ARC BOOK REVIEW: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Format: Kindle 
Genre: Mystery

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
302 pages
Buy: Kindle  | Audiobook 


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.


Special thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for gifting me this book for free in exchange for an honest review. 

Set in two different time periods in alternating chapters we learn of a family who lived in a placed called Raven Hall.  The parents were very strict, sheltering their daughter to the point where she wasn't allowed to be seen in town or at their parties.  In order for her not to feel isolated they bring a young girl who is their daughters age to stay with them.  The girl has been orphaned and her aunt is now her guardian and has very little time for her.  Now staying in an opulent house she hopes she gets to stay.  However things get strange when the parents keep asking her to pretend to be their daughter whenever her grandfather comes calling. 

In modern times a struggling young actress is given the role of a lifetime.  Show up to a beautiful house and play the part of a guest in a murder mystery weekend and get paid enough money to keep her in her apartment.  When she arrives things start to feel strange and just keep getting weirder the longer she is there.  

Part Guest List, part Agatha Christie this book will give you the creeps. Obsession knows no boundaries and what people will do for revenge is beyond imagining.  Well constructed this story kept and held my interest the whole way through and the ending left my jaw open a little. Very well done. 

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