Cover Image: The Guest List

The Guest List

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I love a whodunnit book and this was a good one! Jules and Will (she working at a high profile magazine and he the star of reality TV) are getting married on a remote island off the coast of Ireland.
We meet all the characters one by one and learn about their lives, their past and their secrets as the story goes on. It seems many of their lives overlap, some knowingly and some not.
Jules has received an anonymous note telling her not to marry Will, and it’s unnerved her, he seems so perfect, public school boy, attractive with a great future ahead of him, why would she not want to marry him?
The groomsmen all bar one were at school together, where Will’s Dad was the head. They continue their school camaraderie at the wedding, but Johnno, the best man, seems to have more on his mind than most.
The story unravels as a huge storm brews out to see and the consequences are massive. 
I won’t add any spoilers, but I loved the way we didn’t get to learn who had died or who had committed the murder until the last few chapters, kept me guessing to the end. I’ll definitely look for more by Lucy Foley.
Was this review helpful?
Ok, I’m naming Lucy Foley queen of the modern whodunit. Yet again with The Guest List, she gathers a group of people in a remote location, gives the reader a glimpse of a sticky end, then takes them on a merry dance from one disgruntled narrator to the other as they try to work out just what has happened

And boy are there plenty of disgruntled narrators here. As golden couple Will and Jules gather their nearest and dearest on a remote Irish island for the wedding of the century, it quickly becomes clear not everyone is wishing the lavish couple well

Jealousy, brooding resentment and old secrets all rear their ugly heads and as more events from the past are revealed, there are plenty of suspects with big enough grievances to put them in the frame for murder. Alternating chapters from several narrators, I was hooked and desperate to know more. With each chapter ending on a cliff edge, I flew through this book unable to put it down. With a wild and atmospheric backdrop, The Guest List has the perfect thriller blend I love. Brilliant
Was this review helpful?
Dark, creepy and atmospheric, this is exactly what I expected after reading 'The Hunting Party'. I will definitely be keeping a look out for more of Foley's work.
Was this review helpful?
My first Lucy Foley book and it did not disappoint. I wasn't sure which genre this would be and while it started like a chick lit, it quickly became mysterious and fast paced. The event is the wedding of Wills and Jules, a much too perfect couple whose perfection starts to come away at the seams. A few deep secrets, leading to shocking discoveries, escalating into a murder scene. Who did it?
Was this review helpful?
I received a free eARC of The Guest List but that has in no way influenced my review.

I was a huge fan of Foley's The Hunting Party when it was released last year. So much so, it made it onto my top ten (ish) books of 2019! So I was really looking forward to getting stuck into this latest release. It did not disappoint one jot! I loved The Guest List. Before I started reading, I was struggling with my reading mojo. Its bags were packed and were sat by the front door. It was determined to leave. Then I picked up this book, absolutely fell in love with it and my reading mojo has been content ever since. The magical healing power of Lucy Foley's words and characters!

I was a little surprised to find that The Guest List is in a very similar format to The Hunting Party. A group of people gather in a remote location. All of the characters have secrets of their own and a motive for committing a murder. You know someone is going to die -- but you don't know who the victim is until near the end of the book, nor whodunit! Honestly though, who cares?! If it ain't broke, don't fix it - I was always told.

Jules Keegan and Will Slater are getting married, and it's going to be the showbiz wedding of the year. The venue is a crumbling Folly on a remote island off the Irish coast, but wedding planner, Aoife, has everything under control. This is her first big gig and she's hoping the glitz and the glam of the occasion will bring in lots of future business. But despite the smiling faces on the outside, bitter rivalries and jealous feuds burn deep within the hearts of the guests. This will be the wedding of the year, but for all of the wrong reasons. Spirits are high, the alcohol flows and murderous revenge is planned...

This is a wonderfully entertaining book which I absolutely devoured. I loved it and it got a special mention on my top ten (ish) books of 2019 for being so utterly brilliant. I love a good mystery and this is a truly excellent one. The story is told from several points of view. Each chapter revealing a little more of why it's narrator could indeed be a murderer. Once again, the identity of the victim is not revealed until the end of the book and it worked so well, keeping me on the edge of my seat! Between you and I, there were a number of dastardly characters I was hoping it would be!

