Book Review

The Wild Girls

The Wild Girls

  • Author: Phoebe Morgan
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller
  • Publication Date: April 26, 2022
  • Publisher: William Morrow and Company

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow and Company for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

CONTENT WARNING: blood, infertility, abusive relationship, murder, rape

Rating: 5 out of 5.

In the vein of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware, a deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller about a group of old friends who plan to reconnect on an African safari vacation, but soon learn that their wild pasts have finally caught up with them.

FOUR FRIENDS. A LUXURY RETREAT. IT’S GOING TO BE MURDER.

It’s been years since Grace, Felicity, Alice, and Hannah were together. The “Wild Girls,” as they were once called, are no longer so wild. Alice is a teacher. Hannah has a new baby. Grace is a homebody. Only Felicity seems to have retained her former spark.

Then Felicity invites them all on the weekend of a lifetime–a birthday bash in Botswana. It will be a chance to have fun and rekindle their once bomb-proof friendship… and finally put that one horrible night, all those years ago, behind them for good.

But soon after arriving at the luxury safari lodge, a feeling of unease settles over them. There’s no sign of the party that was promised. There’s no phone signal. They are on their own… and things start to go very, very wrong.

A fresh approach to the classic locked-room mystery, The Wild Girls is sure to appeal to fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley.

This book sounded like it was right up my alley, so I was really looking forward to reading it. However, while it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t quite hit the mark for me.

At its heart, it is the story of four women who grew up as friends since childhood, but have lost touch. When they are all invited to Botswana for an all-expenses paid vacation to celebrate one friend’s birthday. But naturally, it isn’t quite what they expect.

The story begins with an exploration of a crime scene. So we already know that something horrible goes down on this trip that isn’t something the women saw coming. But we don’t know who dies, or why. Then it jumps to the past, as the women learn of the invitation and make their plans to attend. There are POV chapters from Grace, Alice, and Hannah, but Felicity is oddly missing from the narrative for half the book. There are near-constant references to things that happened in the past, and led to the distance between all of these women, but there aren’t really any hints as to what exactly happened. All we know is that it dramatically changed not only the relationship between these friends, but the lives of each of the women involved. 

The characters aren’t all necessarily likable, but my thoughts on them changed drastically as I read through the story. They each have flaws and strengths, making them feel much more realistic than I had initially thought. Each woman faces her own struggles, but we don’t really learn anything about that, or the mysterious events that are referred to so often until the second half of the book. Once things hit a fever pitch in Botswana, we are tossed back in time to learn what happened in their shared past.

While the story is fast-paced, I spent the first half mainly wondering what had happened, and then once that was revealed, the rest of the plot twists were easy to figure out. I wasn’t really surprised by any of the revelations, which was so disappointing. There’s just something that is so enjoyable when a plot twist surprises me, but this story was completely predictable. Overall, it wasn’t a bad read, but I can’t really say I thought it was a great one either. It was just okay for me, but at least it was a quick read.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 3

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