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The Dinner Guest by B P Walter - Review

Saturday, June 26, 2021

I almost bought this book in Waterstones when I went recently, but I'm really glad I didn't. Instead I bought it on Kindle for 99p and I suppose it is worth 99p but not much more. It is one of those books full of posh people - in this case literal millionaires and aristocrats - where absolutely no one is sympathetic and you sort of wish they'd all died. 

So, at the beginning of the book, Charlie's husband Matt has been killed at dinner, and a woman called Rachel has immediately confessed to the murder. Charlie and his and Matt's adopted son Titus are taken to the police station to answer questions, and Charlie's mother swoops in too to look after them.

The book slips backwards and forwards in time, so we see almost a year ago, when Charlie and Rachel meet for the first time, and then how Matt invites her to join his book club. Charlie however thinks there's something strange about her from the off, and he doesn't want to be her friend. At the first book club, Charlie finds her in his and Matt's bedroom looking at photos on the dresser. Matt thinks Charlie is overreacting, but then when Charlie's mother meets Rachel she reacts strangely too. 

Half the narrative is from Charlie's point of view, both before and after Matt's death, and half is from Rachel's point of view, mostly before the murder. There's a couple of weird parts at the end from other people's point of view. There's a few bits where the police are suspicious of Rachel's story and motive for confessing to killing Matt - but did she? If not, who did?

There's a lot of bits about Charlie and Matt's relationship, and some of its origins. There's also a lot of stuff about Titus - who I did have some sympathy for, even though he is a dick - and how he began acting out before Matt's murder. Then there's loads of just superfluous information and people recounting conversations from fifteen years ago, which I absolutely hate. Everyone is very posh, except Rachel, who is from an estate in Bradford, just so we know how not posh she is, and everyone has a lot of money. They're all annoying and Matt deserved to get stabbed in my opinion. 

I'm giving this three out of five but really, don't bother. 

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