By: Margot Hunt
Narrators: Amy McFadden, Sarah Naughton, Michael Crouch, Soneela Nankani, A.J. Beckles
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 01/09/2024
My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)
From USA Today bestselling author Margot Hunt comes the chilling tale of what happens when a family besieged by a storm must play host to uninvited guests.
When a Category 5 hurricane is poised to hit their coastal Florida town, the Davies family takes refuge in their waterfront manse. Marlowe, Lee, and their teenage twins invite their close friends to wait out the storm in comfort and style.
Uninvited are the three strangers who dock on the family’s shore right before the storm descends. Brothers Jason and Bo―and Bo’s girlfriend, Darcy―are a charming, helpful trio in need of a safe haven that the family is only too happy to provide.
But as the storm outside grows more threatening, so does the tension in the house.
Soon, the lines between family, friends, and strangers blur. Danger mounts with every pointed finger and broken confidence, and long-held secrets are revealed one after another until only one truth remains: not everyone is going to make it out alive.
Florida author Margot Hunt returns following Lovely Girls with her latest locked-in thriller, THE GUESTS — A hurricane is brewing on the southeastern Florida coast in this chilling tale of a family and art trapped by a storm and their uninvited guests.
Hurricane Celeste was to make landfall in September on a Tuesday along the Intracoastal waterway as a Category 5 with winds of up to 150 miles per hour and storm surges to up to 12 feet.
Marlowe Davies takes refuge in their waterfront home (Marlowe, Lee, and their teen twins, Tim and June, and their close friends). Lee is an attorney and his heiress wife, Marlowe. As in Florida, it is always stay or go? They will be prepared. The other family is Tim's friend Zack and Marlowe's assistant, Isabel. Staying secretly in June's room is her best friend, Felix.
Marlowe was in the process of facilitating her deceased parent's multi-million dollar donation of paintings to the Norton Museum. Thomas and Katherine Bond loved art with eclectic taste and traveled all around the world to collect it. They dream of donating their collection here in the Bond Wing at the Norton.
The family did not evacuate in time and is now awaiting the storm. Little do they know, one twin is hiding a friend upstairs. Worse yet, uninvited guests with an emergency dock on their property. They have no choice but to take in the three unknown people.
Three strangers dock on the family's shore before the storm descends—Brothers Jason, Bo Connor, and Bo's girlfriend, Darcy. They take them in even though they are uninvited guests, providing them a haven. Who are these people, and what do they want?
At first, they seem okay, but as the storms intensify, so do the tensions. Who will make it out alive? Celeste is a monster, planning to consume everyone in its path. Will the Coast Guard be able to save them>
THE GUESTS is a locked-room thriller, but you may have to set disbelief aside to find it believable or to be entertained. It wraps up in the Epilogue one year later. I also enjoyed the references to the Norton Museum here in West Palm Beach, where I reside.
Told from Marlowe's POV and other characters with some flashbacks for more of a popcorn thriller. While I did not enjoy this one as much as her other books or audiobooks, if you enjoy storms and locked-room thrillers, you may enjoy THE GUESTS.
My eighth by the author, and since I am a Floridan, I always enjoy revisiting the fictional beachside town of Shoreham, Florida. I love her audiobooks as well. I have lived through many hurricanes in Florida, the Keys, and North Carolina, so I always enjoy stories set in the areas. I did not think this one was as engaging as her other books.
Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for the privilege of reading an advanced digital review copy for my honest opinion.
I look forward to listening to the audiobook narrated by some of my favorites with a possible higher rating: Amy McFadden, Sarah Naughton, Michael Crouch, Soneela Nankani, and A.J. Beckles.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pub Date: Jan 9, 2024
“An irresistible way to kill the hours while you wait for the power to come back on.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Hunt’s skillful sleight of hand and well-drawn characters create palpable menace, placing this a cut above standard-issue locked-room thrillers. It will leave readers breathless.” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Margot Hunt is the USA Today bestselling author of Lovely Girls, Best Friends Forever, For Better and Worse, and The Last Affair. Her work has been praised by Book of the Month, and her Audible Original Buried Deep was a #1 bestseller. Her next book, THE GUESTS, will be released in January 2024.
You can stay up to date on Hunt’s books and upcoming projects on her website: www.margothunt.com.