Rob and Anna are an English couple on vacation. On their first night, they meet an American couple who run boat charters to Roatan. Rob feels an instant connection to Owen and wants to take them up on their offer. Anna, however, is “always cautious and afraid of everything” as Rob describes CONSTANTLY to anyone who will listen. So of course, Anna has a few thoughts about spending 10 days on a boat with two people she barely knows. Geez Anna, what a buzz kill you are…being all reasonably cautious and all. But after a night in a really crappy hotel and lots of cockroaches that scared Anna, she quickly signs up to take the boat charter–because mysterious strangers are so much easier to deal with than cockroaches (I bet you didn’t know that!).
On the boat Rob instantly connects to both Kim and Owen. He admires their capability, which he always compares to Anna’s inability to take action or do anything. But Rob LOVES Anna, he says so all the time (after he says really shitty things about her)! So the three of them (Owen, Kimmie and Rob) do all the stuff on the boat while Anna writes frantically in her journal, frustrated in her fears and inability to help out due to those fears. This all changes when a storm rolls in and blows them off course. Anna steps up and connects with Owen, beginning to see that while he has SECRETS and he’s brooding, he’s actually a really cool guy. Kimmie though? F her. Anna has no time for Kimmie. I think because Kim stole magazines at a market and she saw it? Honestly, I’m not sure why she didn’t like her. But she really didn’t. Kimmie on the flip side really doesn’t like Anna either–it could because Anna has this super sexy mole in between her eyebrows that gets referenced just under 400 times when she’s talked about. That mole plays a role in her and Rob’s lovemaking too, as seen in the line, “Rob kissed the mole between Anna’s eyebrows, it was often a prelude to their having sex”. This mole is versatile, people. But it’s probably not the mole that Kimmie doesn’t like…she doesn’t like that Anna calls her Kimberly. Deep. I get why you don’t like her Kim…berly. (actually I don’t, because she was the only person who was normal and didn’t keep secrets from anyone).
So here’s the deal. It was sold as a tense thriller. It’s set up as tense thriller. Owen and Kim are out of money. Kim wants to go back to Florida after years of this nomadic living, Owen doesn’t. Both seem stressed. Owen’s taking chances, such as offering to deliver drugs to Roatan. Owen has a secret past and isn’t allowed to be around knives. There are NO knives on the boat, only Kimmie has one…in her fanny pack. I see you Kimmie, I see you. So I was picturing something like Dead Calm. Two sets of strangers on a boat, tense secrets and possibly death. Oh there’s a death alright, but it happens on Roatan and it’s random character that we are told we should care about, but don’t worry (SPOILER ALERT): we don’t care about that person. At all. All kinds of random things happen on Roatan (stalking, stabbing, a random sexual encounter, an accusation, someone saving the day–hmmm, who could it be?) and then the book ends. Praise Jesus! I was very happy when the book ended because I thought it was boring and lame. And the ending? It limped across the finish line like a…I don’t even know what comparison I’d make that wouldn’t offend anyone. It was a book, it happened and then it was over. However, I wish that I could’ve searched for all the different times Anna’s eyebrow mole was referenced because that was pretty much the only amusing portion of the book.
I am completely alone in my assessment of the book and therefore you should make your own decisions concerning it. It has mostly five star ratings on Amazon and something like three and a half stars on Goodreads. On both, I read that this is a “tense and atmospheric book”, so I’m missing something because mostly I learned how Kimmie likes to cook (mostly with spices, chilies, lime juice and pepper) and also how much being in relationships with people who keep inconsequential secrets from their partners suck. And of course, I learned that eyebrow moles are sexy. Of that? I have no doubt that it’s true.