I loved both of Rachel Rhys’ previous novels and have eagerly waiting for this latest one. It is set in Havana in the 1950s and as I read this in the garden over a hot, sunny weekend, I could (almost) imagine I was there. And that’s one thing which Rachel Rhys does so well in her novels, whisks her readers away to another time and place.
Island of Secrets introduces us to Iris, a typist living with her parents who is rather bored with life. Through a chance meeting, she gets the opportunity of a lifetime and is hired to illustrate the society wedding of a Hollywood director to his much younger socialite fiancee in Havana. As she gets to know this rather complicated family and their guests, she discovers that there is a mystery surrounding the death of the groom’s previous wife. She begins to uncover dark secrets, and it seems that danger is lurking around the corner.
Rachel Rhys has captured the glitz and glamour of Havana society life brilliantly as she creates a vibrant world of colour, intrigue and danger. Iris certainly has her eyes opened to a very different world from that she is used to. It’s a world of extravagance, clandestine affairs and with accusations of adultery, espionage and murder, it is far from clear who can be trusted and who is telling the truth. The author shows us “Havana in all its hedonistic glory”.
Island of Secrets is a sultry, atmospheric read, a captivating book to immerse yourself in on a hot sunny day, while dreaming of more exotic climes.
My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tour for inviting me to take part in the blogtour and to the publishers Transworld for my review e-copy of the book via Netgalley. The book is available as an ebook now and the paperback will follow on 25th June. Please support an independent bookshop if you are able and pre-order a copy from there. Otherwise, you will find buying options for various retailers on the publisher’s website here: Island of Secrets
From the back of the book
Set in the exotic city of Havana on the cusp of revolution, an English woman discovers mystery, romance and scandal in the atmospheric new novel by Rachel Rhys for fans of DINAH JEFFRIES, LUCINDA RILEY and SANTA MONTEFIORE
1957: Iris Bailey is bored to death of working in the typing pool and living with her parents in Hemel Hempstead. A gifted portraitist with a talent for sketching party guests, she dreams of becoming an artist. So she can’t believe her luck when socialite Nell Hardman invites her to Havana to draw at the wedding of her Hollywood director father.
Far from home, she quickly realizes the cocktails, tropical scents and azure skies mask a darker reality. As Cuba teeters on the edge of revolution and Iris’s heart melts for troubled photographer Joe, she discovers someone in the charismatic Hardman family is hiding a terrible secret. Can she uncover the ugly truth behind the glamour and the dazzle before all their lives are torn apart?
About the author
RACHEL RHYS is the pen-name of a much-loved psychological suspense author. She is the author of the Richard and Judy bookclub pick, Dangerous Crossing and the bestselling A Fatal Inheritance. Rachel Rhys lives in North London with her family.