Girls' Night Out

This heady thriller (336 pages) was published in July of 2018 by Lake Union Publishing. The book takes you to Cabo San Lucas. Melissa read Girls' Night Out and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

buy is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the book community.


Girls' Night Out

Liz Fenton, Lisa Steinke

This is an astute study of complicated female friendships disguised as a beachy thriller, and you won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough because you must. know. what. happened.

The story begins with the introduction of three women: Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren. They’ve been friends for 20 years, and though their friendship is cemented with shared memories, it’s also infected with past grievances. The three of them hold fast to their resentments and have forgotten how to be vulnerable with each other — if they ever really knew.

They decide that a boozy trip to Tulum might be just the thing to heal the wounds in their relationships. Spoiler: It is not. From the first moments of their vacation — when they peer pressure each other into drinking margaritas and desperately flirt with the bartender — the old tensions are right there.

They proceed to meet a handsome but perhaps shifty local. And they drink. And they fight. And one night, during a painfully determined girls’ night out, Ashley goes missing. Natalie wakes up on the beach the next morning, just a few yards from her hotel room, soaking wet and unable to remember anything from the night before. As she tries to piece together what happened, we see the girls’ relationship in all its damaged glory.

In addition to the can’t-look-away train-wreck characters, this book does a brilliant job capturing the contradictory elements of Tulum: the crystal-gazing, hippy-dippy mysticism; its awesome beauty and perfect beaches; the connection to the past via the Mayan ruins; the endless cocktails; and the seductive notion that you can escape real life for a while.

This is a tense story about mildly terrible people making epically bad decisions. Like a perfectly salted tortilla chip with a tequila chaser, it’s irresistible.

Waves lapped against the shore. It sounded as if the sea were breathing. In and out. In and out. — Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

keep reading

Cozy murders, procedurals, historical novels, spy thrillers, domestic noir, family crime — we've collected our favorite mysteries and thrillers to take you on a world tour of action, adventure, and danger. Buckle up.
Tropical coasts, lush jungles, ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins, majestic colonial architecture, fresh margaritas — Mexico is an inspired background for all kinds of stories about sun, fun, friendship, and family.
There are so many things to love about hotels: Bellhops! Room service! Tighter-than-a-drum sheets! Lobby bars! Plus the intriguing possibilities of all those strangers inside the same walls, together but separate.
Mexico is an inspiring background for stories that explore the joy (and challenges) of family and the magic of everyday experiences. In this episode of our podcast, we hit the beach and explore ancient cultures.
A room service menu and stocked mini-bar, five-star service, a posh guest room, perhaps even a swim-up bar; these are things of which dream vacations are made. But it's so much fun when fictional holidays go awry.

sharing is caring!

Wanna help us spread the word? If you like this page, please share with your friends.

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is ©2024 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.