Review: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

A delicious, twisty novel—about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.

1988. Beth Soames is fourteen years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she’s truly part of the family…until they ask her to help them with a harmless game—and nothing is ever the same.

2019. Sadie Langton is an actress struggling to make ends meet when she lands a well-paying gig to pretend to be a guest at a weekend party. She is sent a suitcase of clothing, a dossier outlining the role she is to play, and instructions. It’s strange, but she needs the money, and when she sees the stunning manor she’ll be staying at, she figures she’s got nothing to lose. 

In person, Raven Hall is even grander than she’d imagined—even with damage from a fire decades before—but the walls seem to have eyes. As day turns to night, Sadie starts to feel that there’s something off about the glamorous guests who arrive, and as the party begins, it becomes chillingly apparent their unseen host is playing games with everyone…including her.



My Thoughts:

Emma Rous’ The Perfect Guests satisfied my need for a good, twisted mystery. It had all the fixings: Gothic old house, mysterious circumstances, unforthcoming family, and an unwanted, orphaned girl.

The story is told in two time periods and by multiple narrators.  I enjoyed both, but I was stymied by one unnamed narrator.  The addition of the unnamed narrator threw me off completely so that I was completely surprised at a big reveal and twist.  I was anticipating a twist or big event, but I didn’t see this one coming.  What do Beth Soames and Sadie Langton have in common besides Raven Hall? You’ll have to read the book to find out {insert sinister laugh here}.

The plot is well thought out and the pace is not fast, but good; I found Sadie’s present day plot a bit slower than Beth’s 1988 plot, however, that changes dramatically as the story’s zenith approaches.  There is moderate tension within the story.  The number of secrets and lies is so astounding that I began to question the reliability of each narrator.  

I loved to hate one particular character whose obsession is the basis for all the wrong doings.  I loved the idea of the murder mystery weekend in an old gothic house; it’s a great setting for real mystery. The mystery is wrapped up a bit conveniently, but cleverly, and the best is the very creepy end!  Ms. Rous out did herself with that Hitchcock-esque touch.

I was hooked from the start and so completely engrossed in the book that I finished it in one sitting. 


About the Author: Emma grew up in England, Indonesia, Kuwait, Portugal and Fiji, and from a young age she had two ambitions: to write stories, and to look after animals. She studied veterinary medicine and zoology at the University of Cambridge, then worked as a small animal veterinary surgeon for eighteen years before starting to write fiction. Emma lives near Cambridge in England with her husband and three sons, and her rescue dog and cat.

You can find out more, or follow her on social media, here:
Facebook: @EmmaRousAuthor
Instagram: @emmarousauthor 

© Copyright 2021 Book Junkie Reviews. All rights reserved.

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