Friday, June 12, 2020

Audio Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Publication Date: June 2nd 2020 by Harper Audio
Audio Book Length: 9 hrs 53 min 
Narrators: Jot Davies, Chloe Massie, Olivia Dowd, Aoife McMahon, Sarah Ovens & Rich Keeble
Source: & Publisher
Pages: 320

About the book:

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the 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?

My Thoughts:
As the story begins, you’re propelled into the present day: The Wedding Night, as a storm rages with the feeling of impending doom. Quickly we’re taken back to the day before, getting to know the pertinent characters and their backstory, and I found it all riveting!

Aoife: The Wedding Planner
Hannah: The Plus One
Jules: The Bride
Jono: The Best Man
Olivia: The Bridesmaid

The Guest List was an addictive mystery enhanced by a stark, isolated setting, lending an eerie, almost haunting quality to the story. In the description it’s compared to an Agatha Christie mystery, and I agree there are similarities: multiple POVs, most with a motive for murder, an atmospheric, beautiful setting, and a sense of justice (mostly) served by the end.  However, in the majority of Christie’s mysteries the murder happens early and the rest of the story is spent figuring out motive, interviewing suspects, getting down to what really happened and why.

Here in The Guest List we have a present day narrative, The Wedding Day, where something is about to go very wrong and someone is murdered, and then we flash back to the day before where the wedding party arrive to the island to join Will (the groom) and Jules as they prepare for the next day. It’s apparent from the beginning that there are darker undercurrents and things are not as perfect and beautiful as the couple seem. 

Oh, there are some very unlikable people here, ones you wouldn’t mind killing yourself!  I did have a few favorites, though, but there was no shortage of possible murderers, because plenty had a motive for murder. As the story goes on it becomes ever clearer who is at the center of motives, but still I wasn’t sure who would be killed.

I won’t say who I liked or hated because that alone could give away so much. I sort of knew the whys, which I think is important with a mystery like this. A reader needs to feel like they’re engaging in the solution, figuring it out along with the characters, and feel good about being right about their suspicions.  Still, I was surprised by a couple of twists and how it all played out. As I said, I was riveted until the end, wanting to see how it all turned out!

I listened to the audio version and I think it greatly enhanced an already fantastic story! There were multiple narrators, giving each character their own distinctive voice and unique perspective. Loved the accents! The multiple performers made it so I was never guessing who was telling the story as we switched back and forth between POVs, which is completely helpful with an audio. Ms. Foley aided with this, too, by labeling each change in narration. I highly recommend going the audio version route!

Lucy Foley is a new to me author, but not anymore! I’m looking forward to whatever she comes up with next!


  1. I've heard such good things about this one I really want to read. (Or maybe I should listen to the audio of it because it sounds like they did a really good job on it!) :)

    1. I definitely recommend reading this by audio! I think you'll enjoy it, Lark! :)

  2. Your description definitely caught my interest. I love the isolation and atmosphere for a murder mystery.

  3. I loved this one so much. Great review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. So happy to hear you enjoyed this one here, I love those riveting reads too. And a great narration is a plus and deserves some good brownie points for it.

  5. I really loved this one too! I feel like it kept me wondering and guessing throughout. A friend sent me her book, The Hunting Party, so I need to read that one soon.


    1. It did keep me guessing, too! I'm curious about that one, but I haven't looked into it yet. Hope it's good!

  6. I don't read a lot of these kinds of mysteries. But I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  7. I'd like a good mystery right now

  8. The eerie setting sounds perfect for this story. I love that you were given a few good surprises, and that the audio did a good job of enhancing the story. Terrific Review Rachel :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape