Monday 24 July 2023

The Beach Party by Nikki Smith BLOG TOUR #TheBeachParty @Mrssmithmunday @PenguinUKBooks @VikingBooksUK @EllieeHud #BookReview


Six friends.

The holiday of their dreams.

One night that changed it all . . .

1989: The tunes are loud and the clothes are louder when a group of friends arrives in Mallorca for a post-graduation holiday of decadence and debauchery at a luxury villa.

A beach party marks the pinnacle of their fun, until it isn't fun any longer. Because amidst the wild partying - sand flying from dancing feet and revellers leaping from yachts - an accident happens. Suddenly, the night of a lifetime becomes a living nightmare.

Now: The truth about that summer has been collectively buried. But someone knows what happened that night.

And they want the friends to pay for what they did.

The Beach Party by Nikki Smith was published in paperback by Penguin on 20 July 2023. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour. 

This book ticked many of my boxes for an enjoyable read. I have to comment on that incredible cover, this is certainly one that will stand out in a bookshop. It is vibrant and totally relevant to the pages inside. 

There have been multiple 'friends on holiday' psychological thrillers over the past few years, and I've read a lot of them. What I especially liked about The Beach Party was the 1980s era setting. The author has cleverly included lots of things, including music, fashion and gadgets from those times throughout the story, it certainly brought back some great memories for me. A Spotify music list to accompany the book would be great. 

After mysterious prologue, the reader is introduced to Nina in the present day. A wonderfully created, obnoxious, selfish character who is intriguing. Can anyone be quite that vile?

We are then taken back to 1989. Six twenty-something friends head off to Mallorca to stay in Nina's parents luxury villa. The characters come from varying backgrounds with plenty of issues of their own packed away in their holiday luggage. Nina is the self-appointed leader of the group, it's her villa, her rules, all the way. 

As the group settle at the villa, we learn more about each of them, we also realise that there are many things that are left unsaid, some shared history between all of them. Some of them are hiding their biggest personal challenges and none of them are really being themselves. 

The beach party of the title is where everything gets very messy, and from then on, the tension and pace of the story increases ten-fold. It's a massive race to ensure that a terrible tragedy is covered up, at any cost. 

During this narrative, the reader is also aware of what is happening in the present day. Anonymous emails are received which frighten the recipients. We learn how each of the characters have fared in life and the author cleverly conceals some startling revelations until the end of the book.

I really enjoyed this novel. Nikki Smith writes with a flair and imagination that makes what could have been just another holiday thriller into something a bit special. The 1980s touches and the characterisation really stood out for me. Recommended 

Nikki Smith studied English Literature at Birmingham University before pursuing a
career in finance. 

Following a 'now or never' moment, she applied for a Curtis Brown Creative writing course where she started writing her first novel. 

She lives near Guildford with her husband, two teenage daughters and a cat who thinks she's a dog. 

Nikki is the author of All In Her Head and Look What You Made Me Do, both of which have been optioned for TV. 

The Beach Party is her third novel.

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