Today I am marking off my twenty fourth #24th checkpoint category for the POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 with:
On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.
The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.
All have a secret. All have a motive.
One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .
A high society wedding, a dramatic island backdrop, secrets and a murder defines British author Lucy Foley’s The Guest List. As soon as I started Lucy Foley’s fifth novel I was enthralled and I couldn’t stop reading this one until I reached the thrilling climax to this intriguing suspense filled tale.
As a group of guests and a wedding party assemble at a remote island locale, off the coast of Ireland, they are unprepared for what this celebration will bring. As excitement builds for the wedding of the year to a television figure and a magazine owner, no one knows that the upcoming nuptials will be marked by a horrific murder. As plans get underway for Jules and Will’s wedding, it becomes clear that many of the guests, family and wedding staff have their secrets. As a storm brews, no one can escape the island. With a killer lurking and waiting for the perfect moment to strike, this is one wedding to remember.
My records tell me that I have read one Lucy Foley novel, but I have two sitting on my TBR shelves. The Guest List was a personal purchase for me and I was interested in this novel due to both my past positive experience of the author’s writing and the comparisons that have made between Lucy Foley and the great Agatha Christie. I would classify The Guest List as classic murder mystery and psychological suspense novel. Foley also writes in a similar pattern to Ruth Ware, so if you are familiar with this author’s work, you will enjoy The Guest List. Whilst there are some parallels to Christie’s work, Foley has her own approach to the thriller and mystery genre. I really enjoyed this one and I would highly recommend that you set aside a decent block of time to fully enjoy all The Guest List has to offer.
There are quite a few players in this novel but I enjoyed the cast of doubt and suspicion Foley spins over her cast list. From the couple due to be married, the wedding party, family, friends, guests and staff, this was one involving novel. We get to know a good handful of the main cast via a first person style of narration. Foley does an excellent job of getting deep inside the psyche of these characters, while at the same time Foley ensures that there is still a line of uncertainty around each of them. I loved that each significant protagonist in this book had their own motives, flaws and secrets. It certainly shook things up!
In terms of the setting, Foley does a more than fine job in this department. Foley’s decision to base her novel in a remote island locale off the coast of Ireland was great. I really enjoyed immersing myself in this creepy, isolated, dubious, but picturesque locale. The added problem of a storm lingering and eventually making an assault on the island was a fabulous extra touch. It certainly extended the dramatics of it all. Foley is a master at building, maintaining and extending her sense of pressure throughout her narrative. This was my favourite aspect of The Guest List.
For those who appreciate sinking themselves completely in a rich and convoluted character driven novel, The Guest List will draw plenty of appeal. There are some interesting and varied character squabbles to contend with. These dynamic past grievances build to a crescendo and the fallout is quite spectacular. I admired Foley’s approach and her ability to withhold key information pertaining to the identity of the murderer and the victim until very late in the piece. The Guest List proved to be an intense, but highly entertaining novel.
Swirling secrets, murder, plots, questionable movements, shady characters, suspect pasts and a dark setting defines British author Lucy Foley’s The Guest List. This is a great read for cold winter nights.
**** 4 stars
The Guest List by Lucy Foley was published on 24th February 2020 by Harper Collins-GB. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Guest List, Lucy Foley, visit here.