Cover Image: The Guest List

The Guest List

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Member Reviews

I read this in two days, in low light, with the rain outside my window. Honestly unputdownable, and now I've bought my own copy. More, please.
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Oh my gosh! I know I'm late to the party on discovering this book.
What a fabulous story and some total 'no way!!' moments.
Many thanks to Harper Collins & NetGalley for the opportunity to read it.
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Hard from the blurb not to draw comparisons withAnd Then There Were None - I assume intentionally. However, this new novel from Lucy Foley is a fresh interpretation of a classic murder mystery trope. Very readable.
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The golden celebrity couple, Julia 'Jules' Keegan, publisher of a successful online magazine, and the handsome Will Slater, rising star of TV show Survival, are getting married in style in front of their friends and family on the wild and isolated Cormorant Island, off the coast of Ireland. During the night of the wedding, there is a power cut and it all becomes clear that something has gone wrong; especially when a waitress finds a body. A pleasant murder mystery, following the narratives of the bride, the wedding planner and some of the wedding party guests; can they find out who died and what happened to them?
I enjoyed reading The Guest List. I really liked The Hunting Party and it has the same layout with each chapter being a different character’s narrative, it was easy enough to follow and get sucked into their world. 
I especially enjoyed the build up for the main part of the story, although it started off slow and it seemed that there was a lot of unnecessary history for some of the characters it all came together in the end. I was captivated throughout trying to figure out who it was that died and then who killed them. It seems like every character has a reason for dying and also a reason for killing and it constantly kept me guessing, which is just what you need in a murder mystery. Overall, it was a nice easy read for me and a gratifying one, complete with some shocks and unexpected twists. 
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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As good as if not better then the hunting party. Keeps you guessing all the way through. Lots of speculation re the plot and an unexpected ending.
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This book was definitely a firm favourite as a thriller. You had no idea what was going on at every page and it had you guessing and doubting yourself. 

The book is taken from several characters point of view and you got to really understand and know what each character felt and was going through during the book. 

It was definitely not for the faint of heart, and it definitely has some trigger warnings. There are secrets, lies, murder and revenge. It was definitely well thought out thriller with murder at the heart of it. 

I disliked all but two of the characters and that is saying something as Lucy Foley as she really made me hate 90% of the characters she had written!
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I loved the remote setting of this thriller, it was easy to imagine being a guest at this unfortunate wedding. The cast of characters was great, I felt sorry for some and other felt easy to dislike. A lot ended up happening for so many, and I really enjoyed the way the author tied everything together in the end, with a nice little twist.
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The Guest List is a thriller with a cast of unsavoury characters, each with secrets and motives to do each other harm.  Set on an isolated Island off the west coast of Ireland, a wedding party descends into chaos when rough weather interrupts the electricity and a young waitress claims to have seen a body covered in blood out in the gale swept bog.  The bride, groom, bride's sister, best man, ushers and wedding planner all feature with mysterious pasts and reasons to be resentful of others in the party.  
I enjoyed the fleshing out of each character's past and developing a picture of how each was connected to each other.  However, each chapter in this book switches between the characters at different stages of time, jumping from weeks ago to hours ago to present to weeks ago.  Usually this wouldn't deter me from the story but I did struggle to get to grips with this one, particularly as the purpose of the back story was to give motive for a murder, but you don't find out who is dead until the last ten pages of the book.  
The Guest List is written in the same style as Lucy Foley's previous novel 'The Hunting Party' which I thoroughly enjoyed and have recommended to others.  My expectations were therefore high for this one, and is possibly why I felt disappointed that I didn't enjoy the book as much as I thought I might.  I will recommend this novel to people I know who will be happy to follow a haphazard storyline because it is suspenseful and I did feel that thrill when a secrets were uncovered shedding light on the personalities involved.
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy.
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Given the hype surrounding this title, I approached it with tempered expectations. For once, though, the hype was spot on. The Guest List is creeping suspense fiction at its very best — tense, broodingly atmospheric, and with a perfectly paced narrative that starts off slow and seductive then races to a thrilling, heart-pounding finale. 

The setting — a hostile, barren island off the west coast of Ireland — couldn’t be more more sinister. Think peat bogs, craggy cliffs, sinking graveyards and deserted ruins. 

The occasion — the wedding of two minor celebrities — brings together a social elite of guests and a braying clique of former public schoolboys. Think entitlement, power, success — but, significantly, not for all.

Add howling winds, pelting rain and a dodgy generator to the simmering resentments, jealousies and long-held secrets, and what do you get?  The perfect storm … for murder. But who and by whom?

The plot of this exquisitely tense whogotit/whodunnit is faultlessly executed. I defy anyone to guess the genius double twist. It really is very, very clever. And as for Foley’s characterisation skills! Rarely have I felt such loathing for a fictional character. Will, the groom, represents everything that’s unsavory about the English class system, and I despised him with a passion. 

