“The Invitation” by Rachel Abbott – Book Review

Lucas Jarrett is handsome, powerful, and very wealthy. He has always been a ‘leader’ and his friends want to stay within his charismatic orbit. Since they were all in their early teens the group have been ‘friends’.  Now, as adults they have been invited to Lucas’s wedding at his beautiful seaside Cornish home named Polskirrin.  The assembled guests are treated royally with an endless supply of wonderful food and drink in luxurious surroundings. Yet… on the morning of the lavish wedding a tragedy occurs.  Alex, the younger half-sister of the groom, is found dead on the beach below the sumptuous home.Due mostly to a video that Alex has left, her death is ruled a suicide.  But… although the police pathologist and the inquest have ruled her passing as suicidal, her brother Lucas thinks that she was murdered.

Now, on the anniversary of her death, Lucas has invited the wedding party back to the house where he is hosting an intricately planned “Murder Game” that he thinks will reveal his sister’s killer. The assemblage is uncomfortable when they learn of his plans. At least one of them is afraid…

Jemma and Matt Hudson were happily married right up until the night Alex died. Now, a year later, they rarely speak, and even more rarely make love. Their marriage might very well be in its death throes.  This visit to Cornwall will test their relationship for once and for all.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Stephanie King who attended Alex’s death a year ago, is called back to Polskirrin regarding a missing person who was said to have been last seen that very same fateful night one year ago.

This is my first Rachel Abbott book and what a delightful introduction to her work!  Although it is the second novel to feature Cornish policewoman Stephanie King, it read just perfectly as a stand-alone. Though some might consider it to be a police procedural, the police actually took the back seat in this story. They were present, but the group of friends were under the spotlight more than the police investigation.

The premise was very clever and the characters intriguing. The ‘friend‘ dynamic seems to cover up lots of enigmagtic secrets, power-plays, and precarious loyalties.  The writing kept me riveted throughout. I’ll admit I did guess one major plot twist about halfway through the novel, but that in no way marred my reading enjoyment.

In addition to the overriding theme of friendship, the novel also touches on blackmail, murder and abduction.

Would I read another Rachel Abbott book? Hell YES! I cannot imagine what took me so long to discover this great crime novelist!

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Bookouture via NetGalley.

Publication date: April 16, 2020    Publisher: Bookouture

ISBN: 9781838886677    ASIN: B085RXPY67    374 pages

North American title and cover on left – United Kingdom title and cover on right

Although I was gifted a digital copy of the North American version, I must confess that I prefer both the cover and the title of the UK version.

Rachel Abbott was born just outside Manchester, England, and spent most of her working life as the Managing Director of an interactive media company. After her company was sold in 2000, she fulfilled a lifelong ambition of buying and restoring a property in Italy. She now splits her time between homes in Italy and Alderney ( a beautiful island off the coast of France), where she writes full time and has just completed her eleventh novel.

Rachel’s novels have now been translated into over 20 languages. She is the bestselling author of the DCI Tom Douglas series as well as her new Stephanie King series.

Follow Rachel Abbott on Twitter OR visit her website.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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8 Responses to “The Invitation” by Rachel Abbott – Book Review

  1. Hi. I’ve made note of this author. Speaking of mysteries, I recently read Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair At Styles. It was her first published book. Poirot solves the crime.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just the name Polskirrin is worth the price of admission!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Damyanti Biswas says:

    You make it sound like a book I should pick up immediately. Adding to TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. carhicks says:

    Great review Lynne. I have not read any books by Rachel Abbott, but it sounds like I should give her a try. I always enjoy the theme of friendship as well as a good mystery, so this definitely sounds like one I would enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. R A I N says:

    Oooohh! I hadn’t heard about Rachel Abbott or this book before reading this post but the description and your review were ALL I NEEDED TO BE COMPLETELY CONVINCED THAT THIS WOULD BE A GOOD READ FOR MEEE!! 😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

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