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The Villa by Rachel Hawkins: Everything About The Release Date, Plot & Synopsis & About The Author

Updated on Jul 06,2023

Rachel Hawkins is a New York Times bestselling author who brings a tremendously wicked gothic suspense to fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley. The story is set in an Italian villa that has a dark history. Inspired by the infamous Percy and Mary Shelley’s––the birthplace of Frankenstein, the Manson murders, and Fleetwood Mac, The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins – Release Date

The expected publication of The Villa by Rachel Hawkins is January 3rd, 2023. The book will be published by St. Martin’s Press.

the villa book qoutes

Available Platforms to Buy This Novel & Price

You can pre-order ‘The Villa’ by Rachel Hawkins on Amazon. The book will be made available in audio CD, hardcover, audiobook, and Kindle formats. You can also pre-order the Kindle eBook to automatically receive The Villa on the day of release.

What is The Villa: A Novel – Rachel Hawkins? Synopsis & Plot

The Villa is a story about two kids, Chess and Emily, who shared a strong bond as kids. As they grew older, their relationship was strained based on the responsibilities brought forward by their adult lives. Thus, when Chess recommends having a girl’s trip to Italy, Emily wholeheartedly agrees in order to reconnect with her best friend.

The villa they were planning on staying at, i.e., Villa Aestas in Orvieto was a high-end holiday home. However, back in 1974, it was called ‘Villa Rosato,’ and was rented by Noel Gordon, a notorious rock star for the summer. Believing he lost his fame and popularity, Noel attempts to reignite his creative spark by inviting emerging musicians of that time to join him. This musician was Pierce Sheldon, who brought his girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. Noel sets a chain of events in motion that leads Lara to compose a platinum album, and Mari to write one of the best horror novels of all time, – and ends in the brutal murder of Pierce Sheldon.

As Chess and Emily visit the place, Emily begins to wonder whether the villa’s complicated history had more to it than what was published in papers in the summer of 1974. She starts to believe that maybe Pierce’s murder was more than just a tale of rock & roll, drugs, and sex went wrong. Perhaps it was something more sinister that might have caused his death––and that she might find clues hidden in the works that Lara and Mari left behind.


The closer Emily comes to knowing the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. Equally dangerous betrayals come to light in the present as secrets from the past also emerge. It begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the end of this summer.

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins is an epic read that is bound to leave you on edge as you read through the pages. The plot is grasping, unique, and entirely thrilling!

About the Author

Hawkins was born in Newport News, Virginia. She moved to Dothan, Alabama at a young age, and graduated from Houston Academy in 1998. Hawkins received a degree in English literature from Auburn University in 2002 and began writing her first novel, Hex Hall, which became a best-selling trilogy of young adult paranormal romance novels. Rachel Hawkins was a high school English teacher before she became a full-time writer. She currently lives in Alabama with her family and is working on the third book in the Hex Hall series. Some other Rachel Hawkins books include The Wife Upstairs, Reckless Girls, Her Royal Highness, Spell Bound, and others.

Publisher’s Description

Emily and Chess were inseparable as kids. However, their lives soon drift apart by the time they turn 30. Years later, Chess invites Emily to go on a girls’ trip to Italy where they can stay at The Villa, the famous villa where once a tragic incident took place in the summer of 1974. Emily agrees, wishing to reconnect with her childhood best friend.

Back in 1974, the Villa was rented by Noel Gordon, a notorious musician who wishes to reclaim his popularity. He invites another popular musician of that time, Pierce Sheldon, who brings along his girls Mari and her step-sister. As the event unfolds, the meeting somehow results in Pierce’s brutal murder.

Out of curiosity, Emily begins to look for clues while staying at the Villa. She believes there was more to the murder than what the police let the people know. As she comes across more clues, Emily senses a tension between her and her best friend. Perhaps, the Villa will take another victim that summer!

Also ReadHow to Write and Publish a Book in 2022 (Detailed Guide)




  1. Meredith (Slowly Catching Up) –

“Houses Remember.”

The Villa is a slow-burn thriller/drama about a crime from the past that intertwines with the present.

  1. Nilufer Ozmekik

Villa is three dimensional, smart, claustrophobic, women empowerment story with a creepy and intriguing plot!

  1. Jasmine

The Villa is an absorbing and suspenseful gothic novel set in Italy. My thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Rachel Hawkins, and Netgalley. After reading and loving Ms. Hawkins’s last 2 famous books, I am eagerly anticipating this one.


Pre-order your copy of The Villa by Rachel Hawkins to ensure you don’t miss out on what could be the New York Times bestselling novel. Hawkins has already proved her expertise in writing by publishing the Hex Hall trilogy. So, what are you waiting for? Jump on to the wagon and become a part of her next thriller!