The Party by Lisa Hall
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Lisa Hall is one of the authors I will automatically pick up her books because of the quality of her debut, Between You and Me. This is the third novel of hers I have read and I was thrilled to find it on my library shelves as one of their brand new releases a month ago.
The Party tells the story of Rachel who wakes up in the spare bedroom of her neighbour's house on New Years Day with no memory of the night before but with bruises and signs that she has been attacked the night before. With no memory of what happened and having gone through a really difficult time in her marriage in the preceding months after an affair she is loathe to add further strain to her relationship but feels compelled to find out what happened to her.
The book follows Rachel's investigations to find out who saw what at the New Years Eve party the night before as a means to piece together who her attacker might be. She has a number of potential suspects from the man she had an affair with to the stalker she has been having increasing issues with and she even finds herself considering if her husband could be responsible.
This story did keep me guessing throughout, it was really good at drip feeding to us the different clues through a method of using chapters that flashbacked to the months leading up to Rachel's attack mixed with chapters based after the attack where Rachel would use the accounts of friends to piece together the events at the party. Through this method it was great to be able to gain information about the state of Rachel's marriage and how all the different suspects had touched her life in the month's before the attack, giving us motives for several different people that all look plausible.
I liked the story and it did keep me turning the pages, however, there were a few niggles I had that dropped this to a 3 star read for me. Firstly, Rachel herself is an okay heroine but there were times I wanted to give her a shake, especially when it came to her husband. She seemed content to allow him to walk all over her and to dictate their lives all because of the affair she'd had. I felt she could and should have been stronger in standing up for her own rights both in the months leading up to the attack and after. Secondly, several of the characters in the novel felt a little underdeveloped. Also, the ending. I absolutely hated the ending. I'm sorry Lisa Hall but that last chapter just had me screaming no. There was no need. The last paragraphs were just such an awful ending to Rachel's story. This was not how she should have taken control and it just left me annoyed. It was all suggestion and then nothing.........just no!!!
Overall an okay read, if you can ignore the last few pages I think it's an enjoyable but not standout thriller.