The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre

4 Stars from me

This is the perfect book for when you know you can dedicate some solid reading time and get it down in one or two days – whether it’s a rainy day weekend, or you are lazing by the pool, laid up, off-sick – immerse yourself in the tale.

It sounds like a nightmare from the get-go doesn’t it, a hen weekend on a remote island, miles from civilisation, with no real chance of communicating with the outside world. So it was obvious that things would be taking a sinister turn and take a sinister turn they sure did!

The group of ‘friends’ mainly only had the hen, Jen, as their common connection. Although they try to make the most of it to begin with, it is very obvious that they are all hiding something and that by and large most of them aren’t there in the best of spirits and soon frictions become impossible to ignore. Frankly, that’s recipe enough for a nightmare weekend in my book believe it or not things get worse as it starts to become clear that they are being targeted by someone on the Island. And as they are the only ones there…

The author reveals teasing backstories bit by bit and layers up the tension as some classic cliches are played out. An uncomfortable vibe already sets the tone and a few careful nudges soon send this in a downward spiral for the group who begrudgingly attend the hen party.

Overall, it’s a brilliant mix of cleverly curated and unlikeable characters, a ‘locked room’ style mystery and damn fine example of why I like cosy hotels with good wifi 😉

Blurb: 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.

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