The Cliff House, a review by Joanna

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The Cliff House
Chris Brookmyre

Published July 28, 2022
400 pages


Dizzy, my head is spinning 🎢- from all the twists!

The Cliff House is a stand-alone contemporary suspense novel, which mashes up β€œAnd Then There Were None” with Desperate Housewives, to produce a fantastically gripping thriller. Chris Brookmyre is one of my favourite authors, so when I got the approval for this from NetGalley, I dropped everything else, and raced through it within 24 hours. I was not disappointed – it is a departure from his previous style and lacks the black humour of his earlier books, but I loved the interplay between the characters and the clever plot.
It’s Jen Dunne’s hen weekend, and the newly wealthy businesswoman has assembled her friends and family for a few days of luxury in a fabulously Instaworthy converted mansion on a tiny Scottish island. The cocktails are flowing, and old tensions starting to flare, when a dead body and a missing guest force them all to contemplate the sins of their past, which someone is determined to expose.
The trope of a group of wealthy people with secrets stranded on a remote island has become very popular recently. Rather than bumping guests off one at a time, however, this focuses on the friendships, old and new, between the women – not all of whom know each other. There are past grievances and new suspicions, with each guilt-ridden hen desperate to keep her own secret – but at what cost? Brookmyre skilfully turns the spotlight onto each one, and I defy anyone to unravel the mystery before the final reveal. Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown UK for the ARC. I am posting this honest review voluntarily.

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