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Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Apparently I need to read a thriller about a wedding and a murder on an island to get into my reading groove. But it worked, and I discovered a new author I like. Win win. 

The Guest List is Lucy Foley's latest novel; her previous novel The Hunting Party (which I will read as soon as I can), which was published last year, got a lot of buzz. I received an advanced copy of The Guest List from Willian Morrow (HarperCollins) and wow am I glad I did--it was a quick read and full of twist and turns. 

Guests are gathering on a small island off the coast of Ireland for the wedding of digital magazine creator Jules and her devastatingly handsome fiancĂ©, Will Slater. He's a rising star in television with his survival series (think Bear Grylls). Jules picked this location to honor her Irish roots, and also because it will make good copy--and she got it at a bargain price. The first wedding to take place on this remote island, it's run by wedding planner Aoife and her partner Freddy. It could make her career, too. 

The story unfolds over two days; the day before the wedding, and the wedding day. Told through a host of characters: Aoife, Jules, Olivia, Jules' sister; Hannah, a guest at the wedding, and Johnno, the best man. The narration flips back and forth between all of these characters, and as you read, it becomes pretty obvious very quickly that all is not sun-shiny and grand for this wedding. 

Each character has a whole mess of issues, and in the course of two days they all come out one after another, to a final aha! moment. We start at the beginning, with a big storm, the lights going out in the reception tent, and a horrific scream. Boom. Then we go back and forth, between characters and the two days on the island. Some may find this hard to keep track of, but I didn't have an issue. It made the build up that much more of a bang. 

My only issue, after thinking about this for awhile, is that the person who is the ultimate baddie is so bad it's kind of hard to believe someone could get away with that much for so long. Until the wedding. 

You won't be able to put this down. I was up until past midnight finishing it because I just couldn't stop. It will be published in the U.S. on May 5th in hardcover.  

Rating: 5/6 for a fast paced thriller that kept me up way past my bedtime!!

Thank you William Morrow for the advanced copy.  

2 comments :

  1. That's a whole load of books for five years, Sue! I've never read Lucy Foley's books. But going by your review, I think I'll give it a try. After all, you've given it a really high score of 5/6. And yeah! I do agree with you that reading is such a great stress-buster. Especially in these troubling times.

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