Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2022
Hawkins borrows heavily from Vincent Bugliosi’s masterful true-crime thriller, “And the Sea Will Tell.” She mentions it as an inspiration in her book’s acknowledgments. If you’re looking for a complex, chilling, deeply-engrossing page-turner, I’d highly recommend Bugliosi’s classic. Hawkins’ “Reckless Girls” resembles Bugliosi’s book in plot, structure, framework and the deserted island locale, but having read both books, it’s impossible not to make stark comparisons. Hawkins does write well and keeps the story steadily moving forward. There’s fluidity, momentum and fresh dialogue. Yet, there is no one to truly root for in the tale. The reader is told that the tropical isle is a foreboding place with a dark history and a sinister vibe, but it’s as if all of the characters begin to unravel as soon as they hit the beach, in the interest of pushing the plot, rather than allowing the psychological menace to be revealed with nuance and dread. Danger, deceit and betrayal occur almost immediately. The character’s one-note backstories are meant to
explain their ulterior motives and nefarious deeds, but the focus is more on plot than actual character development. A quick read.