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Pretty Guilty Women

I never thought I’d be able to replicate the weekend when my best friends and I holed up for two whole days to binge watch the entire first series of Big Little Lies. Between episodes we would unpick all that had happened in the last and make detailed (and, as it invariably turned out, wildly inaccurate) predictions about what the next would bring. I’d never been that hooked on a story before. Then I read Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna . . .

Set in the sumptuous Serenity Resort in California, Pretty Guilty Women follows four women as they attend the wedding of an old friend where, just 24 hours in, they each confess to the murder of the same man. They’re all lying of course . . . but why?

You’ll want to lose yourself for hours in the unsettling glitz and glamour of the West Coast setting, and the intricately woven mystery surrounding the identity of the dead man, the circumstances of his death and the involvement of the women will have you practically ripping out the pages in pursuit of answers. But it’s the brilliantly fierce, flawed and unforgettable female characters at the heart of the novel which made me fall for it head over heels. Ginger is a mother of three whose family are driving her to distraction. Kate is a high-powered career woman, unafraid of fighting for what she wants but always with bags of integrity. Emily is an incredibly vulnerable woman fractured by the trauma of her past. But my favourite character is Lulu. She’s sixty-eight: a four-time divorcée who dresses like a film star, has seen it all and has absolutely no time for nonsense of any kind. She’s exactly who I want to be when I grow up (well, failed marriages aside . . .)

Pretty Guilty Women is out in ebook now, and in paperback in 2020. You can find out more about Gina LaManna here:


Rosanna Forte