They all have a secret
They all have a motive
The bride The groom The bridesmaid The plus one The wedding planner The best man The past lover The body
One won’t leave this wedding alive
– The Guest List
[ About the Book ]
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 . . .
[ My Thoughts ]
The Guest List by Lucy Foley was published on February 20th with Harper Collins. It is described as a ‘deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie‘
Lucy Foley has previously written within the historical fiction genre but changed to a ‘life of crime’ with her debut crime novel, The Hunting Party (2019). This was a book that captured the imagination and became an instant bestseller. If you have read The Hunting Party, you will see similarities between it and The Guest List across many aspects but this time Lucy Foley swaps the wilds of Scotland for the wilds of an island off the West Coast of Ireland.
Let me just say that I did not like any character in this tale, yet I was compelled to read the book in one day. Lucy Foley kept me turning the pages at speed, reading about characters that actually repulsed me and made me squirm in disgust!! There were elements of William Golding’s classic Lord of The Flies, as personalities developed and revealed themselves with each chapter.
The West of Ireland is the setting for the wedding of the year. Jules is a successful business woman and is set to marry TV personality Will. A very handsome pair, a dynamic duo, this IS the wedding that everyone wants to attend. An island off the west coast of Ireland adds to the secrecy and the drama of the occasion. It’s atmospheric, it’s completely isolated….and the weather is turning.
On the island is an old historic folly, owned by Aoife and Freddy. The island is now abandoned with it’s own dark story to tell but, Aoife has ambition and is establishing the folly as a stunning location for celebrations and parties. In her role as wedding planner and with Freddy, her partner, a very talented chef, they hope to create a memorable day for all, one that will catapult the island and it’s wild charms to the attention of a much wider audience.
Jules’ family arrive and immediately the tension rises. Jules is an enigma. Her life appears perfect. Her husband-to-be the dream catch. Her business acumen and success is to be envied. Her whole image is curated and perfected but is it real? With her family members close by, can Jules continue to uphold her image?
Will, an adventurer with a survival reality show on TV is the man other men are jealous of and women lust for. He has it all. Looks, an amazing career, money and now the soon-to-be perfect wife. But is everything as it seems?
As all the guests arrive, it’s clear that there is an underlying tension, a buried poison. In the 24 hours before the wedding we see snippets of the characters and their personalities. There are back-slapping, public-school-educated and professionally successful grown men with secrets buried deep. Their behaviour is bullish, their antics almost frenzied.
Jules family are shrouded in secrets, in particular her younger sister, Olivia, a tormented soul…but why?
Every guest is hiding something. Every guest has a secret to tell.
The evening of the wedding, in a marquee, follows hours that were strange, peculiar and wonderfully depicted. There is a menacing vibe. Something is coming…
The guests are all drinking and carousing, almost feral in their actions. There is a frenetic atmosphere, a heightening of temperatures, bodies getting warm, aroused. But then a scream is emitted into the night, chaos ensues, a body is discovered. Murder is afoot. But who? Why?
Having read both The Hunting Party and The Guest List, there are most definitely parallels between the two books, bringing to mind Poirot. But Lucy Foley does not have a Belgian detective on hand to solve her mysteries. The reader has to read on as the mystery unravels. There is a dead body. There are many with a motive. There are numerous secrets in the closet, multiple suspects with shocking stories lurking in their past. Only one is the murderer…
The Guest List will certainly be another bestselling hit for Lucy Foley. It is a classic whodunit, the traditional murder mystery with an updated twist. It is a gripping and entertaining read as the story unfolds. Perfect for all Agatha Christie fans and for anyone looking for an atmospheric and slightly unsettling tale with dripping suspense and tension.
[ Bio ]
Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities. She then worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party, an instant Irish Times no. 1 bestseller was Lucy’s debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination.
Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen laguages.
Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.
Twitter ~ @lucyfoleytweets