Bad Trips in Fiction

October 25, 2021 | M. Elwood

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This time of year is lovely for travelling. The weather is still pleasant. You don't have to worry about winter storms as much as long as you don't go too far north.

I haven't left town for awhile so I'm eager to get away but for now I'm doing all of my travelling in books. 

Not all vacations are perfect, of course. These are some recent fictional trips that have gone badly. 


Falling by T. J. Newman

The main characters in this thriller are the crew of an airplane but probably some of the passengers are on vacation and this is certainly a bad start. Just after take off pilot Bill Hoffman gets a phone call telling him that his family has been taken hostage. The only way to save them is to crash the plane he is flying. Neither option appeals to him so he decides to figure out a way to save everyone. Author T. J. Newman wrote this book on airplane napkins while working as a flight attendant. 


Getaway by Zoje Stage

After a tragedy, sisters Imogen and Beck and their close friend Tilda decide that they need to get away. They decide a hike through the Grand Canyon might be just the thing. Past tensions arise among the women but that isn't their only problem. They wake up to find that some of their food and supplies are missing and begin to realize someone is stalking them.  

Guilt trip

The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

Longtime couples Rachel and Jack, Noah and Paige travel to Portugal to attend the wedding of Jack's brother Will. The couples have a long and complicated history. It is inevitable that old resentments and tensions will surface as secrets are revealed. 


The Retreat by Elisabeth De Mariaffi

Maeve Martin takes a trip to an arts retreat in the Rocky Mountains. She wants to restart her life after leaving an abusive relationship and opening a dance studio is part of her plan. Unfortunately, there's a storm and the group is trapped. Tensions among the guests rise as the snow falls. Then people start to die...

Rock paper scissors

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Adam and Amelia Wright win a weekend trip to a remote location in the Scottish Highlands. Their marriage is in jeopardy; neither one is happy. On this weekend, they hope to come to some decision about whether to split up or stick it out. The chapel conversion they are staying in is much more rustic than they were expecting and a snowstorm makes things far more challenging. 


The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Detective Elin Warner is invited to her brother's engagement party in the Swiss Alps. The party is in an old hospital for tuberculosis patients that was converted into a 5-star hotel. Elin is uneasy in the hotel with its minimalist decor and displays of antique medical equipment. Her concern increases as a snowstorm begins blanketing the hotel and making the treacherous mountain road impassable. It's already a bad situation and then people start disappearing. Is there a killer in the hotel?

My favourite type of mystery involves people trapped so, this book ticks a lot of my reading boxes. 

We were never here

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

A vacation in Chile turns tragic for two friends on their annual vacation. Emily returns to their hotel room to find Kristen and a dead man. Kristen swears that she killed the man in self defense but Emily is suspicious -- mainly because something very similar happened on an earlier trip. 

Wedding night

The Wedding Night by Harriet Walker

Lizzie backs out of her wedding at the last minute. It was a destination wedding and the bills have been paid so Lizzie and her closest friends head to a lovely chalet in the south of France. To their dismay they arrive to find the chalet ready for the wedding that is not happening. They enjoy the wedding food and drink but wake up the next day with no memory of what happened the night before. Is someone sabotaging the vacation? Although this book sounds like a psychological thriller, reviewers have said that it's closer to "psychological tension". 

What are your favourite books about travelling? Tell us in the comments.