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There has been a huge buzz around Lucy Foley that I simply couldn’t ignore. As a collector of Agatha Christie the comparisons within many reviews also made me keen to find out more and I wasn’t disappointed, because the nods to Christie’s genius are there but The Guest List is a modern, clever and engrossing murder mystery all of its own.

The cast of characters begin to gather on a remote island off the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Various of them have stories to tell and begin to reveal a bit of themselves as they alternate the narration. They have come for the wedding of Jules and Will, an online publisher and a TV celebrity survivalist, but under the surface it isn’t the happy event that the couple were hoping for.

Foley plays with the timeline creatively using the different narrators. In the present the wedding is in full swing when it is interrupted by a scream and one of the young waitresses appears in distress having found a body in the growing storm outside. The chapters switch between the developing search, perhaps for a murder, the build up to the wedding day as special guests arrive the day before and teasing hints of their various back stories and secrets that encourage speculation.

Who is dead? How did they die? Was anyone else involved? Is one of them a killer? A remote island and a trapped cohort of revellers all carrying their own ghosts and guilt sets up a race through the chapters of reflection and revelation to a brutal conclusion. The more we learn about the different protagonists the more the hypotheses pile up. Who has the motive, the opportunity and the capacity to murder and who is it that is lying dead in the storm?

Foley lives up to her hype by delivering a modern update to the classic “closed room” entertainment in the mould of the great Christie herself. In the absence of a sleuth to guide you through an investigation it’s up to you to work through the clues as they unfold and catch a killer. Curl up in your chair, with your favourite brew or tipple to hand, and enjoy.

Synopsis

A Remote Island

An Invitation to Die For

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