Book Review: The Invitation by Rachel Abbott (eARC)

The Invitation

Author: Rachel Abbott

Publication Date: 16 April 2020

Genre: Adult Fiction – Murder Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 374

Publisher: Bookouture

That’s the thing about old friends… they never let you forget.

The first time Jemma and Matt were invited to Polskirrin – the imposing ocean-view home belonging to Matt’s childhood friend Lucas Jarrett – it was for an intimate wedding that ended in tragedy. Jemma will never forget the sight of the girl’s pale body floating listlessly towards the rocky shore.

Now, exactly one year later, Jemma and her husband have reluctantly returned at Lucas’s request to honor the anniversary of an event they would do anything to forget.

But what Lucas has in store for his guests is nothing like a candlelight vigil. Someone who was there that night remembers more than they’ll admit to, and Lucas has devised a little game to make them tell the truth.

Jemma believes she and Matt know nothing about what happened to that woman… but what if she’s wrong? Before you play a deadly game, make sure you can pay the price…

From the four-million-copy bestselling author of Sleep Tight comes a psychological thriller that will have you gripped until the last page. Perfect for fans of Something in the Water, The Woman in the Window and The Silent Patient.

Lucas Jarrett, heir to the Jarrett family fortune, and Nina are set to be married at his lavish estate. He invites his childhood friends, which includes Matt and his wife Jemma to be a part of the upcoming nuptials. However, the wedding ceremony doesn’t proceed as planned when a woman’s body is discovered face down in the water.

One year later, Lucas invites his friends back to the estate, but this time, he has something else planned. Lucas wants everyone to play The Murder Game with the intention that the secrets of that night will be exposed, and he will uncover the murderer that lies in wait.

Jemma is the outsider since she didn’t grow up with this group of friends. She doesn’t believe that her and Matt have any information to share about the woman’s death, but is she wrong? Could her husband have been involved? There are so many secrets that linger beneath the surface that she is not ready for.

What a wild and amazing ride this book was! The Invitation is a brilliantly executed cat/mouse game set amid a locked room backdrop. The story starts a bit slow as we are gearing up with the wedding preparations as well as following the investigation that proceeds after the body is discovered. However, it is clear from the beginning that danger lurks in the corners and that this group of friends harbor many secrets.

I loved that the story was mainly told from Jemma’s POV. Being an outsider to the friend group gave her narration a more unbiased perspective. Additionally, it allows the reader to experience the information as Jemma learns it in real time. In doing so, the author created both a chilling and suspenseful atmosphere.

Overall, this is a fantastic murder mystery that is packed with twists and turns that will leave you guessing up to the very end.

Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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