blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Other Guest – Helen Cooper

One year ago, Leah’s twenty-one-year-old niece, Amy, mysteriously drowned near her family-owned luxury resort on the shores of Lake Garda.

Now, returning to Italy for the first time since Amy’s death, Leah is shocked to find her family seem to have erased all reminders of Amy. Despite the murky circumstances, they insist her death was an accident but Leah knows she must look deeper if she is to uncover the truth.

Meanwhile, in Derby, university counsellor Joanna is recovering from a surprising break-up when she is swept off her feet by a handsome bartender. But after she invites him into her home, Joanna is forced to accept that she doesn’t know him as well as she thought.

What follows is a propulsive game of cat-and mouse as both women begin to realise that appearances can be deceptive – and that the darkest secrets often lie closest to home.

My thoughts: there are a lot of red herrings and murder suspects to sort through, I really thought Amy’s dad, Gordon, was involved, he acted in an incredibly controlling manner and was hiding all sorts of things. Though towards the end his reasons are revealed and it makes some sense.

I felt for Leah, she so desperately wants to understand what happened to the niece she loved, but even her own sister was being really secretive and the whole “always seem perfect” attitude the family had about their hotel was incredibly weird. They must have stood out a lot amongst the locals. Leah just wanted answers, instead she’s spied on, intimidated, and her family are locking her out of everything. Luckily she’s stubborn and determined to get the truth.

Similarly I felt for Joanna, who really has no real connection to the events of the previous September, is swept into this awful mess by a handsome bartender, and wants to resolve things, even though she didn’t know Amy, she just wants some justice. Especially as she feels she let a suicidal student down at the uni where she works.

Between these two complete strangers, in different countries, both feeling a bit freaked out by things, answers are slowly revealed. Maybe justice for Amy isn’t impossible.

Compelling, shocking and incredibly readable, this is a clever, twisting thriller that takes in a lot of big current themes (powerful men, image being everything, #MeToo, among others) and creates a smart modern murder mystery.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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