by Lucy Foley
Foley sets up her murder mystery in classic style: A group of suspects gathers on an isolated, stormy island off the coast of Ireland, each of them harboring dark secrets and motives for murder.
Using the first-person, present tense, Foley immerses us in the innermost thoughts and feelings of her collection of (mostly) wealthy, privileged characters. They are all very flawed and, well, suspicious.
The setting — a wedding at an ancient castle on the cliffs of a barren island — is suitably atmospheric.
The narrative flow, hopping back and forth in time, adds to the tension rather than being a distraction.
What doesn’t work:
With one exception (the “best man”), Foley’s male characters are more one-dimensional than are the females. They say it’s difficult for male writers to create believable females. Apparently, it is also true that female writers struggle with the psychology of male characters.
The killer reveal is not exactly shocking. When everyone in the story has the means and motive for murder, the person whodunit should probably come as more of a surprise.
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