Release Date: January 12, 2021
Genre: Adult Fiction / Mystery
he USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair returns with another 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.
I absolutely loved The Au Pair by Emma Rous, so I was extremely excited to see she had The Perfect Guests coming out. It is everything I hoped it would be PLUS more, and I loved this one too! It reminded me a lot of a game of Clue, and switches between timelines and viewpoints which were all aspects I loved. It hooked me immediately from the very first page and I didn’t want to put it down, so I read it in just two sittings. I started being especially intrigued by the 2019 timeline, but I quickly became equally as invested in the 1988 timeline with Beth as well. I loved the slower burn and the way Rous slowly unravels all of the secrets, and I can tell you I was NOT expecting that ending.
The Perfect Guests is getting a high rating from me for a few different reasons and let me tell you why. The biggest reason is that I loved the overall feel of the book and how it grabbed me right away and kept my attention the entire time. Another reason is that the end took me by complete surprise and the whole book kept me guessing. There was some suspense here, but overall, it is just a great, twisty tale. I couldn’t believe how well Rous weaved this story and made all of the things tie together in a way that makes your mouth drop open. And last but not least, I loved the isolated setting and how Raven Hall was basically a character in itself.
I would have loved to be IN this book despite what happens, and it really made me itch to play a game of Clue. It has both some young adult and gothic vibes and makes for a great crossover novel. I thought everything was very distinctive so there is no getting confused, and there aren’t any ambiguous endings which is something I am a fan of. If you want a fun book that will hold your attention this year, I recommend checking out The Perfect Guests and Rous’ previous novel if you haven’t already!
Thank you to the publisher for my advance review copy via NetGalley. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
About the Author
Emma Rous is the USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair. She 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, and worked as a small animal veterinarian for eighteen years before starting to write fiction. Emma lives near Cambridge in England with her husband and three sons, and she now writes full time.