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The Guest List: In a fresh and clever twist, you don't find out who the murder victim is until the end

Crime

The Guest List

Lucy Foley

HarperCollins

€15.99

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Lucy Foley is an English writer who burst on to the crime fiction scene last year with The Hunting Party, a cracking debut thriller about a group of friends stranded in the remote Scottish Highlands on New Year's Eve. When one of them is found dead, the race is on to find out who among them is the killer.

In The Guest List Foley stays with the plot formula that worked in her first book - a small group of people gathered in an isolated location with a murder to solve.

However, rather than feeling repetitive and formulaic, The Guest List is a thoroughly contemporary murder mystery that will keep you reading.

Celebrity couple Julia Keegan, a successful online magazine publisher, and Will Slater, a handsome Bear Grylls-style reality television presenter, are getting married and, in a bid to avoid the paparazzi, decide to host the occasion on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland.

As the star-studded celebrations get under way, an initial veneer of romance, glitz, glamour and fun soon wears off and we witness the emergence of past grudges, hidden jealousies and old rivalries among the guests.

The wedding cake is barely cut when one of the attendees is found dead and, with plenty of motives circulating, we wonder, who is responsible? And why?

Told, in turn, from the point of view of some of the key guests - the bride, the groom, the bridesmaid, the best man, the wedding planner and the plus-one - we get an insight into the past, the lead-up to the wedding and what occurs on the day of the murder itself.

In a fresh and clever twist, we don't find out who the murder victim is until the end.

Foley's deft knack for ending every chapter on a real cliffhanger will ensure you read this book quickly. And the final pay-off is absolutely worth it, as I didn't guess the identity of either the victim or the killer. Will you?

Sunday Independent