Friday, May 7, 2021

The Siren by Katherine St. John

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I looked at Katherine St. John's previous summer thriller The Lion's Den but I just never had my interest peaked enough to grab it and read it. Now that I've devoured her second novel, The Siren, I'm going to have to go back and read it. This is a novel that surprised me completely.

The cover certainly gives it a certain, shall we say, Jackie Collins vibe? So I was expecting something frothy and over the top. Instead, I got a novel about the underside of fame and a whole lot of surprises, all taking place on a jewel of a tropical island. 

Hollywood has come to the island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, a thriller of a movie that reunites ex-spouses Cole Power and Stella Rivers. Cole is a HUGE Hollywood power star, while Stella is seen as a has-been. A child star who became famous for her short marriage to Cole and her public meltdowns after, Stella is desperate for a job. 

Cole's son Jackson is the director of the film, but Cole holds the purse strings. Also on the island is Taylor, the producer, and Felicity Fox, Stella's new assistant. Each woman has a reason why this film is so very important to them, and as everyone gathers, you start to uncover the motives behind each of them. 

Let's make it clear: Cole is a major league asshole. A handsome leading man who has gotten away with an awful lot of awful things, he owns the island and knows just how to manipulate Stella and Taylor. 

As filming begins, you get to know each of the ladies, and you slowly start to put the pieces together. As a hurricane threatens to disrupt filming, things really start to heat up, and wow! the action really kicks in. I found myself so immersed in the last 1/4 of the book that I completely lost track of time and realized it was much later than I thought when I finished the book. It's definitely one of those "What?! What?!" kind of books--I was talking to myself a lot! 

I've been reading a lot of what could be termed "domestic thrillers" but this is definitely not a domestic thriller. I'm not sure what exactly I'd call it. Dang it was good! I'd take this on a vacation without hesitation. And now I'm heading to the bookstore to buy her first novel. There is drug use and rape (off scene) in the novel, so be aware of that if you are sensitive to those topics. 

This is definitely one of those books that I had no idea what to expect and was blown away by it and so surprised in a very good way. A huge thanks to Grand Central Publishing for sending me an ARC. This novel just was released in hardcover on May 4th, so run out and grab it!

Rating: 5/6 for a novel about Hollywood, dirty secrets, and a reckoning that is long overdue. In a bigger sense, it's also about hiding your true self, the evils of social media, and survival. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

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