Tuesday 25 February 2020

The Guest List by Lucy Foley BLOG TOUR @lucyfoleytweets @HarperCollinsUK #RandomThingsTours #TheGuestList #BookReview

On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year - the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. 
Old friends. Past grudges. Happy families. Hidden jealousies. Thirteen guests. One body. The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped. 
All have a secret. All have a motive. One guest won't leave this wedding alive . . .

The Guest List by Lucy Foley was published on 20 February 2020 in hardback by Harper Collins. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

I've been a fan of Lucy Foley's writing for quite a few years now. I love her historical fiction and really enjoyed her debut thriller The Hunting Party last year. The Guest List is a book that I've been looking forward to for a long time.

I haven't been disappointed. I read this as the storms raged outside; a very fitting environment, as the novel is full of wild winds and rain too. This author really knows how to transport her readers to the wildest of location. Whilst The Hunting Party was set in the highlands of Scotland, The Guest List takes place on an remote island off the coast of Ireland. The perfect setting for murder and intrigue.

The wedding of online journalist Jules Keegan and TV celebrity Will Slater is an intimate, if showy affair. Just thirteen guests will actually stay on the island with them, along with the staff of the newly renovated wedding venue. Other guests will arrive, and depart, but these chosen few are the entitled, special guests.

The author tells the story in various voices; the bride, groom, bridesmaid, best man, plus one, and the wedding planner. Each one of these voices are distinctive, and each one could be a murderer ... or could they be the victim?

The reader is unaware, until almost the end of the story who dies, but we know, right from the beginning that there's a body. We are taken on a bumpy journey that takes us back many years, and brings us right up to the present day. We learn more than we could ever have imagined about the characters and we are thrown red herring after red herring as the plot thickens and the pace increases.

Lucy Foley doesn't paint a great picture of a bunch of ex-public schoolboys. It could be a tad stereotypical; there's a lot of braying, and puffing out of chests. There's drugs and lots of drinking games, there's also a lot of secrets and repressed anger. There's frustration and jealousy and there's revenge plotted. They may not be nice characters, in fact I think they are awful, but they are fascinating and compelling and I was totally engrossed by their behaviours.

I enjoyed every single page of The Guest List; there are a couple of coincidences that neaten the plot, and the motive, but I really didn't mind. As the chapters towards the end get shorter and snappier, I turned the pages so quickly that I almost gave myself whiplash. 

I loved it; great (awful) characters with some mind-bending twists and reveals. A real treat. 

Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party is her debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination.

Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.

Say hello at www.facebook.com/LucyFoleyAuthor and follow Lucy on Twitter @LucyFoleyTweets and Instagram @LucyFoleyAuthor

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