Do Not Become Alarmed (2017): Maile Meloy

★★★½

This, like The Last Days of Summer, was a surprise book that arrived in my postbox with no warning or introduction and, like The Last Days, it’s a thriller that confronts us with one of life’s nightmarish situations. It begins when Liv and Nora, two cousins, decide to get away from it all with their families for a different kind of Christmas holiday. They take a luxurious cruise down the coast from California to South America, savouring the sun and the freedom from responsibility. But when a shore excursion goes horribly wrong, the two families are left to face up to every parent’s greatest fear.

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