Hands up who loved The Hunting Party..?!🙋🏻♀️🙋🏻♀️ So when Harper Collins and Netgalley kindly gave me the opportunity to read The Guest List, let’s face it there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to wait until its February 2020 publication date to get stuck in!
Jules and Will are getting married on a remote Irish island. Among their guests are:
Olivia: Jules’ half sister
Charlie: one of Jules’ closest friends and
Hannah: Charlie’s wife
Johnno: The best man
A gang of Will’s (fairly obnoxious) friends and assorted family members. The festivities are all presided over and catered by the venue’s owners Aoife and Freddie.
Someone at this wedding isn’t going to make it out alive, and responsibility must lie with an attendee – but who dies and who did it? Well the fun of this book is in the guessing and why do I never get it right?!
This book is every bit as addictive as The Hunting Party, with an equally creepy setting. The mostly pretty unlikeable characters are each harbouring their own secrets, details of which are revealed tantalisingly slowly through chapters told from each of their viewpoints. Foley expertly manages to capture the often complex dynamics of old and blended friendship groups. Her characters are, on the whole, believable and though the plot does rely on a number of coincidences, it doesn’t feel outrageously far-fetched.
What the author has completely nailed here once again is creating a fabulous premise with absolutely perfectly paced narrative. The tension and excitement ramps up in the latter half through shorter and sharper chapters until you just have to race through the last 75 pages. There’s no choice really; the book just doesn’t allow itself to be put down until all has been revealed.
A mistake I made was having read The Hunting Party quite recently. Since there are quite a few similarities in plot, structure and, necessarily, style I found myself a little disappointed and worried that The Guest List was following a (granted, winning) formula. But this was forgiven and forgotten as the book progressed and I was 100% hooked. I loved it!