Coincidentally, I’ve read two books in a row about destination weddings involving social media influencers. Extravagance and mayhem ensued.
Makes my wedding to my Beloved to which twenty guests were invited to my home and we served a Dairy Queen cake look cute and basic.
But at least no one died!
The same can’t be said about hoity-toity affair created by Lucy Foley in The Guest List: You’d Kill to Be On It.
This absorbing mystery novel is about the wedding of magazine publisher Jules Keegan and reality TV star Will Slater on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. Foley tells most of the story through the wedding-weekend experiences of five characters: the bride, the plus-one, the best man, the wedding planner and the bridesmaid. One of these characters is the murderer (I’m not spoiling anything here—the back cover reveals this).
What’s interesting about the mystery is we don’t know who the murder victim is until the end of the book. These two entwined mysteries—who is murdered and who is the murderer—will keep you turning pages, maybe until late into the night. And that’s all you can ask from a good mystery novel.
The book gets better after a lot of vague talk about secrets in the beginning. At first, I didn’t like a couple of the main characters, but their irritating behavior is explained as the book progresses, and I found the ending to be surprising and satisfying. Foley does a good job of moving the story along and tying the various storylines together, though she leaves a few plot holes and minor loose ends if you look too closely. Still, the plot holds water, and it’s fiction, so I didn’t get too worked up about it.
I read this for our family bookclub, which includes my aunt, uncle and cousins. The consensus was that Foley created good characters, but the story on the whole was a bit dark.
The Guest List reminded me a little of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Both Foley and Flynn worked out a lot of plot complexities before weaving things together, and I appreciate thinkers like that.
If you’re planning or invited to an exclusive destination wedding this summer, I recommend choosing something else to read on the plane (like a romance novel maybe).