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The Guest List
Cover of The Guest List
The Guest List
A Novel

A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

"I loved this book. It gave me the same waves of happiness I get from curling up with a classic Christie...The alternating points of view keep you guessing, and guessing wrong." — Alex Michaelides, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient

"Evok[es] the great Agatha Christie classics...Pay close attention to seemingly throwaway details about the characters' pasts. They are all clues." — New York Times Book Review

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.
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?

A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

"I loved this book. It gave me the same waves of happiness I get from curling up with a classic Christie...The alternating points of view keep you guessing, and guessing wrong." — Alex Michaelides, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient

"Evok[es] the great Agatha Christie classics...Pay close attention to seemingly throwaway details about the characters' pasts. They are all clues." — New York Times Book Review

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.
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?

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 30, 2020
    Set on a remote island off the Irish coast where a massacre once occurred, this entertaining if uneven mystery from Foley (The Hunting Party) opens just after the high-profile wedding of Will Slater, the star of the reality TV show Survive the Night, and Julia Keegan, an online magazine editor. During the reception, the lights go out, prompting a “scream of terror,” which turns out to have come from a server, who reports having seen a lot of blood. Flashbacks from various perspectives, including the bride and her sister, the maid of honor, recount what preceded the server’s grim discovery—a body. Meanwhile, Julia is on edge after having received an anonymous note warning her not to marry Will, because he’s not who he seems. Foley defers disclosing the murder victim’s identity until quite late, but she undercuts the suspense with obvious indications of who it is. The tension of the setup isn’t quite matched by the reveals, though the nicely creepy setting compensates somewhat. Readers seeking thrills will find plenty. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners.

  • AudioFile Magazine A wedding party on an isolated island off the coast of Ireland. All of the participants and hosts are potential victims and suspects. Each of the main characters is effectively voiced by one of the six talented narrators creating a theater-like experience. Chapters begin by identifying the character whose point of view is being presented. Everyone comes to the festivities with their baggage filled with deep, dark secrets. Slowly they unpack their stories as the plot weaves back and forth over the weekend. While the coincidences of the overlapping stories stretch credulity, those willing to go along for the ride will reap an engaging listening experience. E.Q. � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal

    Starred review from May 1, 2020

    Foley (The Hunting Party) outdoes herself again with this page-turning thriller; it's like experiencing Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None rolled into one. A wedding taking place between an ambitious magazine publisher and a reality television star on an isolated island off the coast of Ireland, with friends and family in attendance. They all have secrets, and it only takes a few days of drinking games, isolation, and resentments to bring every murky feeling to the surface. The island and the ancient folly where the wedding party stays are themselves characters, adding to the feeling of almost supernatural mystery and the unease that something is lurking in the shadows and getting ready to strike. VERDICT Only a handful of thriller writers can accomplish what Foley does here: weave a complex plot from the perspectives of eight characters plus an omniscient narrator without causing confusion or reader exhaustion when the plot bounces from one person to the next. Fans of Christie, Louise Penny, and Ruth Rendell will absolutely love this book, which doesn't reveal its secrets until the very last page. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/19.]--Adriana Delgado, West Palm Beach, FL

    Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2020
    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 (2019). 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. The narcissistic bride, the unstable bridesmaid, the odd wedding planner and her husband, the resentful plus-one, the groom and his former schoolmates, with something dark and cruel hiding behind the schoolboy manners, who are revealed to be a pack of sadistic bullies. By the time the worst of them is found murdered, readers will not be sorry and might, in a Christie moment, have wanted to kill her or him themselves. At times the story threatens to overwhelm itself with a bit too much ominous darkness and anxious distraction, but fans of the genre will enjoy the proceedings, imagining just how good that sumptuous wedding cake might have tasted.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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A Novel
Lucy Foley
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