The Guest List | By Lucy Foley





Book Review | Crime thriller

The Guest List
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom a rising television star. The bride a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine in a remote location. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?




My thoughts





Narrative and Plot


It is always a pleasure to read books with distinct narratives. The Guest List proves to be one such read. Told from multiple perspectives and taking place in different timelines –  before and after the incident.
The mystery and suspense it created by simply using the technique is commendable.

The whole book takes place in the span of two days. A wedding is taking place in a remote island. The guests arrive each with their own secrets and then you see how it all culminated the way it did. However, if you’re not a fan of repeated coincidence – like me – you won’t be able to appreciate the thriller and plot twist aspect. My theory is, a story can have one big coincidence. Two can be overlooked but then you can easily predict the rest and sadly that is what happens with The Guest List.



Characters and Conflict



The story circles around an array of diverse characters. There is something dark in each of them and it reflects in the premise or vice versa. Set up in the cryptic Irish island, you find the perfect mix of thrill and intrigue as you get to know each characters. Where they start  is entirely different from where they end up over the course of a weekend.

The transformation of each character is described meticulously and it gives the story a sort of beauty. You realise that by the end they will “raise hell”. Every loose end is brought back in the end. You can easily picture this becoming a movie or a series where they show montage of all the little details in case you missed it.







The Guest List is definitely a page turner. The style is gripping and the story is captivating. If you can ignore the repeated reliance on coincidence, this is a must read.

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2 Responses

  1. I absolutely agree, Rejitha. It was a page-turner for me as well, but I also found the coincidences went a bit too far.

    • Rejitha says:

      Yes!! Thank you for saying that. Everyone seems to love this book. But I couldn’t unsee that. The writing was really good though.