Opening the pages of The Boomerang Effect I was quickly transported back in time to a 1980’s film where a woman, who was a bit despondent with her life, packed her bags and headed off to Greece is search of something better. Shirley Valentine may not have necessarily been Cathy Robinson’s inspiration for the book but for me there were definitely a few parallels.
Unlike Shirley though, Jenny hasn’t walked out on her husband. He in fact walked out on her, swapping her for a much younger, more demanding girlfriend. Immersing herself in her work, Jenny has all-but-forgotten to take annual leave until her boss reminds her she is not able to carry her holiday over and therefore should really take some time off. On a whim she decides to book a holiday to Skiathos, a Greek Island that her and her now divorced husband used to visit yearly for over 20 years, and a place where her best friend now lives.
Having always completed this trip with Paul, Jenny almost backs out when, feeling overwhelmed, she looks up at the departure board in the airport. If it wasn’t for a text message from Lizzie she may never have got on that plane – what a mistake that would have been.
The more I read however, the more I realised that unlike Shirley Valentine this isn’t a romantic comedy, and while Jenny does fall for a man it isn’t all plain-sailing. In fact, it isn’t even the main plot of the story but forms part of a side story where Jenny learns that there is life after divorce and that another man could make her happy if she allows him to.
The main plot instead follows a more sinister path.
On one of her first evenings on the island, Jenny heads to Quiz night run by Lizzie and her husband Matt. Feeling out of place she heads for the door and runs right into Kostas, who after some embarrassment, offers to buy her a drink. With nothing else to loss she wanders back inside with a plan to leave after just one beer.
Problem is, the next morning she wakes up without being able to remember a thing but with the mother of all hangovers. Did she do something stupid? While she cannot remember anything, Kostas was clearly in her apartment but what happened?
Hera has a message to deliver: one that needs to be given in person and involves flying all the way from Melbourne to Skaithos. The only problem is that the message is for Kostas who seems to have disappeared.
When their paths collide, Jenny and Hera do not get off to the best of starts but before long they are acting as if they have been friends for years. Together, they are determined to find out what has happened to Kostas, regardless of how dangerous it becomes, and danger is on the horizon.
This is a romance story with a difference which I almost want to call it a cozy-crime romance. It is a tale that highlights that if you love someone you need to fight for them no matter what and that is exactly what Hera is doing. Regardless of how precarious things get, Hera along with the help of both Jenny and Lizzie, is determined to find Kostas before it is too late for either of them.
At the same time, Jenny is having a little romance all of her own with a mystery man who likes to keep things close to his chest. With a wife and a job that keeps taking him away from the island will this fledgling relationship turn into anything more than a holiday fling?
Finally, when things couldn’t get any more complicated Paul, Jenny’s ex, arrives on the island with his new, very young, very demanding girlfriend. Thinking that she is finally over her heartache, their arrival on what use to be Jenny and Paul’s holiday island opens up the flood-gates once again and emotions start to rage.
With turbulent relationships festering will this get in the way of finding Kostas?
Final Thought on The Boomerang Effect
With quick flowing chapters coming from all perspectives, The Boomerang Effect falls into the easy-to-read category. It is not a gory crime novel or a mills-and-boon-esque love story that will leave you reaching for a bucket, it is a summery read that you could read while relaxing on your sun-lounger. If of course, you have missed the summer then I would class this as a great little weekend read in front of a log-burning stove with a large red wine in hand.
Have you read any other novels that call fall into a cozy-crime romance genre?