Page Count 400
Publication date February 2020/ Publisher Harper Collins
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?
For those who read Lucy’s previous novel The Hunting Party, her latest The Guest List begins with a similar set up. A group gathering for a lavish party in a remote location is hit with bad weather. In this case we swap a Scottish new year for an Irish wedding.
The setting on a remote Irish island is beautifully described from the wilderness of the dangerous cliffs and caves to the lavish wedding itself.
The Guest List switches between multiple first person POVs and third person narration for the main event. Each character has a unique voice so it’s easy to follow their separate plots.
The only characters I found myself investing in were Hannah, Charlie and Olivia but I’m positive that was by design, the others are distinctly unlikeable. Except perhaps Johnno- the loveable down and out, my opinion of him was constantly changing.
There are several secrets to unravel whilst the timeline jumps back and forth between the wedding night and the day before. I was most intrigued by Olivia’s as well as dying to know what really happened on the stag do.
Once the revelations begin there’s no end to the surprises. Each bigger than the last, there are some real jaw droppers in store.
Whilst I enjoy Lucy’s form I would like to see something different in her next novel. There are so many obvious similarities between The Guest List and The Hunting Party I couldn’t help but compare.
HOWEVER, the pay off at the end of The Guest List is absolutely fantastic, I was up all night racing to the end.
If you enjoyed The Hunting Party then pick this one up immediately! I’ve been as vague as possible in this review so you can be as surprised as I was.