The Club | By Ellery Lloyd
Book Review | Mystery Thriller
Everyone’s Dying to Join . . .
The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members’ clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media.
The most spectacular of all is Island Home–a closely-guarded, ultraluxurious resort, just off the English coast–and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.
But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group’s CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide–and that’s before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island.
As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home’s members will begin to wish they’d never made the guest list.
Because at this club, if your name’s on the list, you’re not getting out.
Narrative and Plot
The Club is a closed-circuit thriller with x/y variables. By x/y variables, I mean it does not reveal right away who the victim and the killer are. The story is told in a non-linear way. We have four narrators – Jess, Nikki, Annie, and Adam. And then we have a Vanity Fair feature that reveals the fate of each character step by step. From the beginning itself, you can see where these characters might end up. Each character has a distinct voice.
Other than a surprise element from one character, the plot didn’t shock me at any point. However, even after knowing how this was going to end and what might be the possible outcome, the story still hooked me and made me want to find out more.
Characters and Conflicts
As I have mentioned before, the story successfully creates four distinct voices. But there are several other characters as well that get your attention. Most of them are grey-shaded or, for the lack of a better word, awful people. The entire plot revolves around the weekend of the launch event of this exclusive celebrity club. We have one version where the truth unfolds and another where the media version unfolds.
One of the main draws for a closed-circuit thriller set up in a remote location is how people behave when social constraints are lifted. That is the idea that draws a reader to these kinds of stories. Top it up with an exclusive club for A-list celebrities, there is an inherent element of voyeurism that keeps you interested as well.
The Club explores these themes very well. There isn’t an explosive ending that will blow your mind off. The book acknowledges it too. However, the journey is engaging and explores the different aspects of ambition and the “moral judgment” of society. In a world where both are quite intertwined, how one navigates to hold their own makes the core of this book.
I would say go for it if this kind of entertaining closed-circuit thriller is your thing. I had a good experience reading this one.