Lux and her boyfriend, Nico, have a plan: they’re going to fix up Nico’s boat the Susannah and travel around the world. Every day will be an adventure. But boats, especially boats that need fixing, are expensive. And so far the only adventure Lux has had is seeing if she can survive another boring shift as a housekeeper at a Hawaiian hotel.
When college friends Brittany and Amma charter Nico’s boat to sail to a remote South Pacific island, it feels like the adventure Lux has been hoping for is finally starting. The boat is fixed, things are finally moving. Even Brittany and Amma feel like the perfect passengers–feel like they might become friends.
Meroe Island is secluded, picturesque, and a bit like paradise.
It’s a dream come true. At first.
But the island also has a dark past with a history filled with shipwrecks, rumors of cannibalism, and even suspected murder. It’s easy to imagine trouble lurking in the shadows, especially when they realize The Susannah isn’t alone.
First it’s Jake and Eliza–a wealthy couple as sleek as their expensive catamaran. Then it’s another stranger.
As the atmosphere of the island shifts, so too do the new relationships between the small group.
There’s nowhere to go on an island as small as Meroe. And when the trouble starts, there’s no one to stop it in Reckless Girls (2022) by Rachel Hawkins.
Reckless Girls is a standalone thriller. All characters are assumed white. Check out the audiobook narrated by Barrie Kreinik for an immersive read.
Detailed descriptions of both the island and the boats quickly immerse readers in the story and distract from a slow build as Lux and the rest of her foursome acclimate to Meroe Island. This quiet start is broken up with flashback chapters that slowly reveal the backstories (and secrets) the main characters are keeping close. The initial lack of action works in stark contrast to the twist-filled final act where the pacing realy picks up.
Fans of thrillers will appreciate the suspense and claustrophobic isolation of the setting, but mystery fans might find the payoff and reveals fall short of jaw-dropping.
Reckless Girls is an atmospheric thriller; a perfect addition to your beach reading list.
Possible Pairings: How to Kill Your Best Friend by Lexie Elliott, Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney, The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley, The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell, The Club by Ellery Lloyd, The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan, The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse, Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman, The Woman in Cabin Ten by Ruth Ware
*An advance listening copy of this title was provided by the publisher through Libro.fm*