The Guest List is about a wedding between a rising television star and a smart and ambitious magazine publisher on an island off the coast of Ireland where someone turns up dead.
This was my first taste of the who-done-it murder mystery novel and I actually quite enjoyed it. At the start I was left a little confused as we are kind of thrust into the story with a multitude of names and different characters and the relationship between them all.
Honestly I didn’t really care for Will or Jules. I found them both to be very self-absorbed and entitled. But I think that was intentional, I really can’t see anyone finding them likable at all. Which I think was explored throughout the course of the book through the experiences the other characters have with them.
Hannah was probably the most relatable out of all the characters. I enjoyed reading from her perspective and finding out more about her relationship with her husband and Jules. Olivia was very secretive and a cagey at first but as we learn more about her and what she has endured over the last year you can’t help but sympathize with her.
The way the book was formatted with the dual timelines definitely kept me invested and eager to read on to find out who was killed. The reveals were made a precisely the right times in the book as this was a little slower paced and it there were periods where not a whole lot is happening.
I predicted a couple of the little twists that occurred throughout the course of the plot line but the main revelation definitely came as a surprise.
⭐️3/5 stars entertaining.. not exactly mind blowing!
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine.
I liked Audrey. She was at times I think a little too full of herself, especially when she decided to sneak out onto the streets at night and try to catch the killer herself. Even though it was a way to rebel from her father and his quite stringent rules she did just want to save the women and prevent any more deaths. She is very self-motivated and I liked the way she didn’t conform to society’s expectations and did what she was interested in. She does evolve over the course of the story line and becomes more self-assured, actually standing up to her father and initiating the kiss with Thomas.
Thomas was quite an enigmatic character. He’s very aloof and comes across quite arrogant yet charismatic at the start of the book. I like that we gradually get to see him open up and express his feelings to Audrey in an almost offhand way, making jokes and shamelessly flirting. We learn more about his family and the reason why he is so adamant about learning all he can from Jonathan. I can appreciate the subtle nod to Sherlock Holmes with his character and I really enjoyed the banter between him and Audrey.
I didn’t really think the love triangle was necessary, other than introducing another character for Audrey to suspect. I guess Blackburn was necessary to drive the plot along but I didn’t really see a point to his character. After Audrey declared she no longer trusted him he didn’t really make any more impact on the story, I am hoping we get to see a bit more of him in the rest of the series though because I actually quite liked him.
The fact that the book didn’t shy away from becoming too gruesome definitely kept me engaged. It goes into pretty grim details about what happened to each of the murdered women and the autopsies they performed. It gave the book a sense of realism in a way and added much needed depth to the plot. The mystery aspect was a little bit predictable but I was entertained and eager to read on and figure out who was Jack in the end.
⭐️3/5 stars Gruesome, dark yet still quite charming!
The Hand on the Wall continues straight off where The Vanishing Stair finished off. Stevie has solved the case and she now knows who Truly Devious is and who was behind Iris and Alice’s disappearance. At least, she thinks she has. After the latest tragedy with Dr Fenton it’s hard to concentrate on the past but she has a feeling that everything that is happening in the present has a connection to the past.
I liked that Stevie really maintains her curiosity and conviction throughout the series. Her commitment to the school and the mystery over the deaths both past and present really kept me engaged in the story line.
Some of David’s actions came across a little strange. After his beat down at the end of the last book and his subsequent disappearance felt a little off and weird. When we are given an explanation I didn’t quite find it believable in a way. His dad was always this imposing figure in the background during the course of the series and I’m not quite sure what his purpose was. He isn’t really present for a lot of the book and I don’t really think that whole plot line was necessary.
Once again I really enjoyed the camaraderie between all of the other students at the school, especially between Janene and Stevie. Their friendship I thought was quite special; Janene is so supportive of Stevie and understands her limits and Stevie even though she is all wrapped up in the mystery and unravelling the clues she will still always show up when Janene needs her.
The almost manic nature of Stevie’s thoughts mixed with the building anticipation over the course of the plot kept the pace quite fast. I was definitely surprised when Stevie explained who was behind everything and I was very much satisfied with the conclusion.
⭐️4/5 a solid ending to a very entertaining series!!
This was interesting!
Sadie is a mixed format story revolving around two sisters, one has been murdered and the other is on a mission to extract revenge.
Sadie is a character that you can really put your support behind. She is very straightforward and driven and you can relate to her in a way. If I was in a similar situation I would have probably done the same thing. She will do absolutely anything for her sister and it kind of broke my heart as we learn throughout the course of the plot what she has had to endure. I thought she was brave, focused and devoted to her cause.
I have to say I really enjoyed the different formats and timelines of the story. West following Sadie and trying to extract the truth and dig deep into their history and her motivation behind running away and then having Sadie doing her own digging and finding out where Keith is now, and uncovering all the details about Silas as well. The mystery aspect of the story was very well done and the buildup of anticipation through the pacing and the tone of the book enraptured me.
Every single character in the book served a purpose and made some form of impact upon Sadie and drove her to the next location. I like that we see how West makes these same discoveries for himself and kind of comes the same conclusions as Sadie following all of the clues and picking apart their conversations and trying to find out what her motivations were was highly engaging.
The ending is a point of contention for me. I think I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really like open endings. I need a resolution, I need to know whether or not Sadie is alive and I really wanted to see what happened in those last few minutes.
⭐️4/5 stars This was fast, purposeful and highly impactful
It’s been a year since Bee has spoken to any of her friends since the mysterious death of her boyfriend. Now after a whirlwind night that leaves them all walking away from a near fatal car crash something strange has happened. They are stuck in a sort of time-lapse called the Never World Wake where they have to vote for only one person to make it out alive.
This book was super obscure and very interesting! I liked the slow build up of tension throughout the plot and how things started unraveling as the storyline progressed. I didn’t really know what to expect from the premise but I enjoyed the direction the book went with. The mystery surrounding Jim’s death and what happened that night, as well as trying to figure out what the Never World Wake is and how they are going to get out of it.
I was definitely intrigued by Bee. She comes across as so innocent and nice and the other characters even mention it about her. No one would ever suspect her of any wrong doing ever and she is always immediately dismissed as decent and pure. But I had a feeling throughout that she was not as guiltless as everyone perceived.
I thought the way that information was discovered through the use of the Wake was fascinating. Especially one Martha figured out how to jump to different Wakes and how that affected the times. I was very engaged and was eager to read on to figure out how it was all happened and what their connections to the Wake were. The twist at the end as well I thought was very well executed, the doubt that is plied consistently throughout the course of the book really helped to completely blind side me when we eventually find out what really happened and everyone’s motivations for what they have done.
I thoroughly enjoyed my read of this. Again I didn’t know what to expect and I was actually pleasantly surprised that I liked it as much as I did. For some reason I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to enjoy the book because it was so hyped but this was another instance that I feel like the hype was justified!
⭐️4/5 A wild ride from beginning to end!