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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Guest

Narrator: Emily Joyce

Macmillan Audio

ISBN: 978-1250289421

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 02/20/2024

Format: e-book & audio

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC) (ALC)

FEB FEATURED #AuthorElevatorSeries QA


New York Times bestselling author B. A. Paris captivated psychological thriller readers everywhere with Behind Closed Doors. Now she invites you into another heart-pounding home full of secrets, in The Guest.


Some secrets never leave.


Iris and Gabriel have just arrived home from a make-or-break holiday. But a shock awaits them. One of their closest friends, Laure, is in their house. Her presence quickly becomes tense as she oversteps again and again: sleeping in their bed, wearing Iris' clothes, even rearranging the furniture.


Laure has walked out on her husband―and their good friend―Pierre, over his confession of an affair and a secret child. Iris and Gabriel want to be supportive of their friends, but as Laure's mood becomes increasingly unpredictable, her presence takes its toll.


Iris and Gabriel's only respite comes in the form of a couple new to town. But with them comes their gardener, who has a checkered past.


Soon, secrets from all their pasts will unravel, some more dangerous than they could have known.







About the Author


I’m a Franco-Irish author who writes from a cottage deep in the Hampshire countryside, England.


You might know me as the New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of the word-of-mouth hit Behind Closed Doors and my upcoming thriller, The Guest.


With 7 million editions of my seven novels sold worldwide, my books have been translated into 41 languages. Three of my novels have been optioned for major screen adaptations and there’s a film of my novel The Breakdown, titled Blackwater Lane, starring Minka Kelly, Maggie Grace and Dermot Mulroney, in post production.


I lived in France for most of my adult life and before becoming an author, I worked in Finance as a trader before retraining as an English teacher. My husband and I ran a language school together while bringing up our five daughters. It was only after I turned 50 that I started writing.


As a writer of psychological thrillers and domestic suspense, I am inspired by things that happen in my day-to-day, by people I have known and people I meet. My imagination then goes into overdrive and, before I know it, a story comes to life on the page.


When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with the other man in my life. He’s well over 80 years old and is a little wrinkly, but Henry the tortoise really is great company.


At the moment, I’m writing my next thriller. Stay tuned for updates by signing up to my newsletter or by following me on social media @baparisauthor WEBSITE  







Exceptional Authors. Standout Books. Elevator Talk.


INTRIGUING QUESTIONS. INQUIRING READERS WANT TO KNOW.


"Behind the Book & the Author"

With New York Times Bestselling

Author B.A. Paris


Welcome to the second February 2024 #AuthorElevatorSeries and joining us for the third time, a personal and fan favorite, special guest author, B.A. Paris with her seventh novel, her highly anticipated psychological thriller, THE GUEST.


Join us as Bernadette shares some fascinating behind-the-scenes exclusives from the book and fun moments from this award-winning author! 


Welcome, Bernadette!

 Thank you so much for inviting me to join you again, Judith!

 



Behind the Book

 


Q. Give us your best ELEVATOR PITCH for THE GUEST.

 

B.A.: A guest outstays her welcome with dire consequences.     



Q.  INSPIRATION: The spark that ignited THE GUEST. Where were you when the idea came to you?

 

B.A.: Near a quarry. There’s an old quarry in our village, not far from our house, and as soon as I saw it, I thought it would the perfect setting for something adverse to happen. In THE GUEST, Gabriel, out for a morning run, finds eighteen-year old Charlie badly injured at the bottom of a quarry and this sets off a chain of events which ultimately leads to mayhem and murder.

 


Q.  SETTING: Tell us more about the book setting and why you selected it.

 

B.A.: THE GUEST is set in a village in England. I like settings that have a slightly claustrophobic feel, where it’s difficult to keep a secret because everyone seems to know everything about everyone else.


 

Q.  TAKEAWAY: What important message, theme, or takeaway would you like readers to be left with when reading your book?

 

B.A.: That secrets always come out in the end.  And also perhaps that anyone is capable of murder, given the ‘right’ circumstances?


 

Q.  TOPICS: Name 1-3 topics or themes addressed in the novel?

 

B.A.: Secrets, lies, and betrayal.