Foley really uses her setting to optimum effect creating an eerie and atmospheric stage for her characters. The setting is as much a part of the story as the characters are, with the swirling winds, the desolate beaches, the raging storms and the cries of the cormorants circling overhead. It's not hard to imagine the isolation and the solitude the characters on the island feel. Particularly when things start to go badly wrong.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. It's wonderful and such an entertaining read. The ending is very satisfying (much like the entire book really) and if it hadn't already featured on my top books of 2019 list then it would be a strong contender for this year's selection (maybe it still will feature - it was published this year, after all!). Foley is a very talented writer, this is such a brilliant book and I highly recommend you check this one out.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Guest List. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Set on an Island off the west coast of Ireland, guests have gathered for the wedding of Julia and Will, the type of couple everyone wants to be.  But is the image they present too perfect?  During the ceremony, something happens, multiple people have motives, multiple characters could be the victim.

The Guest List is sort of a murder mystery where, in addition to not knowing who the murderer is, you don't know who the victim is until the climax.  This was something I found really interesting and enjoyable to read.  The story is told from a few different perspectives, the choice of narrators is very deliberate, and helps craft the story well.  Most of the characters are unlikable, but it's okay, it's part of what makes the story work.  The timeline jumps back and forth between Now: The Wedding Night, and the events of the day before, so you learn about the characters and how they are all connected, and why one might have motive to murder the other.

My complaints first: 1) I thought some of the coincidences were so convenient, it was almost unbelievable, so you either need to be someone like me who has had unbelievable coincidences happen to them, or be able to suspend your disbelief. 2) I guessed all the twists before they were revealed, as well as the murder victim and murderer, and 3) a little slow at the start.

Even with those complaints, I still really enjoyed reading The Guest List.  After the first few chapters, as I started to get a feel for the plot and the characters, the pace picked up a lot, and I got to a point about a third of the way through where I did not want to put the book down.  Even with guessing the twist, I still found it really fun to read, and I thought the way that book is structured was really clever.  I definitely be interested in reading the authors other book, The Hunting Party, if I were in a mood for this type of thriller/mystery.

All in all, really solid, fun read.  I think it would be fun to see it adapted into a mini-series or film.

I would also put a content warning/trigger warning: gaslighting, self-harm, mentions of suicide and abortion.
Was this review helpful?
Another great thriller from Lucy Foley. 

Similar stylistically to The Hunting Party in that I moves between time zones until the culprit is caught. 

Fast-paced and engaging, it did not appear as long as the 400 odd pages it actually is, and I read over just two sittings.

I have read any really enjoyed both of Lucy’s books now and would not hesitate to read another from her in the future. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free ebook in exchange for review.
Was this review helpful?
This book has all the prospects for a great story, but somehow I found myself struggling to be gripped by it at the beginning. 
About half way through though the book redeems itself as the characters start to reveal their secrets and you start trying to guess what will happen next.
Overall a good read.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for letting me review this book.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed Lucy Foley’s previous novel The Hunting Party but her new one The Guest List is even better! A wedding is about to take place on a remote island and the main wedding party are gradually arriving. We meet the bride, the plus one, the bride’s sister, the wedding planner and others and the novel is told from different perspectives throughout. The island quickly becomes even more isolated when the bad weather draws in and we know from early on that someone dies so the book is predominantly told in the lead up to the wedding but there are small chapters in the aftermath. I loved how the tension builds in this novel and you become suspicious of everyone and wonder why they are the way they are. I did think I’d worked the whodunnit and why fairly early on but boy was I wrong! There are so many twists and turns in this book and as you see it all unravel the tension just ramps up and up. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it!
Was this review helpful?
This story is set on an island where people have gathered for a  wedding to remember. The characters are all individual and unique. The author goes from past to present throughout to explain why things turned out the way they have. 

The writing was engaging and I stayed up late into the night. Someone is murdered and the author keeps the reader guessing until the end! A great read with an original storyline. 

Thank you #netgalley for allowing me to review this book.
Was this review helpful?
I loved Lucy Foley's previous book The Hunting Party so I was really happy to be approved for this title as well - it's just as twisty with a brilliant exploration of a group dynamic and relationships.
Was this review helpful?
Unlike her first novel I hated this I’m afraid. Didn’t like the characters at all and felt it was a precocious version of her first. Not for me.
Was this review helpful?
If you liked The Hunting Party, you'll like this book. It has tropes of Agatha Christie, with a large cast of characters that are both intriguing and untrustworthy. 

