Summary (from the publisher):
In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood’s most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. The surefire blockbuster promises to entice audiences with its sultry storyline and intimately connected cast.
Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. Stella, an infamously unstable actress, is struggling to reclaim the career she lost in the wake of multiple, very public breakdowns. Taylor, a fledgling producer, is anxious to work on a film she hopes will turn her career around after her last job ended in scandal. And Felicity, Stella’s mysterious new assistant, harbors designs of her own that threaten to upend everyone’s plans.
With a hurricane brewing offshore, each woman finds herself trapped on the island, united against a common enemy. But as deceptions come to light, misplaced trust may prove more perilous than the storm itself.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I’m soon going to share a ‘books to add to your beach bag’ post because I feel like I used that phrase for a few of my recent contemporary reads. The Siren will definitely be in that post for its Caribbean setting and addicting mystery. Following three female leads, the book takes place in June on the island film location for megastar Cole Powers’ latest movie, The Siren, directed by his son… and starring his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. Stella brings her new personal assistant, Felicity, along for filming, but Felicity has secret motives for getting so close to Stella and Cole. Producer Taylor begins to suspect that Stella and Felicity are keeping secrets, but she’s too focused on covering the scandal that ended her job at her father’s production company. A storm headed to the island threatens to tear the film and the women’s secrets apart.
It’s either that mystery meets contemporary books are becoming more popular – I’m thinking of recent releases like Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan Is Killing It or Mia P. Manansala’s Aresenic and Adobo – or I’m figuring out that I’m really into this genre. It took me about the first hundred pages or so to really get into The Siren, but once Katherine St. John’s establishes Stella, Taylor, and Felicity’s backgrounds, I was hooked. I liked the mixed formatting of present day perspectives from the three female leads, news articles, and excerpts from Stella’s memoir. Trigger warning for sexual assault and drug abuse, as these two elements are unfortunately parts of each women’s relationship or history with the male film lead. Some of the story felt very relevant to the Me Too Movement and Hollywood, between Taylor’s work history and Stella’s past. The book has a slightly escapist feel, between its island and film settings, although Katherine St. John proves again and again that there’s a lot lurking under the glitz and glam…
While there were some elements that I predicted from the get-go, especially regarding Felicity’s past, there were some parts of Stella and Felicity’s stories I didn’t see coming. I didn’t mind the slight predictability so much in this book because it was ultimately a light and addicting read aside for some of its heavier aforementioned scenes. While this was a breezy book for me, I did want more from the ending. As per usual with me and action scenes, I got slightly bored during some of the action scenes towards the end of the book, ultimately just wanting to get it to the result of the climax. The ending felt a little too happy-go-lucky or convenient, and I wanted more closure surrounding Taylor’s story especially.
Overall, The Siren is a great book for when you’re craving an addicting mystery this summer. When I have a need for a similar book, I know I’ll likely pick up Katherine St. John’s The Lion’s Den.
The Siren comes out on May 4th.
This review is based on an advance reading copy provided by the publisher. By no means did receiving this ARC affect my thoughts or opinions.
Is The Siren on your TBR? Have you read Katherine St. John’s The Lion’s Den? What contemporary meets mystery books should I read? Share in the comments!