Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Title: The Guest List
Author: Lucy Foley
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?


Review

I have no idea if I should classify this book as a mystery or a thriller. Whatever it was though, it was well done. I couldn’t put it down and needed to not only know who the murderer and their motives were but who the heck was even murdered.

The plot was some next level murder-string board perfection laid out masterfully. We have the players: the Bride, the wedding planner, the best man, the bridesmaid and the plus-one. What makes these people get a perspective in the book and why does it matter? Think Clue but you have no idea who is murdered, where they were killed or even what they were killed with. We go in completely blind with a dual timeline switching between previous days and hours before the murder to right after someone has seen a body. I was constantly in search of twists and things that could link the story together. I did manage to guess a few, but there were definitely two huge twists I did not even see coming. It was pure madness and I loved it.

The pacing threw me off. For a mystery/thriller it unfolded rather slowly. We don’t even find out who is murdered until the final few chapters. I never found myself bored though, but instead the complete opposite. As the story unfolded it turned out multiple people had motives and not just small ones. It isn’t until those final few chapters that it all clicks into place. We needed that slow pace to give away to this grand reveal that we’d only been given dribbles of up until then.

All the characters in this book were awful selfish people except for Olivia (the bridesmaid) and Hannah (the plus one). They were dealt such crap hands in life it was truly heartbreaking. I felt like not only were their endings abrupt but so was the books. I wish we’d gotten a bit more to throughly conclude what we could of their storylines. It was a great story though full of twists and turns that truly kept me on the edge in my seat.

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