Author: T. J. Emerson

The Perfect Holiday Mini Review

Posted April 28, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

The Perfect Holiday Mini ReviewThe Perfect Holiday by T. J. Emerson
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on April 20, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 331
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
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Perfect for fans of T.M. Logan's The Catch and The Couple at No. 9 by Claire Douglas.

'This taut, elegant thriller thrums with dark menace and dread. I couldn’t look away' Kate Riordan, bestselling author of The Heatwave

Olivia and Julian are enjoying lazy days in their Spanish villa, a well deserved break from their busy lives. Especially for Julian, who after a lifetime as a carer was thrust into the public eye following the tragic murder of his first wife.

The languid heat and peace of the villa is broken only by clifftop walks, sun drenched lunches and cooling swims. Until a chance encounter with Gabriel - an attractive man, many years their junior - changes everything.

Soon their idyllic break turns into a dangerous, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse. Will any of them get out alive?

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This is a dual timeline novel, set now (which is “after”) and “before”. In the before timeline we have Julian who is caring for his wife after she’s been paralysed in a car accident. Now/After, he is on holiday with his second wife, Olivia.

I find it difficult to enjoy a book when I really don’t like the main characters, and I really didn’t like Julian, he has no redeeming features. I also wasn’t a fan of Gabriel (although that’s intentional from the authors pov, I can’t imagine anyone would like him). There was potential for Olivia to be a decent enough character but she was never allowed to reach her potential, she was almost secondary to the narrative, a part of the setting rather than an actual person.

This is another example of a domestic thriller, which I never find thrilling. I always love the idea from the synopsis and then find that they fall short.


About T. J. Emerson

Before writing fiction, she worked in theatre and community arts. As well as acting, she ran drama workshops in healthcare settings, focusing on adults with mental health issues. Her short stories have been widely published in anthologies and literary magazines, and her feature writing has appeared in Stella magazine, Woman’s Own and The Sydney Morning Herald. Her first psychological thriller, She Chose Me, was published by Legend Press in 2018.
She has a PhD in Creative Writing from The University of Edinburgh and works as a literary consultant and writing tutor. She is also the Creative Director of The Bridge Awards, a philanthropic organisation that provides micro-funding for art and community projects.