The Guest List

Review From User :

Lucy Foley follows The Hunting Party with this even more hugely entertaining atmospheric murder mystery, a modern take on Agatha Christie, set on the wild and isolated Cormorant Island, off the west coast of Ireland. The golden celebrity couple, Julia 'Jules' Keegan, publisher of a successful online magazine, and the handsome Will Slater, rising star of TV show Survival, are getting married in style in front of their friends and family, an exclusive event being organised by wedding planner, Aoife and catered for by her husband, Freddy. However, it immediately becomes clear on a dark, wild and stormy wedding night of power cuts that something has gone desperately wrong, and in a narrative that goes back and forth in time, a distraught waitress speaks of seeing a body outside, which has the ushers setting out into the night to find out what has happened.

Foley provides the perspectives of a wide host of diverse characters, with their fears, secrets, lies and silences amidst the drink and drug fuelled wedding celebrations over which hang an ominous air of upcoming disaster, a feeling that is enhanced further by the island location with its haunted history, its ghosts of the dead, its treacherous terrain and the approaching storm. Jules is worrying about a anonymous note that warns her not to marry Will, her bridesmaid, her sister Olivia, is a fragile self harming wreck. The best man, Johnno, is desperate not to lose touch with Will, they have a shared past history that goes back to their school days. Hannah is the plus one, married to Charlie, the MC and best friend of the bride, they are a cash strapped couple, determined to make the most of their first opportunity for a long time to be away from their children and their humdrum lives. The ushers are a bunch of sneering, entitled, bullying and malicious ex-public schoolboys who have never grown up.

Foley skilfully reveals the past history of the characters, the grief, the losses, the simmering resentments and jealousies, the guilt, the secrets, the lies, a past that adds up to a bubbling cauldron full of motives to kill, and a present where the chickens of the past have finally come home to roost. Foley excels in writing a riveting murder mystery, with the vibrant creation and development of larger than life characters, attending a strife ridden wedding in a location that is just perfect for the darkest of deeds to take place. A fabulous crime read that I recommend highly. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.


Set on a remote island off the Irish coast, this is one guest list no one would want to be on, just as no one would have wanted an invitation to the New Year’s Eve party in Foley’s previous novel, The Hunting Party . Lives unravel amid the revelry on an eerie and remote island as family and friends assemble for a glam wedding in an updated Murder on the Orient Express. Each of the principal characters has a reason to want one of their number dead, there are old secrets, and one of them is murdered.

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