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The Party Guest by Amanda Robson

The Blurb

A birthday to remember. But would they rather forget…?

Ralph is turning 45, and the only gift he wants is his ex-wife. Gemma, his trophy girlfriend, won’t let anything ruin her plans for an engagement. Sarah, the ex-wife, has agreed to attend Ralph’s party, with her new man in tow. And Jack, her partner, will stop at nothing to keep Sarah out of her ex-husband’s clutches.

It’s a celebration like no other. The whole extended family in a villa on the beautiful Amalfi coast. But by the end of the trip, two people will be dead. At this birthday party to remember, will anybody unwrap the truth…?

Two weeks. Four guests. One party to die for.

A compulsive and twisty suspense thriller with an ending you won’t see coming, perfect for fans of Louise Candlish and Adele Parks…

Praise for Amanda Robson’s twisty suspense novels:

‘I absolutely loved it and raced through it. Thrilling, unputdownable, a fabulous rollercoaster – I was obsessed’ BA Paris

‘Highly entertaining and will keep you turning the pages – A toxic treat!’ Alice Hunter

‘A domestic nightmare crackling with unrelieved tension’ Paul Finch

‘Intriguing, shocking and twisty. An absolute must-read’ JA Corrigan

‘Fast-moving, compulsive reading’ Jane Corry

About Amanda Robson

After graduating, Amanda Robson worked in medical research at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and at the Poisons Unit at Guy’s Hospital where she became a co-author of a book on cyanide poisoning – a subject which has set her in good stead for writing her dark and twisting novel about love affairs gone wrong. Amanda attended the Faber novel writing course and writes full-time. Obsession is her debut novel.

My Review:

I have followed the works of this author from her debut novel Obsession, which left me wanting more. This is the sixth title of hers and she has never disappointed.

I love short chapters dedicated to a different character's POV in each one. The Party Guest has both of these qualities that I like, and at the end of most of the chapters, I found myself saying either "Wow' or 'Oh my God!'

Ostensibly, Ralph's 45th birthday should have celebrated a successful life, with his career and his son and daughter whom he adores. He also has a young girlfriend, in attendance. However, although it might appear to those that don't know, that Ralph is higher up Maslow's pyramid than most people, according to Ralph's more clouded vision, 'Transcendence' will always remain an unachievable goal, as long as he remains separated from his ex-wife Sarah.

To mark the occasion of his birthday, he has rented a villa on the beautiful Amalfi Coast, and invited his Patrick with his girlfriend Anna, his daughter Janice, his ex-wife Sarah who brings along her soon to be announced fiancé Jack. As you can imagine, author Amanda Robson is not going to tell us a story of happy families, as this gathering becomes a toxic hotbed of pent-up hostilities and the events that follow lead from bad to worse.

Considering that I have never been to this part of Italy, I had a wonderful sense of place regarding this beautiful location, and I didn't need to Google Image it until after I finished the book, only to find that the pictures pretty much matched the images created in my head, from reading the prose. If this was to be made into a movie, it would be a very classy, glossy motion picture indeed.

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