The Guest List
By Lucy Foley
Rated: 5 Stars *****
The brand-new thriller from the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of The
Hunting Party, one of the fastest selling & highly acclaimed debut thrillers of 2019
I am so pleased and excited to be part of this wonderful blog tour. What a terrific book. Just Wow!!! I loved it and could not put it down. Thanks so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to the blog tour and thank you and the publisher – Harper Collins for a print copy of The Guest List by critically acclaimed author Lucy Foley for me to review. My friends joke that I do not sleep, well I certainly slept less than normal reading this book, it is that good! There are twists and turns and an all-consuming atmosphere and characters you want to read about. Get ready for a far from normal wedding night, where not everyone will survive. I highly recommend it. Read on for the blurb and my full review.
About the Author
Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time.
The Hunting Party, an instant Sunday Times and Irish Times no.1 bestseller, was Lucy’s debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages.
Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.
Guests are called to a remote island off the Irish coast to celebrate the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules and Will. Everything has been meticulously planned, the scene is set, old friends are back together.
It should be the perfect day.
Until the discovery of a body signals the perfect murder.
A groom with a secret.
A bridesmaid with a grudge.
A plus one with motive.
A best man with a past.
It could be any, it could be all . . . But one guest won’t make it out
The book starts on the wedding night. The atmosphere is created instantly. I have not read any of Lucy Foley’s previous books, although watched with much interest as many people had great things to say about her writing. I feel so lucky to have the privilege to review her latest book – The Guest List. Just a few words in and there is already an eerieness that you would not expect on a wedding night.
The book skillfully introduces each of the main players of this wedding in individual chapters and goes through them one by one and back to them, as well as their being specifically wedding day chapters. There is Aoife the Wedding Planner, Jules the Bride, Johnno the Best Man and Olivia the Bridesmaid and Hannah the Plus One.
It should be the happiest night – the wedding night. You would maybe expect dancing, jovial conversation, love…. This however, is no ordinary night on this remote island…
Aoife and her other half – Freddie are interesting characters. In Aiofe, there is an insight to being a wedding planner and some of it is profoundly thought-provoking. She throws up questions about how much do couples really know each other and how much is hidden, even from a loved one. The 15th century Folly they have restored sounds beautiful. The descriptions make it sound elegant and captures a warm feeling around its grandeur and beauty, except it is on an island with an unsavoury past, which is learnt through guests, Charlie (who is married to the plus one – Hannah) and Mattie.
There’s a strange friendship between the groom – Will and best man – Johnno and I am even more intrigued as to why the bride things something may not be quite right.
Olivia, the bridesmaid has a difficult time and has reasons to tell lies and also holds a grudge.
With Champagne flowing and a bit of weed, the emotions rise and the secrets start to come out. There is also an intriguing warning note about the groom, just to heighten the curiosity and the need to keep reading onwards.
Lucy Foley has a skill to know just when to add to the intrigue, to add another layer and to add to that need to read some more. She has all the skill base of Agatha Christie. That ability to lure you into a web of red-herrings and secrets and lies and yet, even though on a remote island a murder has been committed, which of course is terrible, the book makes you feel all cosy and want to curl up with it whatever location you’re in.
The nuances in her characters expressions are so well-observed. The bride at one point looks how you would perhaps expect her to look, but a slight difference in the mouth tells a different story, of something hiding underneath. A word or two says it all or makes you question and wonder will come next.
The tension levels are very good as some huge secrets start to be discovered. On one hand I don’t want the book to end, on the other, I really want to see how it does all end.
The characters are ones to follow and I loved getting to know more about them as the story goes on.
The ending is terrifically done. This book does not disappoint.
The book is as good as what is known as the Golden-Age in crime and is brought right up-to-date. It is an immersive and extremely well-crafted crime book. Each part wants you to turn the page.
This is an un-putdownable book. Beauty sleep? What is that again? Forget sleep and read instead. I was so absorbed that I had forgotten all about the time that had raced ahead without me even noticing. I highly recommend this book and I would read more by Lucy Foley. She’s one to watch and worth having in your crime collection.