I loved that the chapters are brief and punchy, each narrated from a different PoV — the bride, the groom, the best man, the bridesmaid, the plus one, the wedding planner.  And I loved even more how they get shorter and shorter as the tension racks up. I was swiping so fast towards the end, I swear my Kindle was smoking!

One of my top five reads of the year so far. 

My thanks to NetGalley and publishers HarperCollins for the opportunity to read and review this title.
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Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for the ARC of this book.

I was excited to read this book. From the description it had loads of elements that could make a brilliant thriller: deserted island, death at a wedding, limited cast, stormy weather, intrigue etc. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to its promise. The killer, their motive and their victim were so heavily signposted throughout the book that there was no element of surprise when they were revealed at the end. I thought it might be leading up to a really clever reveal as to how the crime was planned so it could be committed without detection but that didn’t happen either. So it was quite a slow burn build up to a rushed, unexciting ending. Quite disappointing.

In addition, all the characters were so sharp and unlikable that it was not much fun spending time their company. The murder victim had committed so many awful acts to give everyone at the wedding the motive to kill them, it was hard to believe anyone could get away with behaving like that without anyone noticing for so long.

I don’t think I could recommend this book, which is a shame because I was looking forward to discovering a new favourite thriller writer.
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I was eager to read this book after loving the author's previous book The Hunting Party. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much though. It has again the classic Agatha Christie feel to the plo. A Wedding party on a remote island - bad weather and not too good a phone signal, help to make it feel more like the 1920's than the 2020's and ensure that the plot thickens.

I understand the scene needs to be set, but for me the first half of the book went on for far too long and needed some serious editing. Flipping between the different mainly over privileged characters, who I cared nothing for, in fact at one point I wouldn't have minded if they had all been killed off. The book also flips between now, then, the day before and several months and weeks before. You have to keep up to get a handle on what you think might be happening.

Then it happened - the action and the red herrings and everything began to get interesting and moved it up in my estimation. Just like that all the red herrings then began to be tied off a little too neatly, too many coincidences and I was a little disappointed in this book.
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Wasn't a bad read kept me engaged from beginning to end, didn't really warm to the charecters, but did end with a story all wrapped up
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A fantastic story with a huge twist! 

Each character in the novel plays a crucial part in the storyline. Aoife the wedding planner and her husband Freddy, have opened their home The Folly – a ten-bedroom recently restored building as a wedding venue on the Island of Inis an Amplóra off the coast of Connemara (Ireland). Their very first wedding party will be for Will Slater and Julia Keegan. Will is a famous TV star, and Julia, the founder of a very upmarket magazine, called The Download. The wedding guests will be staying on the island for the entire weekend. Will they be able to cope?

Jules (she prefers to be called this rather than Julia) has searched for the perfect place to hold her wedding. She’s a perfectionist, and everything must go right. For the first time in years both her parents will be present. Her father will be meeting her husband for the first time. Will he give his approval? 

Johnno is Will’s best man, they met at their very posh private school they attended as boarders called Trevellyan. Johnno and Will share a deep secret from their past. Will it rear its ugly head during the weekend?

Olivia, Jules’ step-sister, is the very reluctant bridesmaid. She too is carrying a demon from the past. Will this interfere with the wedding?

Hannah is Charlie’s wife. Charlie and Jules have been best friends since childhood and Jules has insisted that he be her best man. Hannah feels intimidated by Jules. Does she stand a chance of keeping her marriage on track over the weekend?

Then there are the ushers. All had been at school with Will and Johnno, and all seem to still be nothing more than grown-up toddlers who are noisy and still keen to carry on their shenanigans from their schooldays. How will they cope on the island, especially if the lights go out? 

I loved this book. The characters were all so real, so well defined, some totally annoying but essential to the story as it unfolds and what a story! I was left gasping more than once at how everything unfolded—definitely one of my favourite books of 2020. 

Rony

Elite Reviewing Group received a copy of the book to review.
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You are invited to the celebrity wedding of the year - reality TV star Will Slater and lifestyle magazine editor Julia Keegan, the picture-perfect couple who supposedly have it all. In a desire for privacy (and exclusivity), the wedding takes place on a remote and wild island off the coast of Ireland, with a handful of guests ferried in. Very quickly we realise all is not as it seems....a storm begins brewing, trapping the guests on the island. And the wedding cake has barely been cut when a dead body is found. Who is it? And who is the killer?

A dark, atmospheric and eerie read, The Guest List is compelling, tense and very entertaining.  A tale full of secrets, lies and grudges, and more than one murder, it's the perfect book for a stormy night in by the fire!

With thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC.
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Unfortunately, I think the biggest compliment I can give this book is that I think I would enjoy other books by Lucy Foley.

