Synopsis from Goodreads:
The USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair returns with another delicious, twisty novel–about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.
1988. Beth Soames is fourteen years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she’s truly part of the family…until they ask her to help them with a harmless game–and nothing is ever the same.
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.
I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.
The Perfect Guests publishes January 12, 2021.
The Perfect Guests is a steadily paced, twisty story. Unfortunately, I found the twists predictable and I think that impacted how enjoyable I found the overall story.
The story is told in two timelines, one following Beth as she arrives at Raven Hall as a young teenager in the 80s, the other following Sadie in 2019 as she arrives at Raven Hall to play a role in a murder mystery party. There was also a third, anonymous POV that speaks up every few chapters. I thought the multiple POVs and timelines were well done. Though I did think Beth’s chapters were a little more interesting, I was never that upset when it was time to shift over to Sadie.
There are many twists and turns revealed throughout the story. I thought they were placed effectively, but there was exactly only one twist that I didn’t guess far before it was revealed. I thought they were all really predictable to anyone paying attention and so I never really felt any tension or suspense. It made this feel more like a Women’s Fiction story to me than a Mystery/Thriller.
Overall, The Perfect Guests was just ok for me. I thought the multiple POVs and timelines were well done, but was a little disappointed in how predictable I found the mystery. If you’re able to just enjoy a story as it goes without trying to predict anything about the mystery, you will probably enjoy this one a little bit more than I did.
Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars
8 thoughts on “Review: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous”
I was hoping you would love this one because that blurb sucked me in. I could probably still try it, but I don’t want to add it to my stack when you didn’t absolutely love it. Great review!
Thanks! I definitely wouldn’t call it a must read, but you might enjoy it if you’re in the mood for a Women’s Fiction-y mystery sometime.
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The synopsis sounds really good so I’m sad to hear that it didn’t win you over.
I mean, it wasn’t a bad read, but I did expect a little more out of it, I guess.
Ah snap. Predictable plots are always so bothersome, especially when it just makes it all feel less “mystery/thriller” in the end! Great review, Stephanie! 😀
Thank you! It was definitely a little disappointing as a mystery. It was better from a Women’s Fiction angle.
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