A taut psychological tale of obsession and betrayal set over the course of a dinner party.
"Day's shrewd eye and authorial tone provide a gleeful, edgy wit.... [a] smart, irresistible romp."--New York Times Book Review
Ben, who hails from old money, and Martin, who grew up poor but is slowly carving out a successful career as an art critic, have been inseparable since childhood. Ben's wife Serena likes to jokingly refer to Martin as Ben's dutiful Little Shadow.
Lucy is a devoted wife to Martin, even as she knows she'll always be second best to his sacred friendship. When Ben throws a lavish 40th birthday party as his new palatial country home, Martin and Lucy attend, mixing with the very upper echelons of London society.
But why, the next morning, is Martin in a police station being interviewed about the events of last night? Why is Lucy being forced to answer questions about his husband and his past? What exactly happened at the party? And what has bound these two very different men together for so many years?
A cleverly built tour of intrigue, THE PARTY reads like a novelistic board game of Clue, taking us through the various half-truths and lies its characters weave, as the past and present collide in a way that its protagonists could never have anticipated.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The gathering at the heart of Elizabeth Day’s fourth novel is a lavish affair in the British countryside, a birthday celebration for the rakish Ben. But The Party opens in a police station, where art critic Martin sits dodging questions about the guest of honor (his best friend since childhood) and the horror that unfolded after his glamorous soirée. Day’s use of dual narrative voices—Martin’s chilly reminiscences and the searching journals of his wife, Lucy—allows for a fuller view of the characters’ pasts. Her meticulous pacing kept us turning pages to uncover the next seismic secret.
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What a bunch of "introspective" trollop! Tedious to the point of inspiring the reader to skip through pages to attempt to find the point.