Alex Doyle, Miles and Grace Ashford and Sasha Sinclair are toasting the end of their exams with a decadent vacation on the private island of Angel Cay. The whole world is at their feet when a horrible tragedy threatens to ruins their lives. Kiss Heaven Goodbye explores the repercussions of that fateful night as the four go on to glittering careers - will their dark secret ever come to light?
Kiss Heaven Goodbye is the perfect beach read - five hundred odd pages whip past before you know it as you're sucked into the lives of the four privileged students and watch how they become successful. Perry uses an excellent format - showing us first that twenty years down the line the secret is about to be uncovered, then taking us back to that night and introducing us to Miles, Grace, Sasha and Alex. The rest of the book uses dates as chapter headings to show time unfolding, which meant reading compulsively in the knowledge that, however right their lives might be, everything is about to come crashing down.
My main complaint with this manner of dipping in and out of the characters' lives over twenty years is that often key events would be skipped over and we'd simply be shown the aftermath. I think at times Perry used this technique almost lazily so that she wouldn't have to write difficult scenes - much easier to show a fait accompli.
I also found it far too cutesy that in the book a film being premiered was called "By Midnight", the novel that Perry has released under the nom de plume Mia James. We also visited Highgate Cemetary in this novel, which features prominantly in By Midnight. To most of Perry's regular readers, this won't have any impact at all so it is far from a negative point but it jumped out at me.
Kiss Heaven Goodbye is as predictable as you would expect, although Perry threw up a successful curveball at the end which, I have to confess, I didn't see coming and that I enjoyed immensely. It's always nice to be surprised by this sort of novel!
All in all, Kiss Heaven Goodbye was a blistering read - fast, sexy and glamourous with larger than life characters. If you're heading on holiday, you can't go far wrong packing this novel. Perry knows how to write the perfect beach read.