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The Holiday Home by Daniel Hurst: FAQs + Books Like It

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

When I come across a mystery or thriller book that takes place in the Scottish Highlands, I'm sold. There's not much more convincing needed to get me to read it and that's exactly what happened with The Holiday Home by Daniel Hurst. (Kindle | Kobo | Paperback)


Now that I have finished the book and learned all about the main character's darkest secrets and their true nature when faced with the consequences of those secrets, it's time for me to answer some of the questions I expect most readers will have about the book. I will also provide you with a list of five books like The Holiday Home that I would highly recommend you consider reading next. (Warning: This article contains spoilers)

The Holiday Home by Daniel Hurst

What is the Book The Holiday Home About?

Daniel Hurst's 2023 mystery book, The Holiday Home, is about two families who go on vacation to a cabin in the Scottish Highlands together. Upon their arrival, it doesn't take long for tension to rise between the two families and for their darkest secrets to be brought out into the light. Once that begins to happen, it's anyone's guess which of them will make it out of the weekend alive. The book is a multiple-POV book and is told in chronological order, so there is no flipping between past and present.


Is The Holiday Home Scary?

No, The Holiday Home is not a scary book. While there are brief moments of suspense, overall, the book and its plot twists are fairly tame and predictable, which for some might actually be a nice change of pace compared to some other non-stop anxiety-inducing psychological thrillers.


How Long Does It Take to Read The Holiday Home?

It will take the average reader approximately 4 hours to read The Holiday Home, according to How Long to Read.


Who are the Main Characters in The Holiday Home?

The main characters of The Holiday Home include:

  • Nicola - Ryan's wife

  • Ryan - Nicola's husband

  • Emily - Nicola and Ryan's 11-year-old daughter

  • Lewis - Kim's husband

  • Kim - Lewis' wife

  • Cole - Kim and Lewis' 15-year-old son


Who Dies in The Holiday Home?

The person who dies in The Holiday Home is Lewis. He is shot and killed instantly.


Who Is the Killer in The Holiday Home?

The killer in The Holiday Home is Kim, Lewis' wife. She arrives in the woods to find her husband pointing a gun and her son and Ryan, so she shoots and kills him.


How Does The Holiday Home End?

After confronting Ryan about being Cole's biological father in the woods, Lewis draws his gun on Ryan and Cole. At that point, Kim arrives, after having just been confronted by Nicola about Cole back at the cabin. Upon seeing her husband holding a gun on her son and her son's biological father, she shoots and kills him.


Ryan and Kim then decides to lie and say Lewis committed suicide. Cole refuses to go along with the lie and flees back to the cabin where he locks himself in the bathroom. Cole and Kim return to the cabin to meet the mechanic to establish an alibi and then leave again to call the police and switch the guns.


This is when Nicola escapes with Cole and Emily to call the police. Before they can though, Ryan and Kim find and hold Nicola at gunpoint. Fortunately, the police arrive at this time and because Nicola never hung up the phone, they hear Ryan and Nicola's murder confession. The two are then arrested, while the others return home unharmed.


5 Books Like The Holiday Home by Daniel Hurst

If you enjoyed The Holiday Home enough so that you want your next read to be similar, then here are my top five recommendations for you of books like it:


Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

1. Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Not only does Alice Feeney's book, Rock Paper Scissors, take place in a very similar Scottish location to The Holiday Home, but it's also about married couples with some major issues and secrets. Unlike The Holiday Home though, I did not see the plot twist coming. Even to this day, I still think about it. Here's the idea of the book: A married couple wins a secluded weekend away in Scotland. As soon as they arrive though, their goal of patching up their crumbling marriage is cast aside as unexplainable things begin to happen. While they might think their alone, the truth is that someone has been planning this weekend away for them for a long, long time.


Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger

2. Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger

I'm just going to let the description of Lisa Unger's book, Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six, speak for itself. Upon reading it, you should quickly see why I feel it's like The Holiday Home: "Three couples rent an isolated luxury cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway. But the dreamy weekend is about to turn into a nightmare. Someone is determined to ruin the weekend, looking to exact payback for deeds long buried. Who is the stranger among them?"


The Guest List by Claire Foley

3. The Guest List by Claire Foley

The Holiday Home is a fairly straightforward who-dun-it mystery, particularly because of the limited number of suspects. The Guest List by Lucy Foley, on the other hand, is a far more complicated who-dun-it because of the larger pool of suspects and the fact that the author gives literally everyone a motive for murder. Here's a short description: "On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate the wedding of a rising television star and an ambitious. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin though, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. Then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?"


The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

4. The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

If you liked the vacation aspect of the mystery in The Holiday Home, then you're going to love The Villa by Rachel Hawkins. Plus, it's also narrated in a dual POV. Here's what it's about: Emily is recovering from a divorce and a mysterious illness when her childhood friend invites her to stay at an Italian villa with her for the summer. The one catch is that a gruesome murder happened in the villa back in the 70s. This doesn't deter Emily though. After all, she's a mystery book writer whose suffering from a serious case of writer's block. The villa provides just the inspiration she needs as she becomes obsessed with finding out the truth of what happened all those years ago.


The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

5. The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

Like The Holiday Home, Sandie Jones' book, The Guilt Trip, is about a group of couples who go away together on vacation but who don't all get to go home. Also, the tension that is described between some of the friends seems quite reminiscent of that between Ryan and Lewis. Here's a description of the book to give you an idea of what to expect: "Three couples arrive at a villa on the cliffs of Nazaré, Portugal for a wedding. Unfortunately, when Rachel discovers something about Ali that she can hardly believe, everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, their secrets begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel. Soon, jumping to conclusions becomes the difference between life and death."

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