One Perfect Couple

Gallery. May 2024. 400p. ISBN 9781668025598. $28.99. SUSPENSE
What harm could it do? That is Lyla Santiago’s initial thought when her boyfriend Nico suggests they compete in a new reality TV show called One Perfect Couple. Since Lyla’s academic career as a scientist seems stalled, the idea of a few weeks’ “vacation” to shoot the show sounds terrific. However, soon after arriving, with four other couples, on an isolated island in the Indian Ocean, Lyla finds her dream vacation turning into a nightmare. Ware puts her own inventive twists and turns on the popular “trapped with a killer in an isolated locale” type of suspense made famous by Agatha Christie in And Then There Were None. Ware then also deftly layers a bit of Lord of the Flies–style tension into her tautly strung storyline as her characters find themselves not only cut off from civilization but struggling to survive the after-effects of a deadly tropical storm.
VERDICT Ware (Zero Days) once again delivers the literary goods, with a cheeky sense of wit (including a “blink and you’ll miss it” nod to one of her own books), a propulsive sense of pacing, and a fiendishly clever conclusion.
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