#BookReview The Villa by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheVillaNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Villa

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 3, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set at an Italian villa with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.


Compelling, ominous, and unpredictable!

The Villa transports you into the life of cosy mystery writer Emily Sheridan who, after recently battling illness and a nasty divorce, heads to an Italian villa at the invitation of her childhood best friend and successful self-help author Chess Chandler, where the past will collide with the present, long-buried secrets will be unearthed, and the infamous murder that occurred on the property in 1974 and was the inspiration for the classic, celebrated horror novel, Lilith Rising may finally be solved.

The writing is taut and tight. The characters are self-indulgent, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth, past/present style, intertwines and unravels effortlessly into a machiavellian tale full of manipulation, deception, lies, drama, jealousy, secrets, revelations, mayhem, and murder.

Overall, The Villa is a twisty, intense, sinister tale by Hawkins that does an excellent job of delving into the complex dynamics that exist between friends and highlights just how toxic, parasitic, and dangerous some of those relationships can turn out to be.


This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, as well as multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.

Photo by John Hawkins.

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