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The Villa

By Rachel Hawkins
The Villa by Rachel Hawkins digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description


"Hawkins weaves an engrossing tale about betrayal, sisterhood, and the power of telling your own story. Captivating!" ––People

"Hawkins is the reigning queen of suspense." ––Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author

The bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs returns with a brilliant new gothic suspense set at an Italian villa with a dark history.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.

286 Reviews

Thinking Face“So you mean to tell me that Mari just planted this extra ending because she wanted it to feel poetic and dramatic. Also, Emily is an idiot who forgave chess way too quickly. I loved the character development in the first half but the second half felt really rushed. It’s almost like the book needed another 50 to 80 pages. I feel like it was a little too short to really get the full story. Also, I read a review on Goodreads that Matt was actually poisoning her. I definitely feel like that tracks.”
ConciseConversationalSuspensefulTwistyUnpredictableBeautiful settingDark settingDescriptiveHauntingRushed ending
Expressionless Face“i was quickly drawn into this book and it kept me entertained, however i felt like it lacked some. the ending was rushed, i want to know if emily found all the paper, if she knew the real story- i know she said she didn’t give chess all the papers, so that meant she found the others i assume but what exactly is she going to do with them? was chess really honest or did she lie and make matt look like the villain when really it was chess? also emily forgiving chess so easily didn’t sit right w me”
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersEasy to readFast-pacedRushed endingUnsatisfying ending
Thinking Face“a quick read, i really enjoyed the parallels of the characters and learning about them while i watched them grow. this book left me satisfied but wanting more answers and questioning a couple of the protagonists decisions”
Likable charactersEasy to readAddictiveSuspensefulEnchantingUnsatisfying ending
Thumbs Up
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersEasy to read
Slightly Smiling Face
Morally ambiguousMulti-layered charactersOriginal characters

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