The Trial

Author: S. R. Masters
Publisher: HarperCollinsUK, One More Chapter
Date Published: July 7, 2022

Would you take part in a paid clinical trial in the Canary Islands?

Secluded island.

Unknown side effects.


What could go wrong?

Elle believes she has been chosen for the trial in error because in a fit of drunken abandon, she lied on her application. But what the heck? It’s a free vacation and she deserves it since her mother and her mother’s boyfriend have conned her out of her vacation funds.

Misgivings start as soon as Elle and her fellow travelers land on the island – no one seems to know exactly which Canary Island it is, but it doesn’t seem to be all that inhabited beyond the resort. And then the headaches start.

Elle’s character is different from the others on the island. She seems to be full of empathy for the other trial participants, and she’s not getting headaches like some of them are. And once the bad stuff starts happening, Elle shows she has real grit. I was holding my breath the whole time she tried to find a way off the island. But oh, that ending! I’m not sure Masters could have ended any other way, but you’re left to your own interpretation for what happens next!

While a lot of readers found the first part of the book slow, I think the narrative successfully built the tension and left just enough doubt about what the trial was about.

It will be a long time before I volunteer for an undisclosed trial!

Thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollinsUK and ONeMoreChapter for an advance read along copy.

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