Book Reviews

Book Review ~ The Guest List by Lucy Foley

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“The sound of the scream rings in the air after it has finished, like a struck glass. The guests are frozen in it’s wake. They are looking, all of them, out of the marquee and into the roaring darkness from where it came. The lights flicker, threatening another blackout.”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Plot (From Goodreads)

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favours, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why? 

My Thoughts

When I picked this book up in a buy one get one half price deal in Waterstones, I chose it purely because I’d heard of the Author, Lucy Foley, through other readers and bloggers online. I’d had an interest in reading one of her other books, The Hunting Party but had yet to read it, so when I saw this I thought ‘Why Not?’ I expected an entertaining Thriller, and that I’d probably guess the outcome and the twists as I seem to with a lot of other books I’ve read lately.

I didn’t get what I expected. What I got was a cleverly written masterpiece of a Murder Mystery, a real ‘Who Done It’. The story comes through multiple points of view; The Bride, The Plus One, The Bridesmaid, The Best Man, and The Wedding Planner, and although sometimes multiple points of view can be confusing and often make the plot difficult to follow and disjointed, this wasn’t the case with this book. Each chapter not only has the name of the character but also their role in the wedding so it was easy to keep track of who was who throughout.

The alternating points of view were fascinating and really made the story for me. Each of them have their secrets, and when the body was discovered I suspected everyone. Each of them had their own reasons and motivations; any one of them could have snapped and committed murder, so there was never a point when I had an inkling who had done it. This was really refreshing for me as I often guess at twists, but I was completely in the dark until the final chapters.

There was also an alternating timeline, changing between the night of the wedding, the wedding day and the day before. I really liked this as there was a slow build up to the big reveal. I’ve always loved this style of writing as it keeps me frantically turning the pages, desperate to find out what happens but also trying to cling to every detail so I don’t miss a thing. In a way it was also teasing me, making me think something was about to be revealed before being snatched away and taking me back to earlier in the day, giving me someone else to suspect. It’s seriously addictive and I couldn’t get enough.

The setting was also deliciously creepy and atmospheric and described so well that I could picture it in my minds eye. Imagine a remote island full of ruined old houses, a reputation for the paranormal, an old ruined chapel. Then throw in dangerous boggy land that will suck you in, bad weather, and a dead body. It send chills up my spine imagining it.

I devoured and adored this book, all I can say is that if you’re into Murder Mysteries, Thrillers or Crime novels read this book. Or if it’s not your usual Genre but you want to try something new then read this book. I’ve always liked Thrillers but now I’m looking for more Murder Mystery type books to read, so if you have any recommendations let me know in the comments.

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