Book Review: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

The Perfect Guests…

About the Book:

From the author of The Au Pair comes an enthralling time-slip mystery about two women, one house and a lifetime of secrets, perfect for fans of The Guest List and The Family Upstairs.

When Beth was fourteen, she was invited into Raven Hall, a rambling, isolated manor house in the English countryside. The family who lived there were warm and welcoming, and Beth soon became firm friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even felt like she was truly part of the family . . . But then they asked her to play a very strange game – and nothing was the same again.

Now, after years of abandonment, Raven Hall has been restored to its former glory and is playing host to an evening of murder mystery . . . But why does the tragic past of this imposing house seem to have such a hold on everyone? Is this really just a game, or a murder mystery for real?

The guests are about to find out – with devastating consequences . . .

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed The Au Pair by Emma Rous, so when I saw she had a second book released, I was keen to read it as soon as possible. My expectations were high but they were more than met. The Perfect Guests is a gripping, twisting sort of tale that takes quite a few unexpected turns along the way. Perfectly paced, and perfectly unique – I could barely put it down.

I had a few theories as to what was going on in this novel but I’m pleased to say that I was proven wrong on all counts! I love it when a story catches you so much by surprise – over and over! With this one, it kept up the reveals right to the last sentence. I’d have to say that I am very much a firm fan of Emma Rous now and will forever more read every book she releases. She puts new meaning to the whole concept of ‘family legacy’, that’s for sure! This is a story of obsession and revenge taken to the next level, with the most tragic of consequences.

I enjoyed the mix of characters, and while most of the story seems to play out in the past sections, I still enjoyed the contemporary ‘murder mystery evening’ storyline. As the events became more and more bizarre as the night unfolded, I found that Emma Rous really captured this unsettling atmosphere so well through her character’s reactions. Likewise in the sections that were telling the story of the ‘past tragedy’ and the family history lurking within the walls of the house. The growing sense of unease and confusion experienced by Beth was conveyed with such conviction and I really felt myself mirroring her concerns. That urgency of not knowing what was really going on, of sensing the danger but not fully realising the source. This was sustained throughout the novel in all of its parts, showcasing Emma Rous’s skill as a writer of suspenseful fiction.

The Perfect Guests is the sort of novel that has universal appeal. It crosses genre lines along with timelines, making it an ideal read for book clubs and gift giving, suiting readers of all tastes. I am quite partial to the whole ‘house with a history nestled in an isolated location’, but theme alone can’t sustain a whole novel. I’m pleased to say that The Perfect Guests is a stand out read within this sub-class and I will be recommending it far and wide for a long time to come.


About the Author:

Emma Rous is the USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair. She grew up in England, Indonesia, Kuwait, Portugal and Fiji, and from a young age she had two ambitions: to write stories, and to look after animals. She studied veterinary medicine and zoology at the University of Cambridge, and worked as a small animal veterinarian for eighteen years before starting to write fiction. Emma lives near Cambridge in England with her husband and three sons, and she now writes full time.

The Perfect Guests
Published by Hachette Australia (Piatkus)
Released 12th January 2021

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