Book Review: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous


Title: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous
Rating: 4 stars (🌟🌟🌟🌟)
Publisher: Berkley Books

I picked this up and it wouldn't let me put it down very long so I wound up finishing this in about a day. I very much enjoyed this and I want to talk about ALL THE THINGS but that wouldn't be cool because spoilers.

I love "group invited to a sequestered location under the guise of good time only to have sinister deeds start to go down" stories. Blame Agatha Christie. I am a complete sucker for the set up so between that and really having enjoyed Rous' debut The Au Pair , I was thrilled when I won a giveaway for The Perfect Guests. Beyond the setup, Rous gives us a storied house and a character so obsessed with it, things can't end well. The last time I came across so house obsessed a character was The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley and I have to say, Rous has sold me on the type. The way the obsession wove and wound through the story was fantastic. There are three POVs told in the past and present. Identities and connections were fun to puzzle out and I was even happier when I hadn't suspected correctly. It's always a joy when something big happens and you realize you've only reached the 75% mark in the book. The final 25% had me up late and it was worth it. Between my "Ha! There it is!" and "Wait. Oh... ok then." this story took the revelations all the way to the last word. Late-night reading is why coffee, I say. I was thrilled.

Well done all the way around by Rous. I am always excited for an author's followup after a debut and this one actually met and exceeded my hopes! That's no small thing. So, if you enjoyed The Au Pair definitely get this one, you're in for a treat. I will be waiting for Rous's next book.

I won an Advance Reader's Copy in a giveaway. Many thanks to the publisher.

Summary:  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.

The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

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