The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Keeping in line with my decision to restart doing the things I love, I have started listening to audiobooks. Unlike most who listen to them while doing chores or getting other work done, I have never been able to do that. I need to focus more; especially if it’s a thriller. Otherwise I feel like I miss on some important tidbits. And in a well written thriller book, every word is important to the plot. My favorite time to listen is either when I go for a walk or while driving.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley was a book I’ve wanted to read ever since it was published. There was so much hype in Bookstagram that this book was all I could see in everyone’s feed at the time. But somehow I never got around to it. Few months back I tried to restart listening to audiobooks and The Guest List was the first book that came to my mind. I listened to almost 60% of the book while I went for my morning walk. But then due to various reasons I had to stop going for my walk and this put a stop to my listening too. I finally went back to it last week.

Jules, an ambitious magazine publisher, has planned the perfect wedding with the TV’s charming boy Will. The venue is set in an Irish island. Jules and the wedding planner has everything planned down to the t. They’ve invited old friends and family for the grand wedding. But when the guests start mingling, old resentments and jealousies start to surface leading to a murder on the wedding night. Who is killed? Why? Who is the killer?

The story is told from the POV of many characters – the bride, bridesmaid, best man, wedding planner and a plus one – from the time they arrive at the island. And scattered in between is the wedding night when the murder happens.

It was a pleasure listening to the audiobook since each character had a different narrator and they had the English and Irish accent too which was perfect for the book. Sometimes having too many POVs turns out to be confusing. But Foley has done it really well. Especially when we get to read about the same incident from two different perspectives. Foley also gives us a glimpse into each character’s past. This is quite effective in character development. Multiple character developments in a book is rare and it is even rarer for an author to do it well!

The book was slow paced at times but all the drama kept the plot moving. We do not even know who is killed until the very end. I guessed it only a couple of chapters before the reveal. The killer was an even bigger surprise. Keeping the readers in dark about both the murderer and the victim is no easy task.

The only thing that let me down is the ending. Not about who the killer or the victim is. But that it was kind of rushed. We read the killer’s POV throughout the book but there is not even a hint of the hatred towards the victim. I understand it was excluded so as to keep us in suspense but I felt it as a deliberate exclusion. That hatred could have come in the killer’s thought process without letting us know who it was against. Due to this, I felt as if there was no closure. There was also no closure between Jules and her sister’s relationship. The readers are kept hanging. Maybe it is upto us to decide what could have happened but I would have loved the book to give it to us.

I would definitely recommend the book. A good whodunnit with all the right elements of broken family, betrayal, friendship, bullying, infidelity.

My Rating 4.5 ⭐

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