Q. FAVORITE THING: What is your favorite thing about THE GUEST?

 

B.A.: The very last line.

 


Q.  GENRE: What continues to draw you to this genre?

 

B.A.: The plotting. I love coming up with twists that will surprise the reader.

 


Q.  UPCOMING: Can you share what you are currently working on or what is next in ten words or less (or more)?

 

B.A.: A novel about a young woman who thinks she has a stalker.

 


Now, for more up close and personal with the author.

Continue reading below.



Behind the Author



YOUR FAVORITE LIFE LESSON QUOTE?  

If you don’t learn to say no, your body will do it for you. I’ve just learnt that the hard way!

 

FAVORITE TV SERIES? (Or Movie/Video) binge-watch, series, etc.?  

Succession

 

MOST MEMORABLE PLACE YOU HAVE TRAVELED?

South Africa


YOU WOULDN'T BE CAUGHT DEAD, WHERE?

Walking over a glass bridge

 

WHAT WOULD YOUR FIVE DAUGHTERS SAY ABOUT YOU BEING AN AUTHOR, IF ASKED?

That my books are rubbish. Then they will wait a beat – just enough time for the person who asked to feel uncomfortable - before adding that they are only joking!

We tease each other a lot in our family. Deep down, they are very proud of me.

 

WHEN YOU ARE AN EMPTY NESTER, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU WANT TO DO?

Tidy the house.

 

INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT?

I’m an extroverted introvert, apparently.

 

YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A PARENT?

Being right all of the time!

 

YOUR FAVORITE SANDWICH?

Club

 

IF YOU COULD CURE ONE DISEASE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

MND - Motor Neurone Disease

 

 

WHAT IS YOUR WRITING PROCESS LIKE?

  • PANTSER

  • BOTH

  • PLOTTER


Panster

 

YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO READ?  

Bed

 

PIE OR CAKE?

Pie

 

YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A CHILD?

Read

 

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK?

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

 

NAME SOMETHING YOU FEAR?

Heights

 

ONE OF THE EVILEST CHARACTERS FROM YOUR BOOK?

Jack from Behind Closed Doors

 

ONE THING YOU HAVE LEARNED SINCE YOUR DEBUT NOVEL?

Patience

 

A PET PEEVE?

People who snore.

 

THE FUNNIEST ONE STAR REVIEW YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED AND NAME OF THE BOOK?

My five year-old son could write a better book than this – Behind Closed Doors

 



So much fun! THANK YOU, Bernadette, for spending time with us today!

B.A: You’re very welcome!








Praise


A February 2024 LibraryReads Pick (Hall of Fame)

One of Apple’s Best Books of February

One of Woman’s World’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2024”


“Well-crafted secrets and betrayals abound.”

—Booklist


"Paris deftly juggles the many characters and plot strands on the way toward a wild climax. The results are electrifying."

—Publishers Weekly


“A tightly woven, character-driven thriller, The Guest shows how secrets can build up into toxic time bombs.”

—Apple Books


“This taut, intimate, propulsive domestic thriller is fraught with impulsive bad choices that ordinary people can make.”

—Patriot Ledger


“An eerie, chilling page-turner.”

—Woman’s World


“I am obsessed with The Guest...There is no one―no one―who creates high-wire domestic suspense like the amazing B.A. Paris. Do not miss this, dear readers.”

―Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of One Wrong Word


“A mesmeric, tense and twisting nightmare. Suffocating, controlled and hugely entertaining”

―Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End


“Expertly plotted and compellingly told—a cautionary tale that will put you off ever having anyone to stay with you again. I raced through it!”

—Harriet Tyce, international bestselling author of Blood Orange


"I raced through this utterly addictive page-turner that kept me guessing right until the final shocking twist!"

—Roz Watkins
















My Review


The queen of domestic suspense returns following The Prisoner with her latest smashing psychological thriller, THE GUEST. A guest arrives and never leaves, with a web of dark secrets in this chilling, mesmerizing, atmospheric, intense domestic suspense with unpredictable twists, connections, and MURDER.


