~ Audiobook Review: Bad Summer People (ARC) ~

Expected publication May 23, 2023

Author: Emma Rosenblum

Narrator: January LaVoy

Audiobook Length: 9 Hours and 23 Minutes

A whip-smart, propulsive debut about infidelity, backstabbing, and murderous intrigue, set against an exclusive summer haven on Fire Island

None of them would claim to be a particularly good person. But who among them is actually capable of murder?

Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker rule the town of Salcombe, Fire Island every summer. They hold sway on the beach and the tennis court, and are adept at manipulating people to get what they want. Their husbands, Sam and Jason, have summered together on the island since childhood, despite lifelong grudges and numerous secrets. Their one single friend, Rachel Woolf, is looking to meet her match, whether he’s the tennis pro-or someone else’s husband. But even with plenty to gossip about, this season starts out as quietly as any other.

Until a body is discovered, face down off the side of the boardwalk.

Bad Summer People is a drama with a dash of thriller set in Fire Island in the community of Salcombe. It was less thriller/mystery than I thought going into the story, but it was still present. The audiobook is narrated by January LaVoy who does an excellent job at keeping the reader engaged in the story. She accurately portrayed the rich people drama that occurs throughout the story. The story opens with the murder and the discovering of the body before going into the main portion that eventually connects the drama to the murder.

There are a lot of characters to track in this story, including the four main couples. There is Jen and Sam Weinstein, Lauren and Jason Parker, tennis instructor Robert, and friend of Jen/Sam, Rachel Woolf. While there are a great number of main characters to track, the number greatly increases for the side characters. It was difficult to track every character as they were all involved in a lot of drama. There were infidelities, gossip, along with every other type of drama, so with a lot of characters involved, it was difficult to keep everything straight.

There is some mystery/thriller, but I would not label it as its main genre. Instead, it read more as a drama with all the scandalous happenings in the town. The thriller part does get a little lost among the drama, so I think I would have enjoyed it more if I expected this set up. As I thought it would mainly be a thriller, I came into it with different expectations. I still enjoyed it, but it just did not meet my initial expectations. I think if there were fewer characters and/or some additional thriller moments, then it would have read a little smoother. Since it begins with a thrilling moment before moving into the drama for awhile and then finally returning to the thriller, I think it would have felt more balanced with more thriller. Overall, this was a fun debut novel.

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed are completely my own.**

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