I say this is the biggest compliment because, whilst I thought the writing was pretty good for a thriller and I thought the pacing worked for the story, there were too many things within the story that just didn't give me the same buzz a thriller usually does.

The characters were fine, if not a bit two-dimensional. The time-jumping between chapters was an example of when I think that format just doesn't work. It added no more suspense than what was already being built towards in the main timeline and just added uneccessary breaks in the plot. 

As for the resolution... Look, I've read my fair share of thrillers and I know plot twists/endings can be convoluted and ridiculous but the amount of coincidences that had to occur for all of these characters to have the revelations they had was just beyond unbelievable. It was trying to be Christie-esque but it just didn't work.

Ultimately, the whole book left me unsatisfied and that is a very rare thing for me to feel after reading a thriller. Disappointing but, as I say, I still think the author has the ability to write a thriller that I would absolutely love and so I hope that is the case with The Hunting Party.

Thanks to HarperCollins UK and NetGalley for providing me with a copy for review.
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Many thanks to Netgalley, Harper Collins UK and Lucy Foley for my copy of this book. I loved The Hunting Party so was excited to read this one and was not disappointed. It's similar in style to The Hunting Party in terms of setting the scene, building the tension between characters, and heading towards the extremely dramatic finale which I really loved. A great twist which I didn't see coming. Despite reading it in August, this book would be a perfect murder mystery read for a chilly winter weekend. I very much enjoyed this book.
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Having absolutely loved The Hunting Party, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Lucy Foley’s next novel and so was thrilled to get this as an ARC (thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author), although it turned out I had already bought my own copy by then - a sign of buying waaaay too many books!

As with The Hunting Party, the novel is presented through a tapestry of interwoven voices which, through their differing POVs, provide a full picture.  Similarly also, the action takes place in a remote environment, in this case an island.  All credit to the author for finding different ways of isolating her cast of characters.  

In The Guest List, the characters are drawn together for a media wedding where the beautiful Jules, a high-maintenance web presence and her too-good-to-be-true tv star (a la Bear Grylls) fiancée, Will, are due to tie the knot. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that no-one is quite what they at first seem because there wouldn’t be much of a plot if they were but we are cleverly kept guessing as to who/how/why.  The fantastic ambience is created by a mix of the wild weather, forbidding topography and too much alcohol, a winning formula.

So why not the full 5*s?  This is an engaging and enjoyable read, with juicy characters and good narrative tension.  For me though, the setup did feel a little forced.  Everyone seemed to have motive and opportunity, which felt a bit too unlikely.  Amazingly, I did work out who (though I didn’t know quite why), through a process of elimination and a game of ‘if I was writing it then...’.  It was great fun and I would recommend it. The storylines were brought together cleverly, it was just a little overdone for my personal 5* but it’s still a solid 4-4.5*
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This was my second Lucy Foley book (the first being The Hunting Party). Having previously read that one I must admit I did find the story line very similar and it very difficult not to keep making comparisons, but still a great read! I found the whole vibe of the island very spooky and eerie and I felt this set the scene for what was to unfold perfectly. Normally having too many POV's to follow can really throw me off, however I didn't find that with this book, it kept me guessing all the way through and therefore I found it hard to put down. Overall a great whodunit!

I would like to thank NetGalley and Publishers for the chance to read this in return for an honest review
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The Guest List is incredibly similar to Lucy Foley’s previous book ,The Hunting Party’. A selection of (mostly) obnoxious guests are invited to an exclusive location - this time a wild and remote Island off the Irish coast for the extravagant wedding of Jules ( the editor of an online magazine) and Will (Golden boy, TV celeb survivalist).
There’s loads of hidden dark secrets and improbable connections amongst the main party of guests.

It’s all pretty formulaic,  but I don’t actually mean that in a negative way. As long as the story has a good pace and holds your attention, I actually enjoy a formulaic book for entertainment and ease of reading.

There’s got to be at least one ‘twist’ - and it’s all the better if you really don’t see it coming.
The Guest List has twists a-plenty and I didn’t see any of them coming. And what twists! Very clever and shocking and they all hit the mark perfectly.

Because most of the guests are so dislikable, it therefore makes most of them expendable. You know there’s going to be a body - but you’re not really invested emotionally in who it might be!
Plenty of the guests have good reason to want the victim dead - so for me, it was pretty difficult to guess who the murderer was going to be.

So yes, it’s formulaic and not hugely removed from The Hunting Party, but I still really enjoyed it.

* Thanks to Harper Collins and Netgalley for the ARC.
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Dark and creepy. Lucy is a fantastic story teller and this book will  have you gripped from the beginning to end. When someone turns up dead, everyone is a suspect.

This book was so interesting and intriguing! I really enjoy a good mystery book and trying to find out what happened and Lucy does a fantastic job off. Great cast of characters!
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