Having recently interviewed John Marrs in his one and only in person interview at the Deepings Literary Festival, how could I resist taking part in the blog tour for The Vacation? My thanks to Anne Cater and Tracy Fenton for inviting me to participate.
I’ve been a fan of John’s writing for years and he’s appeared on Linda’s Book Bag several times. Most recently I interviewed John about The Minders, here.
You’ll find John on the blog when I reviewed What Lies Between Us here. I reviewed John’s The One here, and interviewed him about The One here. When John’s The Good Samaritan was published he provided a superb guest post that you can read here too.
Published by Pan Macmillan on 23rd June 2022, The Vacation is available for purchase through the links here.
Longlisted for the 2022 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, The Vacation is a compulsive, holiday-set thriller from John Marrs, the author of The One, now a Netflix Original Series.
How far would you run to escape your past?
Venice Beach, Los Angeles. A paradise on earth.
Tourists flock to the golden coast and the promise of Hollywood.
But for eight strangers at a beach front hostel, there is far more on their mind than an extended vacation.
All of them are running from something. And they all have secrets they’d kill to keep . . .
Originally published as Welcome to Wherever You Are, this is a re-edited release perfect for fans of T. M. Logan.
My Review of The Vacation
Life in a backpacker’s hostel isn’t quite what it seems.
Having been used to John Marrs’ intense, claustrophobic, psychological thrillers, I was taken by surprise by The Vacation as it roams across time frames and settings and is very different to other of his books. What works so well is the way the different time frames are woven like a tapestry so that there’s an almost visual uncovering of the action in this fast paced, absolutely gripping narrative.
The Vacation is a cracker of a summer read. I loved the way the plot ebbed and flowed like the tide on Venice Beach and the manner with which John Marrs gradually fed information to both the characters and the reader makes it so engaging. Something about the episodic quality took me back to the days of watching television series like Dallas where there’s intrigue, deception, crime and manipulation all rolled into a breathless, engaging story. It’s not possible to say too much about the plot of The Vacation as it is intricate and so full of brilliant surprises that anything more would spoil the read.
I loved meeting all the characters and the way John Marrs explored and gradually uncovered who they were and why they found themselves at the hostel. I usually struggle to keep multiple characters clear in my head but here the cast of The Vacation is so cleverly presented that every single person feels distinct. The themes of identity and trust build these people into totally convincing characters to the extent that reading The Vacation has made me question how well I know anyone in my life.
Themes of love, family, life, death, race, sexuality, greed, estrangement, guilt, blame, trust, revenge, loyalty and so on are so inextricably linked in the story that it really is a fabulous read.
I thought The Vacation was brilliant. It’s quite bonkers at times with so many twists and turns that it leaves the reader’s head in a total spin. However, that insight into the human psyche I’ve come to expect from John Marrs’ writing is absolutely present alongside the hugely entertaining story so that The Vacation is a total corker of a read. It’s great fun, filled with drama and surprisingly emotional. I loved it and if you’re looking for a read with everything from murder to mothers, broken hearts to broken noses, duplicitous characters and a fabulous plot, you will too.
About John Marrs
John Marrs is an author and former journalist based in London and Northamptonshire. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author. He is the bestselling author of: The One, The Passengers, The Minders, What Lies Between and When You Disappeared.
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