Slowly but surely: The Guest List by Lucy Foley Book Review


The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why? 

My Thoughts

Characters with shady pasts, the perfect bride and groom, an isolated island? The Guest List sounds like a great whodunnit story?

At first, I expected the murder to happen in the first few chapters and then the following chapters would be the characters looking for clues and unveiling the killer. I was kind of confused when that did not happen. Instead, The Guest List starts off with the day before the wedding (and the murder). Majority of the chapters are actually the background stories of the different characters. The murder doesn’t actually happen until around 60% of the book. And it clicked to me that the author doesn’t want to focus on who did it but on why did he/she do it. For me, that’s refreshing and I like how the story unfolded.

I was also initially apprehensive about all the different POVs. It was quite confusing at first and I didn’t see why it was needed. However, I eventually realized that the purpose of the POVS is to get to know all the characters and know what was behind the possible motive of the death. As the dead body was revealed and the readers know who it is, we soon realize that all the POVs are suspects. Kudos to the author too because I didn’t expect the killer in this one.

I also really liked how the atmosphere was set up. I actually felt like I was on an isolated island as well. I could see the ocean and I was down in that dark cave too. The setting is creepy enough (I mean there are graveyards) that I’m seriously questioning why someone would decide to have their wedding there.

Overall, the slow build-up of the mystery has paid off as the ending is satisfying. The characters are all fully realized and has something to offer the storyline. The Guest List is a good mystery/thriller and I highly recommend everyone to read it.



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