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The Perfect Guests  By  cover art

The Perfect Guests

By: Emma Rous
Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden,Candice Moll,Steve West
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Publisher's Summary

The USA Today best-selling author of The Au Pair returns with another delicious, twisty novel - about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.

1988. Beth Soames is 14 years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she's truly part of the family...until they ask her to help them with a harmless game - and nothing is ever the same.

2019. Sadie Langton is an actress struggling to make ends meet when she lands a well-paying gig to pretend to be a guest at a weekend party. She is sent a suitcase of clothing, a dossier outlining the role she is to play, and instructions. It's strange, but she needs the money, and when she sees the stunning manor she'll be staying at, she figures she’s got nothing to lose. 

In person, Raven Hall is even grander than she'd imagined - even with the damage from a fire decades before - but the walls seem to have eyes. As day turns to night, Sadie starts to feel that there's something off about the glamorous guests who arrive, and as the party begins, it becomes chillingly apparent their unseen host is playing games with everyone...including her.

©2021 Emma Rous (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

The Perfect Guests is an engaging, unsettling tale of suspense, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley” (BookReporter)

"Clever and engaging. Rous creates the ultimate house party mystery. A room full of strangers - or are they? Whispers of an old tragedy - or is it? An elaborately plated dinner - until one by one the guests fall ill. Old secrets and new dangers collide in this deliciously thrilling tale." (Lisa Gardner, number one New York Times best-selling author) 

“A richly atmospheric time-slip mystery with the pulse of a thriller, The Perfect Guests is deliciously evocative and absolutely spellbinding. Set up like a game of Clue, the story alternates between two narratives, one in the past, the other in the present, each chapter winding the tension higher as you discover the pieces you need to solve the puzzle. With vividly drawn characters, gorgeous prose, and an electric sense of place and time, I was sucked in from the very first page. [A] fun and immensely satisfying treat!” (Christina McDonald, USA Today best-selling author of Behind Every Lie

What listeners say about The Perfect Guests

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Different but a little all over the place

I did enjoy but it has taken a week for me to get through this, usually I'm a 2 day book reader. The premise was good but I will say its somewhat confusing in several places. I personally would not recommend it.

4 people found this helpful

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Original, Unique, Beautiful

This was an absorbing and original read.
I fell in love with some of the characters and was completely enamored with the setting.
I agree with another reviewer who described this book as a bit “all over the place”.
It could be structured in a more organized way which would have made for a better experience for the reader. But still, I found this story to be fascinating and completely original. I truly love and appreciate when an author takes risks and does something different than the standard gothic setup we tend to see with books in this genre.
Beautiful, strange, but utterly absorbing.
The narration is wonderful from start to finish.
Definitely recommend this one.

2 people found this helpful

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Good start, hot mess finish

Such a good beginning, intriguing set-up, with a dual time line between 1986 and 2019. Unfortunately, the author just couldn’t connect the dots in a credible way. What a mess ! Great narrators.

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If you like baffling intrigue

I very much enjoyed the premise of the story and the gothic English mystery intrigue, and the performers were very good. I did feel like the character of Beth had an accent that was too hard for me as an American to listen to. It was very thick, like marbles rolled around in her mouth, but other than that I have no complaint about the performers. The story became very confusing to me, however, to the point where I stopped enjoying it much about 2/3 of the way through. I had to work too hard to understand what was happening. That may be just me, though. It may be the perfect English mystery for others.

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Worth the Effort

I wasn’t able to quit listening once I was hooked. Although it took a little while to get pulled into the book and care about what was happening.

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Can’t stop listening!!

This book is creepy and gothic and kept me up way too late listening, but I couldn’t stop! Will definitely be reading her next one.

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Engaging yet somehow still underwhelming

I was thoroughly engaged while listening to the story. A little thrown off by the ending. I enjoyed the multiple time eras and different perspectives.
The plot twist seemed forced, and the ending was just a little to hallmark-ish at some parts. I was hoping the big family deception was going to be deeper than what it was.

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Loved it!!!!!

Lots of mystery in this novel which feels like three stories in one that perfectly comes together in a neat little package at the end. I loved it and I’m sad I’ve finished this book. I would highly recommend this book. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.