This week’s (sadly late because I suck and medicine is a nightmare to work in) book review is another step outside of my normal romance genre with a mystery by Diane Ezzard, The Sinister Gathering. Now, it has been said before but is worth saying again, I dislike cliffhangers and very much am not a fan of books that are part of a series that is necessary to read in order, but you’re never warned. The relationship between reader and author is a tenuous one and these kind of things break the bond, but that is another tangent for another time. I say all that because The Sinister Gathering is technically book 3 in a series, however I read it as a standalone and did not feel as though I missed anything and there were no great mysteries at the end left unresolved.
The Sinister Gathering primarily focuses on Sophie who is a lot like many of us. Not incredibly happy with her life, but unable to fully pinpoint why. This level of melancholy leads her to go on a women’s retreat in the company of a group of strangers to learn many things such as fostering healthy relationships, pursuing happiness in all areas of your life, and achieving goals professionally and personally.
The group we meet with Sophie is an eclectic mixture of women from all walks of life. Some who have seemingly achieved all the desirable things (but in reality have unspoken demons they face) and some who wear their broken rather publicly. Major relevant and relatable issues such as OCD, alcoholism, and anxiety are represented among the ladies at the retreat. These are all things many of us have either personally experienced or known close friends and family who have dealt with them which makes for great character traits to forge a bond between reader and character.
All of that in mind… this is a mystery! And the event fails to go as planned when threatening notes, suspicious lurkers, and veiled comments all culminate in—
Oh come on now, I can’t tell you! This is a mystery after all! Grab your own copy to find out what happens to Sophie, Holly, Vicky, Moira, Susan, and all the other women who find themselves in the middle of an ill-fated wellness retreat.