I squeal with delight seeing a new novel by B. A. Paris. Every book is unique and guaranteed to keep you engrossed from the first page to the last with her winning signature style. I have read all her books, and each one is 5 STARS.


Iris and Gabriel Pelly arrive home from a holiday vacation to find one of their closest friends, Laure, in their home.


They met Laure and her husband Pierre (on their honeymoon) many years ago on their first anniversary holiday in the Bahamas twenty years earlier.


They have been friends since and often vacation together. Years ago, they exchanged keys to their homes when traveling.


Iris and Gabriel have a daughter, Beth (19), who is away in Greece, volunteering at a dog shelter for the summer before she goes to Bristol in the fall. Laura is Beth's godmother.


It appears that Laura and Pierre are having marriage problems as they agreed not to have children, but now he is a father (from an affair). She left to get away, and the couple had not had a sit down to discuss.


Iris and Gabriel feel caught in the middle, and Gabriel tries to reach out to Pierre with no success. Pierre struggles with depression after the tragic death of his father when he was eleven.


Gabriel has not been himself after the death of Charlie Ingram, a student that Gabriel found on a bike path in the nearby quarry as he was dying. Being a doctor, he was unable to save him.


He offered his last dying words to Gabriel, which has haunted him since. They were words to his mother but were not positive, and he has put off meeting with the mother. Gabriel had not been running since.


Gabriel is taking time off from work (a doctor) due to the trauma and has decided to restore the walled garden, a project he promised to work on when they moved to the house fifteen years earlier. He also lost his father four months previously. He wants to finish the project before Beth comes home for a visit.


As time passes, Laura interjects herself into their lives, even going as far as wearing Iris' clothes, sleeping in their bed, and rearranging the furniture and kitchen. She does not seem to be in a hurry to leave.


In the meantime, Iris meets their new enigmatic neighbors, Esme and her husband, Hugh. Esme is much younger than her husband (by twenty years) and pregnant. They also have a gardener, Joseph, with a dangerous past of alcoholism (and sexy, dark good looks). Hugh has an older son, Marcus, in London.


Gabriel and Iris become quick friends with the neighbors, and Laura also puts herself in the middle of the new friendship and their gardener.


Joseph also helps Gabriel with the garden, and something seems off about him.


Strange things occur. Laura is still there and makes no effort to leave their house. She is also acting strange. Then Pierre goes missing.


Numerous things are at play, such as mysterious trips, relationships between these three couples and the gardener, and the connection between Charlie and his mom. And how does Beth connect with these scenarios?


The guilty SECRETS are piling up as the past collides with the present in this gripping, masterfully crafted domestic suspense where nothing or no one is as they appear with a cast of unreliable narrators. From a web of lies, secrets, deception, betrayal, and MURDER. Who is the murderer?


How far will they go to protect their family? TRUST NO ONE.


THE GUEST is multi-layered, psychologically rich and plot-driven with an ongoing mounting of suffocating, a sense of dread lurking ahead as you anxiously await how all the chilling events will come together.


Paris fans will delight in this intriguing, enigmatic murder mystery of domestic suspense, as well as fans of authors Mary Kubica, Robyn Harding, and Kimberly Belle.


I was glued to THE GUEST and frantically flipping the pages into the wee hours of the morning to try and solve this well-crafted mystery. You cannot even imagine how all the puzzle pieces fit together. All is unveiled in the Epilogue, which is explosive.


I also had the privilege of listening to the audiobook narrated by the fabulous Emily Joyce, who brought the story alive for an engaging listening experience!


Thanks to St. Martin's Press, Macmillan Audio, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a digital reviewer copy in advance and an audio listening copy for my honest feedback. #SMPInfluencers


Stay tuned for my upcoming #AuthorElevatorSeries QA Interview with B.A. Paris, where we go behind the book and this mega-talented author on pub day, Feb 20, 2024!



@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars +

Pub Date: Feb 20, 2024






My B.A. Paris Reviews: All 5 Stars and Top Books list yearly.






Check out my #AuthorElevatorSeries

Interviews with B.A. Paris









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