The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Set on a remote island off the Irish coast, this is one guest list no one would want to be on, just as no one would have wanted an invitation to the New Year’s Eve party in Foley’s previous novel, The Hunting Party . Lives unravel amid the revelry on an eerie and remote island as family and friends assemble for a glam wedding in an updated Murder on the Orient Express. Each of the principal characters has a reason to want one of their number dead, there are old secrets, and one of them is murdered.
I haven’t read The Hunting Party yet, but after reading The Guest List I most certainly am going to be reading it soon. It is a multiple narrator story, told from the point of views of the bride, the best man, the bridesmaid (the bride’s sister), the bride’s best friend’s (male) wife and the wedding planner.
I loved Lucy’s writing. It was clean and evocative. I really felt as though I was on a cold, windy, eerie and remote island that was full of unseen danger. The setting was a character all of its own. There were steep cliffs to fall from and bogs that could suck you down and make you disappear in minutes. Plus the ride over on the exuberant sea and that was only the start.
The characters were distinctively their own people. Very different from each other and all with a secret to hide. I loved this about the book. Each character had their own story, even though there was an overarching story and it all came together at the end. It was very cleverly done.
As for the reveal, I didn’t see it coming. There are two reveals really. You are aware that someone has been murdered, but it’s not until the end that you find out who it is that has been killed. And then very quickly after you find out who has done it. Both are a surprise. I found it a very unique way of doing a crime novel and really enjoyed the way the novel played out this way. It kind of made you more invested in the characters because you wanted to know their lives, who would want them dead and why. So cleverly done and I’d highly recommend this book. And like I said at the beginning, I’m now going to make sure I read Lucy’s first book, The Hunting Party. If you’ve already read that book, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one.
Rachel Sargeant says
I’ve just read The Guest List. Loved it. My best read of the month so far.
I remember reading The Hunting Party on the same days as the story was actually set – 30 Dec 18 to 2 Jan 19, but it was so good I finished it ahead of schedule.
Margot Kinberg says
I keep hearing such good things about this one, Rebecca. I’ve not (yet) read it, but I want to. It sounds like an interesting character study as much as anything else. Glad you enjoyed it.