The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Published by Harper Collins UK

Synopsis:

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the author of The Hunting Party.

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 favors, 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?

As luck would have it, I was reading this book set in stormy, windy Ireland during a trip to… stormy, windy Ireland.

Last year I read Foley’s Hunting Party and was instantly drawn in by the atmospheric and gritty writing. The characters were the absolute highlight for me and this book shares a lot of similarities with the author’s first in terms of strong characters trapped together by crap British weather.

The twists and turns of the narrative were predictable enough that this feels like a comfort read – the quality of writing and brilliance of the characters just adds to that. All of the characters are strongly written in their own right and complex, the reasoning behind their behaviours (good and bad) is explained and makes it all the more addictive.

I love the trope of old, haunted places in nature drawing the truth out of people – in a place of no TV or internet, people have to communicate directly and they can’t hide the truth about themselves.

This book has earned a coveted spot on my bookshelf, once the print copy arrives.

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