The mystery of 'Saint X': who killed Alison? We're about to find out

Island life isn't what it's cracked up to be on 'Saint X,' especially after a young girl turns up dead while vacationing with her family

West Duchovny as Alison in Saint X in a tropical location
(Image credit: Palmoa Alegria/Hulu)

Paradise quickly became hell on Earth in Saint X: who killed Alison, or was the young tourist simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? 

In Hulu's new series, based on the Alexis Schaitkin novel of the same name, we meet a family vacationing in the Caribbean when their oldest daughter, Alison (played by West Duchovny), goes missing. Her body is later discovered on Faraway Cay, and two suspects are arrested in the case, but the circumstances surrounding her death remain a mystery. 

Fast forward 20 years and Alison's sister Emily (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is living in Brooklyn. That's when she stumbles upon one of the men suspected in her sister's death. Will she finally get the closure she's been seeking after all of these years?

*Warning: mild spoilers ahead!*

The mystery of Saint X: who killed Alison?

While we can't say for sure, and we still have five episodes left to see if the series differs from the novel, Saint X certainly has a few suspects. 

On Wednesday, April 26, the first three episodes dropped on Hulu. It feels like the details of a true crime doc unfolding before our eyes, and the show has subtle hints at the national Natalie Holloway case from 2005. Many actually asked, "Is Saint X based on a true story?" (The story is, in fact, fictional.)

At the start of both the series and the novel, we're introduced to other vacationers on the fictitious island, particularly during a resort volleyball game. There are a few people who take note of Alison's beauty—a jealous woman, a young father-to-be, a student at Yale. Could one of these fellow travelers be responsible for her death?

Viewers unsurprisingly turned their attention towards the resort's workers, Clive and Edwin, who were last seen with Alison while she was alive. Is it possible that one of these young men took her life, or could they have been involved in an accident with the 18-year-old? (Edwin has been getting involved with cocaine, and perhaps an island celebration went too far?) 

Regardless, it'll be interesting to see how things develop in the series, which is just how author Alexis Schaitkin intended it. "Part of the mystery is, ‘What happened?’ But on a deeper level, it's the mystery of, ‘Who are you, really?" she told the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.

a scene of alison in saint X out with men from the resort

(Image credit: Palmoa Alegria/Hulu)

The shifting timelines and fast-forwarding of 20 years were also noteworthy, with so many characters still suffering from the tragedy they witnessed so long ago. In fact, dissecting Emily and the suspects has been one of Schaitkin's most beloved parts of the creation process. 

"It was some of my favorite material to write, because it’s psychologically intricate — both of these characters are still very much living in the aftermath of this tragedy and everything they lost because of it," she told Entertainment Weekly. "But it was a challenge figuring out how to structure it so it didn’t feel static, but sort of relentlessly, stealthily escalating."

We're curious how the case will escalate and ultimately wrap up. Given the distress young Emily has witnessed, we hope for her sake she's able to find justice for her big sis!

Watch the 'Saint X' trailer:

Grab a copy of Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin (available at Amazon)and dig into the thriller with your book club. The series premieres on Hulu on Wednesday, April 26 and airs weekly on Wednesdays until May 31. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.