The Night of the Party by Anna-Lou Weatherley

Two Couples. Three Secrets. One Murder.

In a beautiful house surrounded by woodland, the Drayton family and their dearest friends are enjoying dinner together. The wine is flowing, the meal has been lovingly prepared, and it’s going to be an evening none of them will ever forget…

A doting mother

with a manipulative daughter.

A loving husband

lying to his family.

A close friend

keeping a shocking secret.

A beautiful girl

who will be dead by the end of the night.

My thoughts on The Night of the Party

When I reviewed Left for Dead last week, one of the things that bothered me was that it was part of a series and – because of the way it was written – I felt there was too much of the back story I didn’t know or understand. It made it hard to connect to the characters. Which meant I was a bit nervous when I realised my next read was also part of a series – book five, in fact.

Thankfully, I didn’t struggle in the same way at all. Yes, there are some references that I didn’t get. But these were few and far between. Which meant that The Night of the Party could be read – and enjoyed – as a standalone book. And that I didn’t have the same problem connecting with the characters. Not that I liked many of them.

The family at the centre of this story, and their friends, are pretty horrid (maybe all bar one, and even then I wasn’t convinced). They are selfish, self-centred, and it’s hard to feel sorry for them despite the situation they find themselves in, especially when compared to the lead Detective Dan.

Dan is a good man. A man without the usual demons you find in detectives. A man whose team likes him and who doesn’t push the ‘top brass’ up the wrong way just to prove a point. A man who tries to do the right thing, even if it goes against what he believes in. A man so decent that – if Weatherley hadn’t made the Draytons so horrible – would have made for a boring story (which this wasn’t).

I thought it was a clever turn-a-round, a way to differentiate herself in a crowded market of police procedurals and crime fiction. And it definitely kept me interested. Unfortunately, the ended didn’t have the same effect. I can’t say more (spoilers) but I think most readers would have seen what was coming from quite early on.

After such a good start, and so many twists and secrets revealed with the other characters, I was left feeling slightly disappointed. It’s a shame really because everything else was so good. 3.5/5 stars.

Emma

Find on Amazon UK

Find on Amazon US

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