It's more mystery than crime fiction but romps through at pace to a satisfying conclusion.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed Lucy Foley’s first book, The Hunting Party, so was really looking forward to reading The Guest List. 

It’s set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland. The setting is very well described and you get a real sense of the sinister atmosphere and the stormy weather. I found the descriptions of the cormorants looming and cackling very spooky!

Jules is a successful owner of an online magazine and after a whirlwind romance she is going to marry Will, star of a survival programme. They decide to have their wedding on the island. 

There are a lot of characters in the book but I found it easy to follow and remember who’s who. Each chapter focuses on a different character, either in the days leading up to the wedding or on the wedding day itself. 

It follows a similar format to The Hunting Party in that there is a murder, but the victim isn’t revealed until the latter part of the book. My guess for the victim was right but my murder suspect was totally wrong!

The book is well paced and the characters have a lot going on. The last quarter of the book gets really good and you won’t want to put it down!

There are links between some of the characters but there were a couple of parts where I thought it was a bit convenient and too much of a stretch, which made it a bit unrealistic. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
I loved The Hunting Party - and Lucy Foley has done it again with this atmospheric mystery with an evocative backdrop that is impossible to put down. Great characterisation, brilliant pace. Super-smart plotting that keeps you guessing all the way through, A perfect wintery read!
Was this review helpful?
Lucy Foley has nailed the modern-day locked room murder mystery.  She keeps us guessing until the end.  The identity of the victim doesn't come out until near the end and each character tells us their version of the story although not the whole story, of course. Language is modern, sex and violence and swearing abound, so it is no Miss Marple account but the essentials are very Agatha Christie.  It is clever, twisting, loads of red herrings, good characters and motives, a satisfying conclusion.  Looking forward to the next one.
Was this review helpful?
Having not read The Hunting Party, even though it has been on my to read list for quite some time now, I was really excited to read The Guest List.
I was immediately drawn in by the setting, which was so well described that you actually feel like you're there on the island with them. The same can be said for the characters in this, even though the point of view flips from one to the other throughout.
The way that their back stories add to what is happening in the present is really well done and gives you some brilliant characters to engage with.
It is a bit of a slow burn, which I personally didn't mind as I was hooked from the very beginning.
I loved that it wasn't obvious from the outset who the killer was and the way in which it is revealed, with you not knowing who might have done it/there being multiple people with motives and reasons to do it, was brilliant.
It was pretty hard for me to believe that one person had done so much damage to so many people over the course of their life but I guess it could be quite possible.
Having said that, I really enjoyed The Guest List and will be recommending it to many.
I cannot wait to read more from Lucy Foley and have just downloaded The Hunting Party to finally read that now, as a result of finishing this.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This book was amazing! Absolutely loved it. It had a similar feel to ‘The Hunting Party’ but in a very, very good way. I got super invested in some of the characters (and hated others!) and I loved how it all tied together. Would definitely recommend!
Was this review helpful?
After hearing so many great things about the Hunting Party when this appeared available for review, I thought I would give it a go.

Really enjoyable read about Will and Jules, who have traveled with their guests to a remote venue on an island off the coast of Ireland.  It’s atmospheric and whilst it’s June, it feels bleak rather than the month should suggest.  Will is a successful TV star who has appeared on a show called survival and Jules runs a magazine.  They appear to be the perfect couple.

Throw in a back story of Wills friends from his public school days, Charlie (who is married to Hannah) but is best friend to Jules, Olivia who is Jules much younger waif like step sister and many back stories...alongside a murder.  A great story, well paced before a reveal.  Only comment would be the finishing off felt a little light,

Thanks to Net Galley, the Author and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
After being a fan of The Hunting Party, I was excited to get my hands on The Guest List.

It didnt disappoint. Like Lucy Foley's previous thriller, it was a story told via various points of view, with the story slowly building to a murder where there is more than one motive and more than one suspect. 

It's not a story that makes you think too hard, the clues are there, the stories unravel and lead you to the event but you its anyone's guess at who the culprit is until its finally revealed.

It's an enjoyable read, its twisty and with enough turns to make you dizzy, and that's what I enjoyed about both The Guest List and The Hunting Party. It didnt shock me, or really blow my mind but it kept me reading until the small hours of the morning.
Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for a copy of this book.

I'd give it a 3.5/5
Was this review helpful?