INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
"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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Rachel Hawkins’ eerie novel opens with a memorable line: “Houses remember.” The best-selling author’s multilayered murder mystery ushers us through the hallways and gardens of a lush Italian villa, the site of a 1970s artists’ escape that ended in murder—and a modern-day writing retreat, where long-held secrets and dangerous grudges are unearthed. As the story’s two plots intermingle and the tension mounts, Hawkins skillfully keeps us in the dark, dropping bread crumbs and spooky coincidences as the book hurtles toward its cataclysmic finale. The Villa is a suspenseful and page-turning read about the dark heart of artistic ambition.
Friendship and professional jealousy fuel this nail-biter from bestseller Hawkins (The Wife Upstairs). As children, Chess Chandler and Emily Sheridan were inseparable, but they grew apart as adults. Chess became a popular self-help guru with books, videos, and TED talks, while Emily found moderate success writing an amateur sleuth mystery series. Chess's star and wealth continue to rise as Emily deals with a divorce conflict over her royalties, health problems, and writer's block. Then Chess suggests a "hard reset" to their friendship with a six-week stay at Villa Aestas outside Orvieto, Italy. Emily is reluctant until she learns the villa was rented in the summer of 1974 by rock star Noel Gordon. The villa became known as the Murder House after a guest of Noel's, an unknown musician, was murdered there that summer. The villa—and its past, chronicled in a hidden diary—energizes Emily, who begins to write again, starting with the provocative first sentence: "Houses remember." But Chess is stymied, unable to work until she finds Emily's rough draft. Intense characters complement the brisk plot, which shifts smoothly between the present and 1974. Hawkins consistently entertains. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary.
Not the best I’ve read but it did entertain so I guess it served it’s purpose