I'm not usually a fan of murder mysteries, I tend to favour fantasies more. However, I kept hearing about Lucy Foley's two novels and thought I would try one to see what the appeal was. The cover for The Guest List is very inviting, although what really appealed to me was the setting of the novel - an isolated island with very little phone signal, being transformed into a wedding venue for Will and Jules. A perfect accompaniment to self isolation.
The bride and groom appear to be the couple that everyone wants to be - good looks, amazing jobs, fame and extremely wealth. However, there is definitely more to the couple than what appears to be on show.
The story is told via multiple viewpoints showcasing the guests and the happy couple's deepest, darkest secrets. They all have issues with at least one other person within the wedding party, of not more, so for three quarters of the book, you don't really have a clue who was murdered, let alone who actually committed the crime. I was amazed how well written it was, to keep me guessing for so long. When you finally figure out who died, finding the murderer isn't that easy to work out either. Brilliant plotting all the way through, keeping you in suspense until the very last chapter. Even the treacherous, isolated island has enough history about it, to be capable of murder.
From the very first chapter and at regular intervals throughout the story, you are taken to the murder scene, but Foley is extremely clever in keeping you guessing who might of died. It is a slow burner, but the way the author writes it, you don't realise, because you are too busy finding out all the dark secrets of the many characters. I was so impressed by how well the author manages to juggle so many suspects and to keep them interesting all the way through.
Each character may appear to lead normal lives on the outside, but the secrets they harbour are extremely dark and dangerous. There wasn't one of them, that I would definitely say, didn't have the ability or the motive to kill someone.
This is a book that sucks you in and refuses to spit you out until you know who the murder is. I was completely captivated from the first page. There are lots of breath holding moments, followed by loud gasps shocking anyone in the room with you.
I can see this eventually being made into a film as it has all the ingredients to keep you on the edge of your seat.
I've read a lot of comparisons about this book and its predecessor, The Hunting Party, which I haven't read yet. A lot of reviews felt The Guest List wasn't as good. Well, it blew my mind, so I can only imagine how I will react on reading The Hunting Party.