A domestic thriller that’s actually filled with lots of secrets, some of them pretty big.
Their kids safely packed off to summer camp, three couples—ER physician Louis Murray and his wife, orthopedist-turned–TV sports commentator Jenny Murray; indifferently successful writer Ben Hansen and his wife, Rachel Klein, a lawyer; and venture capitalist Nadal Ahmadi and his wife, Susan, whose own law career is on hold while she home-schools their autistic son and supports her husband’s app Doc2Go, with which he hopes to make a killing—head to an unseen Hamptons rental for some R&R. What they get instead is instant disappointment with the lodgings (though there’s a great view of the beach), enough wine to take the edge off their sorrows, an escalating round of spats and accusations, and sudden death. When Rachel turns up strangled and drowned at water’s edge, suddenly every little twitch of the survivors looks suspicious. Recently promoted DS Gabriella Watkins is pulled away from a party-rape accusation to the crime scene because the victim’s torn swimsuit suggests the kind of assault Gabby’s good at investigating. Not surprisingly, she finds beneath the vacationers’ moneyed veneer a roiling stew of sins—adultery, abuse, threatened lawsuits—that make everyone look guilty, even if not of this particular crime. The surprise is that the alibi of Ben Hansen, whose heated quarrel with his wife sent her flouncing off to the beach, never to return, depends on his presence at the very party Gabby had been investigating, the one at which 18-year-old au pair Mariel Cruz woke up naked next to surfing banker Andrew Baird with no memory of how she’d ended up there.
Holahan deploys a before-after-during-after-before-and-so-on series of perspectives that go a long way toward dissipating the suspense they’re presumably meant to intensify. But her gimlet eye for the foibles of this particular social set is as unforgiving as in the much superior Lies She Told (2017).