Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

The Perfect Guests
by Emma Rous
Published January 12th 2021 by Berkley Books

2019. Sadie Langton is an actress struggling to make ends meet when she lands a well-paying gig to pretend to be a guest at a weekend party. She is sent a suitcase of clothing, a dossier outlining the role she is to play, and instructions. It's strange, but she needs the money, and when she sees the stunning manor she'll be staying at, she figures she's got nothing to lose.

In person, Raven Hall is even grander than she'd imagined--even with damage from a fire decades before--but the walls seem to have eyes. As day turns to night, Sadie starts to feel that there's something off about the glamorous guests who arrive, and as the party begins, it becomes chillingly apparent their unseen host is playing games with everyone...including her.

4 Stars

The Perfect Guests is classic Agatha Christie mystery meets modern suburban thriller. A dual timeline mystery full of twists and surprises. I felt like I was playing a game of Clue myself as Emma Rous takes readers from 1988 with young Beth to 2019 with actress Sadie. Raven's Hall was the best part of young Beth's life, until it wasn't. Ravel's Hall could be the big break Sadie needs to finally land a well-paying acting gig. Too bad there's something more sinister happening at Raven's Hall and the two storylines area bout to meet.

Twisty, sinister, and highly entertaining, The Perfect Guests is a soap-opera-y mystery that was impossible for me to put down. I enjoyed Beth's character and timeline the most, even the recent history was so interesting. Raven's Hall and it's inhabitants are quite the characters. Sadie is a little more woe is me and the storyline doesn't feel terribly unique, but the tie in to the past is just fantastic. I found it to be the right amount of unpredictable and I even enjoyed those twists that I was able to guess. The second half of the novel takes a deep dive into soap opera level drama, but I was so entertained that I got over the unbelievability of it and just enjoyed the ride.

Emma Rous is such a standout author for me and The Perfect Guests is a fun must-read for mystery lovers.

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