On a small island off the coast of Ireland a big celebrity wedding is thrown into shambles. People’s relationship issues come to light helped by liberal amounts of alcohol, a dark atmosphere of danger and stormy weather. On top of it all a body is found.

In The Guest List the standalone novel by Lucy Foley, published by Harper Collins Publishers we follow the guests invited to magazine owner Julia Keegan’s and TV celebrity Will Slater’s wedding on a small island off the coast of Ireland. There is plenty of danger and rumors surrounding the venue and when plenty of alcohol is consumed, relationships between the guests become unhinged. -Then a murder happens.

Magazine owner Julia, Jules, Keegan is the bride who is focused on presenting the perfectly staged wedding to be issued in her successful magazine. I found her hard and shallow and did not care for her at all.

Hannah is the wife of the bride’s best man (male) who is a caring, nice, friendly person who wants everybody to be happy. She seems the most emotionally put together of the characters in this story and is therefore my favorite.

We get to follow each guest’s perspectives in chapters of their own, learning about their secrets. Everybody has them. Even the wedding planner. There was some excellent character building in this story. The public school boys were right on top of my list of disagreeable persons.

Plenty of elements of the setting added a dark vibe to the plot. Superb, vivid writing gave me the feeling of watching a horror movie. The setting was spooky, with a storm coming, darkness, and dangerous cliffs and bogs, all of which added an intensely scary feeling about the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed the playing with time elements and perspectives in this story which kept interest continuously up, the plot fascinating and intense. This was the first book i have read with this kind of story building. I found the gradual revealing of clues and narrowing down of the plot really appealed to me.

The scariest part of the story was reminiscent of scenes from Lord of The Flies. Traumatic events seemed to have damaged them and were brought to life again when they were drunk. This part of the story felt well written and authentic and was my favorite. I was pleased to see some of the ushers wised up as the story progresses.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley is a quick read with very short chapters. Superb, vivid writing gave me the feeling of watching a horror movie. Great character building, particularly of the wedding ushers from same boarding school. A very dark, spooky vibe, some surprising twists throughout and a surprise ending. It is the first I have read by this author and I will be on the look-out for more. I enjoyed that the plot was gradually narrowing towards the end.

Fans of Lucy Foley would love The Guest List. Readers of crime fictions would enjoy this too. Similar authors to explore might be Lisa Gardner and Andrew Hunter Murray.
All opinions in this review are completely my own.

My rating: 5 stars / 5
Main reasons: Excellent plot, great character building, vivid writing

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