The Getaway
Date Published07 July 2022
Price£ 8.99

The Getaway

by Ross Armstrong

A birthday celebration on a millionaire’s private island turns into an enforced stay with a murderer in their midst.


Robert Rathwell, a multi-millionaire in his 80s, is celebrating his birthday by taking himself, his wife, his son and a small entourage to his private Greek island. However, there is an unwelcome surprise waiting for him in the form of his estranged son. Rathwell’s legacy and physical frailty soon collapses into death and murder as the idyllic island turns out to be more of a trap than a retreat.

This is a country house mystery, the only difference being the island. The residents are Robert Rathwell, a multi-millionaire used to getting his own way; Sofia, his latest and much younger wife; JR, his possibly psychopathic teenage son; Bobby, his estranged first son; Amelia, his son’s tutor; Isabelle, his personal assistant; Kostas, his body-guard and Ben, a recent hire to give JR a more active male role-model. The stay at the isolated island was supposed to be an idyllic holiday away from computers, Wi-Fi and mobile phones. However, Bobby’s presence there provides the catalyst for a quick descent into chaos as old histories and resentments rise to the surface. Rathwell’s legacy and reputation are under threat, and someone is willing to kill to preserve them.

I wanted to like this book. I thought the premise was great and the isolation of the island setting was well-developed. However, the story is told through the perspectives of the three women, Sofia, Amelia and Isabelle, and they were just not developed enough as characters with their own distinct voices to make the story easy to follow. The short chapters do drive the plot forward but also mean the book constantly bounces from one point of view to another without settling into any of them. Whilst this does provide an opportunity to pick up clues that a single point of view would have missed, I found it mostly just distanced me from the action and I ended up just not caring about any of the characters. On top of that, the story was just rather too tangled to make it an enjoyable read.

Reviewed 29 April 2023 by Anthea Hawdon