On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. Old friends.
Past grudges. Happy families.Hidden jealousies. Thirteen guests.One body. The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.
All have a secret. All have a motive.One guest won’t leave this wedding alive….
Author: Lucy Foley
Narrator: Full Cast/Various
Publisher: Harper Collins
Audio Release Date: 20/02/20
Running Time: 9hrs 54mins
My Rating; 1 out of 5
I feel I should apologise for the way the blurb was put on here … And then I think ‘nope, that’s literally how the publisher put it on Audible. If Harper Collins don’t care, why should I?’ It also kind of sums up the book quite nicely. Not the actual content (that makes it sound way more thrilling than it is) the fact that it’s kind of messy and just thrown onto the page.
What hooked me in about this was the blurb. It sounded like an awesome who dunnit mystery. Factor in a stylishly cool cover and I was sold. Sadly, what I thought I was buying (a thriller) and what I actually got (a contrived soap opera) were two very different things. The way its written didn’t help as every chapter featured a ‘the previous day’ or ‘the present day’ type thing (from the POV of different guests at the wedding) and, despite the present day being where all the good stuff was happening, those parts lasted minutes whilst the previous day parts lasted for decades. At least they felt like they did.
What should have been a delightfully dark and intriguing read turned out to be a book filled with poorly written characters and shoe-horned backstories to make everything revolve around one character. Shoe-horned to the extent that it became unbelievable. One character just so happened to have such a negative impact on multiple people from wildly different walks of life that just all happened to attend the same wedding. It got to the point where I felt like I was being told to accept two plus two equals seven.
I mentioned poorly written characters and I feel I should expand on that rather than just throw that nasty barb out there. The females minds revolved around two things: Sex and how they look. They were either thinking about having sex, the sex they’d recently had or how much sex they weren’t getting. When sex was forced from their filthy minds for half a second, they would begin to wonder if the men at the wedding thought they looked sexy. Even if they were happily married they wanted the men to want them. I could smell the lust coming off the book. Pick up a hard copy of The Guest List, waft it in the general direction of the nearest lady and in nine-months there’ll be another mouth to feed.
The men weren’t too different. They were all two-dimensional cardboard cut outs that had one of two different character profiles foisted onto them. They were either acting like college frat boys, despite being in their late thirties, or brooding on some inner misery. On the plus side, they all had different names which seemed like the easiest way to tell them apart. So both male and female characters came off as horny, rambunctious teens. The only character that didn’t sound like a horny, rambunctious teen … was the teenager. She was quite a nicely developed character with a deep story. The only downside to her deep story is that it was mired within the aforementioned shoe-horning.
The following paragraph contains mild spoilers about the time of the murder. So if you plan on reading this and wish to have that little nugget as a surprise, please avert your eyes for one whole paragraph.
With all the awards and accolades listed on the Audible page, and the plethora or five star ratings/reviews, I really expected a deep thriller but got very little more than a soap opera. I mean, the murder, which the entire plot is supposed to revolve around doesn’t happen until near the very end. Everything that precedes it revolves around sex lives and what not. And when the murder actually happens, we hear about it second-hand. We don’t actually see the body until near the VERY end.
I feel as though the end itself was fairly decent but do not think it was in any worth the 95% of book I had to get through in order to reach it.