The Cliff House
By Chris Brookmyre
The Cliff House By Chris Brookmyre is a hen party like no other, set on a Scottish island, that has guests you wouldn’t ordinariliy invite together and twists like a country lane. Read on to find out more in the blurb and then the rest of my review below. Thanks firstly to Little Brown Books UK for an e-book proof copy of the book.
One hen weekend, seven secrets… but only one worth killing for
Jen’s hen party is going to be out of control…
She’s rented a luxury getaway on its own private island. The helicopter won’t be back for seventy-two hours. They are alone. They think.
As well as Jen, there’s the pop diva and the estranged ex-bandmate, the tennis pro and the fashion guru, the embittered ex-sister-in-law and the mouthy future sister-in-law.
It’s a combustible cocktail, one that takes little time to ignite, and in the midst of the drunken chaos, one of them disappears. Then a message tells them that unless someone confesses her terrible secret to the others, their missing friend will be killed.
Problem is, everybody has a secret. And nobody wants to tell.
Jen’s hen party is full of people whom you may not instantly think would be on an invite. There are definitely some interesting choices, especially the embittered ex-sister-in-law at the same party as the future sister-in-law. Immediate thought is that there are going to be fireworks at Clachan Geal, a remote fictional island in Scotland. There is much to explore on this remote island, which is an interesting and compact area for an intriguing mystery to take place.
There is Jen, whose hen party it is. Beattie, Helena – a music teacher and one time member of Michelle’s band, since ousted; Michelle. What a life Michelle leads with her now starry status. There is also Kennedy and Nicolette from Jen’s tennis playing days, Joaiquin – a chef. Lauren, the houseowner of the house on the remote island.
Although there are a number of characters, each are separated in the chapters, so it cycles through each of their points of views and their lives and their connections. It’s a curious and intriguing group of people to spend time with in a book.
Chris Brookmyre expertly shows the frictions in the relationships of the guests, different lifestyles and forgiveness. There are interesting arguments about vaccines that flair up. There are lifestyles in contention… The book also shows how the characters are even more forced to come together when things go really wrong. Those arguments soon left, there is panic, leaving no one feeling safe. There is also the question of who can they trust?
Things take a sinister turn with messages from someone posing as a “Reaper”. The more the story goes on, the more addictive a reading experience it becomes and unexpected secrets are revealed, that culminate into an unexpected, but brilliant end to a rivetting book.