a suspenseful, easy-read. It is perfect for readers craving a fairly light, fast-paced, suspenseful thriller. It caught my attention early-on, and I loved the premise. It is focused on the intricacies of female friendship and the disappearance of one woman after a girls night out.
Three best friends, Natalie, Ashley, and Lauren, embark on a relaxing vacation to Mexico in hopes of reconnecting and healing old wounds. But almost immediately upon arriving at the resort it becomes clear a beautiful getaway isn’t going to be enough to solve the issues that plague this group of women. Financial concerns are weighing heavily on Natalie and she desperately needs to convince her friend and business partner, Ashley, to accept Revlon’s recent offer to purchase the company. Ashley does not want to sell the company she has devoted her life to and which she believes has kept her friendship with Natalie alive. Ashley’s husband, Jason, thinks she is being selfish as usual. Ashley and Jason have some other marital issues too. Meanwhile Lauren has her own resentment for Ashley stemming from the death of her husband a year prior. With all of this going on, Ashley meets Marco Smith, a local, whom seems too good to be true. Several red flags pop up throughout the week that the three seem to ignore until it is too late. After a girls night out, Natalie wakes up alone on the beach with no memory of the night before. When she gets back to their hotel, she finds Lauren there, but Ashley is missing. Lauren and Natalie must work together to find out where Ashley is and what happened. The story is told in alternating views all told in third person, jumping back and forth between two timelines: before and after Ashley disappeared, until the final chapters when the events of the girls night out are revealed and we finally learn what happened.
I found Ashley and even Natalie to be fairly naïve and all three women somewhat annoying. A few chapters in the middle of the book were a bit slow for me, but the storyline picked up pretty quickly, and once it did I couldn’t put it down. I had to stay up and find out what happened. This isn’t a book where the twists will leave your mouth gaping open in shock, but it is suspenseful. While I found Ashley’s character to be very selfish at times and some of her personality to be a tad unbelievable (given her status as a loving mother), I did find the ending realistic and the conclusion satisfying.
As I read this one I kept thinking this would be a good read for fans of Abigail Haas, but I would note the women in this book are much older than the YA characters in Haas’ book and the plot is quite a bit different. Overall it was very enjoyable and entertaining. It made my heart race while I stayed up late to find out what really happened to Ashley after the Girls Night Out. Anyone who enjoys thrillers and suspenseful books should pick this one up.
Trigger Warnings: I do not think this warrants any trigger warnings per se, because although domestic abuse is discussed, the subject matter is not explored in great detail and the discussion appears almost exclusively in the context of one character reflecting on the abuse previously endured. None of the reflections on past abuse is particularly graphic.