In 1988, newly orphaned, fourteen-year-old Beth is brought to Raven Hall, a large estate in England located in the remote Fens area. She is to become a companion and friend for the owners' daughter Nina, who is the same age. While some things Beth soon comes to observe concerns her, she is appreciative of being able to live in such a grand home. But once she is asked to participate in a strange game of deception, she starts to doubt that she is safe living at Raven Hall.
In 2019, Sadie, a struggling actress, is invited to Raven Hall to participate in a Murder Mystery Game which she is to be paid well for. The newly repaired manor house had been deteriorating after a tragic accident that took place in the late 1980s. What seems like an easy pay-day for Sadie starts to turn strange and dark when one of the participants suddenly disappears.
While the two timelines alternate, a third timeline appears sporadically which takes a while revealing its connection to the characters.
The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous is a good, old-fashioned, gothic-style mystery. The author did a great job creating a strong sense of place for Raven Hall. The story will suck you in wanting to figure out how the characters all connect. You might start to figure out some of it early on but once it all comes together, the secrets start spilling out (the story goes a little off the rails at this point.) The twists are good ones. An entertaining follow up to the author’s debut The Au Pair. I look forward to reading more from her.
Many thanks to Berkley Books / Penguin Publishing Group for an advance copy.
Rated 3.75 out of 5 stars.
Mystery / Thriller.
Publication Date: January 12, 2021.
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