Wednesday 14 April 2021

The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter | Book Review

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The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter - 4/5
"Four people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave.
Matthew: the perfect husband.

Titus: the perfect son.

Charlie: the perfect illusion.

Rachel: the perfect stranger.

Charlie didn’t want her at the book club. Matthew wouldn’t listen.

And that’s how Charlie finds himself slumped beside his husband’s body, their son sitting silently at the dinner table, while Rachel calls 999, the bloody knife still gripped in her hand."

This book is completely gripping. It opens strongly with a prologue subtitled "The day of the murder" - who doesn't want to instantly read on after seeing that?

Charlie's husband Matthew has been stabbed and Rachel calls the police, confessing to stabbing him. Did she really kill him or did Charlie or their teenage son Titus have reason to want Matthew dead too?

The chapters that follow are told from the perspectives of Charlie and Rachel and move between different timelines; before the murder and after the murder.

We discover that the chance meeting that Rachel had with Charlie and Matthew wasn't chance at all. She had planned it but why? What is her connection to this family? 

There is so much going on in this book and you are desperate to keep reading to find out the whole truth. There is a running theme of elitism and the prejudices between upper class and working class. Charlie and Matthew's family and acquaintances are high flying politicians and they live in manors in London with housekeepers whereas Rachel is from a working class background in Yorkshire.

There are so many twists and turns but none too unbelievable. I loved the development of Titus especially the way he spoke to Charlie towards the end of the book. 

The ending made me want to scream. I usually point blank hate cliffhanger endings but it really worked with this book.

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