| 5.2°C Dublin

Close

Premium

The Guest List review: Twists and turns as island wedding ends in murder

Mystery: The Guest List

Lucy Foley

HarperCollins, hardback, 384 pages, €15.99

Close

Joy to read: author Lucy Foley has followed up on her recent bestseller The Hunting Party. Photo by Philippa Gedge

Joy to read: author Lucy Foley has followed up on her recent bestseller The Hunting Party. Photo by Philippa Gedge

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

/

Joy to read: author Lucy Foley has followed up on her recent bestseller The Hunting Party. Photo by Philippa Gedge

It could be argued that, boiled down to its essence, a good mystery novel only needs two key things to be right: the premise and the execution. An intriguing, unsettling or unusual set-up, carried off with flair and skill.

In fairness, the majority of crime stories come through with the first. Unfortunately, many of them falter badly with the second: either through flabby pacing, plot illogicality, clumsy prose, flat characterisation, "explain the plot" dialogue that doesn't ring true… or, in a few horrific cases which I'd sooner consign to the incinerator of memory, all of the above.

Happily enough The Guest List, Lucy Foley's follow-up to her bestseller The Hunting Party, is not among that number. This novel has a familiar but basically bulletproof premise, and the author drives on from that sound starting-point with great assurance, to deliver a mystery which is sometimes moving, often thrilling, always entertaining and, ultimately, very satisfying.