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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Engagement Party


Narrator: Carlotta Brentan

HarperAudio

ISBN: 9780063225626

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 12/05/2023

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)



And Then There Were None meets I Know What You Did Last Summer in #1 international bestseller Darby Kane’s latest gripping and twisty thriller set on a private island in Maine where secrets piled upon secrets and lies upon lies are all revealed in one fateful weekend.


Emily Hunt went missing from her affluent liberal arts school on graduation weekend. Her body was found floating in a river, and a quiet loner who most people on campus really didn’t know committed suicide. A tenuous link—one text—bound the two dead students together and was enough for law enforcement to close the case. But they got it wrong and now someone is determined to set it right.


Twelve years later, college friends gather to celebrate an engagement over a long overdue getaway on a swanky private island in Maine—with only one way in and one way out. Sierra Prescott, invited as a guest and unconnected to past events, is the only person who soon senses not all is what it seems.


The tension in the air is ignited when they find a dead man in the trunk of a car with a note: time to tell the truth. And things only get worse. As a torrential storm strands them together, the group’s buried stories begin to surface and secrets are bartered. To survive this deadly party, they’ll need to stop a killer before they become prey.










My Review


Darby Kane returns following The Last Invitation with her latest, THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY —Inspired by the author's love of locked-room thrillers and Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.


Who will survive as this twisty thriller unravels when old friends gather on a private island one faithful weekend, which turns DEADLY?


Emily Hunt, a college senior, disappeared on the Saturday of graduation weekend, but no one noticed until Sunday afternoon. She morphed from a young woman with promise to a cautionary tale. Her body was found by a couple in their sixties four miles from the campus in the weeds in the New Meadows River. She was 22 years old and a college graduate for one afternoon.


Her death turned out to be a horrible beginning to a winding and tragic tale rather than an ending.


Not an accident.

Not a result of alcohol.

A MURDER.


Ironically, none of this would have happened if she had gotten into Amherst as she dreamed. Some blamed it on her lifestyle. Then someone suspected Brendan Clarke, another student, murdered her. Then, not long after Emily, he was found dead, too.


The murder was never solved.


Twelve years later, college friends (Hunt's former classmates) —Will Mayer, Mitch Andersen, Alex Greene, and Cassie Holder (now Alex’s wife)—have reunited on a private island off the coast of Maine to celebrate Will’s engagement to his girlfriend, Ruthie for the weekend with one way in and out. The invitations have gone out. Who will accept?


Sierra Prescott, invited as a guest and unconnected to past events, is the only person who soon senses not all is what it seems.


Will and fellow Bowdoin College graduates— Alex and Cassandra Greene and Mitch Andersen share secrets about the deaths 12 years before of two fellow students, a weight they have carried.


Told from alternating chapters POV: Sierra, Alex, Ruthie with Book notes.


They find a dead man in the trunk with a note: time to tell the truth. Then, things turn into a horror nightmare as the storm bears down. They are cut off from the mainland by rising waters. Someone is murdered. The secrets and lies are unraveled. To survive, they need to STOP the killer.


Everyone's life is on the line!


From unreliable narrators and a cast of unlikeable characters, an atmospheric, chilling locked-room thriller with amateur sleuths and social media provides a modern twist for this cat-and-mouse whodunit mystery.


For fans of Alice Feeney, Sarah Pearse, Lucy Foley, Ruth Ware, and Carol Goodman.


Thanks to William and Morrow and NetGalley for a digital advanced reading copy for an honest review.


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Dec 5, 2023

My Rating: 4 Stars



Praise


“The Engagement Party is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you up all night following its twists and turns to a stunning conclusion. I couldn't put it down.” — Carol Goodman, New York Times bestselling author








"Buckle up folks. The Engagement Party is the definition of "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." The secluded setting with the relentless storm will have your heart pounding. The incredible twists will transport you into a tornado of lies and deception, and the ending will leave you gasping."

— Jaime Lynn Hendricks, bestselling author of I Didn't Do It


“The Engagement Party is a gripping, fast-paced, non-stop thriller! The twists and turns are sharp, they surprised me every time. Sit down with this book and get comfortable, because you won’t be able to put it down.”

— Samantha Downing, bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and A Twisted Love Story


“If Agatha Christie re-wrote your favorite slasher story, it would be The Engagement Party. This is Darby Kane’s darkest, twistiest thriller yet (which is saying a lot!), with game-changing surprises in nearly every chapter. It would be hard to find a book more fast-paced or adrenaline-fueled, because with this one, you don’t turn the pages; you tear through them.”

— Megan Collins, author of The Family Plot and Thicker Than Water


"My God, this book is delicious. The Engagement Party is a swallow-down-in-one-desperate-gulp kind of thriller, so compelling I felt feral turning its pages. Darby Kane is a master at constructing juicy, twist-filled plots. The multiple points-of-view, ensemble cast, dark, isolated Maine setting, and decade-old secrets combine to create a locked-room mystery of the highest order, a puzzle-box so clever and sly it would make Agatha Christie proud."

— Ashley Winstead, author of Midnight is the Darkest Hour


"Chillingly twisty and deliciously wild, The Engagement Party is a cinematic locked room thriller with a cast of fascinating characters. When a violent storm isolates a group of guests on a remote island, murder is on everyone's mind while each tries to survive the night. As the bodies dropped, shocking turns whipped me into such a frenzy that I almost burned my fingers turning the pages. Another addictively terrifying read by stellar talent Darby Kane."

— Samantha M. Bailey, USA TODAY bestselling author


"An isolated island. A violent storm. A group of friends with secrets. And one body after another. Darby Kane has cooked up one heck of a locked room thrilled with this recipe, and as she stirs the pot, dropping in unexpected twists and shattering reveals, you'll find yourself wondering who--if anyone--will survive the night. You won't be able to read The Engagement Party fast enough!"

— Jessica Payne, international bestselling author of Make Me Disappear




About the Author



Darby Kane is a former trial attorney and #1 international bestseller of domestic suspense. Her first two thrillers, Pretty Little Wife and The Replacement Wife, have been optioned for television and featured in numerous venues, including The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Toronto Star, The New York Post, Popsugar, Refinery29, Goodreads, The Skimm, and The Huffington Post. WEBSITE

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