THE CLIFF HOUSE
One hen weekend, seven secrets... but only one worth killing for
Jen's hen party is going to be out of control...
She's rented a luxury getaway on its own private island. The helicopter won't be back for seventy-two hours. They are alone. They think.
As well as Jen, there's the pop diva and the estranged ex-bandmate, the tennis pro and the fashion guru, the embittered ex-sister-in-law and the mouthy future sister-in-law.
It's a combustible cocktail, one that takes little time to ignite, and in the midst of the drunken chaos, one of them disappears. Then a message tells them that unless someone confesses her terrible secret to the others, their missing friend will be killed.
Problem is, everybody has a secret. And nobody wants to tell.
Christopher Brookmyre is well known for his fun crime thrillers, although most recently I have read his historical medical thrillers under the pen name of ‘Ambrose Parry’ which he writes with his wife. When I saw the blurb for The Cliff House, it sounded like my exact cup of tea but I hadn’t realised it was written by Chris until I picked it up to start reading it, and that’s when I truly got excited about what was in store.
A hen party gone wrong with 6 friends on a remote island with secrets to keep, may sound a bit generic but you can really tell that this was written by someone with a lot of experience. Chris is such a diverse writer and you know you are in expert hands with his work. The plot could have been quite plain and simple, but the way that it is written kept me hooked. The characters are detailed and well-drawn – there’s Jen - the bride to be, Michelle – the childhood friend turned pop sensation, Helena – another childhood friend with a grudge, Kennedy - their tennis coach, Nicolette – a younger tennis friend, Beattie – Jen’s former sister-in-law and Samira – her future sister in law. It seems like a lot of characters to get to know but they are all given an in-depth introduction and the narrative switches between them as you start to piece together their secrets.
There’s quite a few red herrings and some of the secrets included seemed a little strange and overly complex but it was a read which kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting to find out what would happen next. I didn’t really guess much of the plot too early on which is unusual for me, and I frequently flip-flopped between theories on what was happening.
Overall, The Cliff House may seem like a standard thriller from the offset, but you are in assured and experienced hands with Chris Brookmyre at the helm! Thank you to NetGalley & Little Brown Book Group UK for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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