"A gripping, romance-tinged thriller set on a sun-drenched island"
July 2022 Book of the Month
Glamorous, gritty and snakily twisty, Rebecca Barrow’s Bad Things Happen thriller is the epitome of a page-turning beach read.
Luca lives on an outwardly idyllic, sun-drenched island that’s plagued by an undercurrent of death. Namely, the unsolved deaths of young women, among them Luca’s best friend. But grief and fear aren’t the only problems Luca’s dealing with. She also suffers with mental health problems and, being “queer on an island where girls still kiss in front of boys for entertainment”, and being “mixed race on an island full of uptight old-money white people”, she feels like an outsider.
Then, Luca’s sister is murdered, which means “the two people who knew her best in the world are gone. The only ones to have ever known her fully without judging her…Who does she have now?” Enter Naomi, a newcomer to the island, to whom Luca feels an instant attraction. As their romance blossoms, Luca determines to figure out the truth behind her sister’s murder, and the cause of the curse she’s convinced is at play.
The plot unfolds with a viper’s nest of secrets, lies and accusations as the action and island hots up even more than its wealthy residents are accustomed to. Alongside the thrills of a murder mystery, the novel expounds body-positive messages, and Luca’s mental health struggles are represented with authentic honesty.