Four married friends with unhappy marriages go on a girls weekend to Monte Carlo. They go a bit wild, spend the first night on a luxurous yacht with several men and the next morning are arrested for a murder they did not commit! The main character is Abbie Elliot and the story is told mostly from her point of view. They stand trial, are convicted, and sent to a brutal French prison; but, Abbie is determined to find out who framed them and why.
As you would expect from James Patterson, the book is well-written and keeps you in suspense and absorbed, throughout. Although Abbie’s character is very strong, she is a sympathetic character. You don’t really know the other women that well, and what you do know is primarily from Abbie’s perspective; however they are also characters you feel empathy for, although they are much weaker-willed than Abbie. Early on, you are given a hint as to who the real murderer may be; but, with Patterson’s usual skill, you are always in doubt and only know the real truth toward the end of the book.
The only thing I found a bit unbelievable was Abbie’s ability to remain strong and determined throughout the entire ordeal. She went through many brutal beatings, was targeted by the jail’s guards, as well as the warden, and never flinched. However, even though her strength of character (and body!) was hard to buy into, it certainly wasn’t unusual or over-done for a novel of this type. Strong characters are the core of a book like this, and Abbie certainly fits the bill!
This was a thoroughly entertaining book, and illlustrates just why Patterson is such a successful author. It is fast-moving, has an intriguing plot, and keeps you interested until the end. I’ve read many James Patterson novels, and this one is right up there with his best. Patterson and Ellis have done a bang-up job!
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