The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre | #audiobook #bookreview | @cbrookmyre @LittleBrownUK @libbyapp

I heard Chris Brookmyre talking about this book at Portobello Book Festival in October when he appeared at an event with Jenny Colgan (who is name-checked in this book!). Although I don’t read many thrillers I was very tempted to read this one and have just raced through the audiobook version.

About the book

One hen weekend, seven secrets… but only one worth killing for

Jen’s hen party is going to be out of control…

She’s rented a luxury getaway on its own private island. The helicopter won’t be back for seventy-two hours. They are alone. They think.

As well as Jen, there’s the pop diva and the estranged ex-bandmate, the tennis pro and the fashion guru, the embittered ex-sister-in-law and the mouthy future sister-in-law.

It’s a combustible cocktail, one that takes little time to ignite, and in the midst of the drunken chaos, one of them disappears. Then a message tells them that unless someone confesses her terrible secret to the others, their missing friend will be killed.

Problem is, everybody has a secret. And nobody wants to tell.

My Thoughts

A hen weekend on a remote Scottish island, with a private chef at your beck and call and every luxury you can think of sounds idyllic doesn’t it? Wrong! Jen’s hen party on Clachan Geal very quickly takes a turn for the worse when one of the group disappears. This really is a book of two halves, although I thoroughly enjoyed both halves. In the first part of the book, we gradually get to know the seven women who are on the island. There’s clearly a lot of tension between them, particularly with the bride-to-be’s ex-sister-in-law attending. Beattie is an ex sister-in-law because her brother, Jen’s first husband, disappeared many years ago and has now been declared officially dead. It was hard to like any of these women who all seemed quite self-centred and entitled.

When one of the group goes missing and someone is found dead, that’s when the book turns into a really fast paced thriller. To save their friend, someone has to confess their secret but it turns out that they all have secrets! Chris Brookmyre has written chapters from the points of view of each of the women so we soon get to see what flawed characters they are and what they are hiding from the rest of the group. Each thinks they are the one who needs to confess but also hopes it might be one of the others. The island setting was brilliant as the women were completely cut off from the rest of the world and had no way to contact anyone for help. They had no choice but to rely on each other, when they had no idea if they were actually trustworthy or not.

I was totally addicted to this book and was listening to the audiobook every spare minute that I had as I just had to know what happened. I had no clue who could be trusted or believed and changed my mind so often misled by all the clues and red herrings that Chris Brookmyre cleverly sprinkles liberally throughout the books. There were so many twists and turns that my mind was spinning! Never mind The Cliff House, Chris Brookmyre is king of the cliffhanger with almost every chapter ending with another shock. I was absolutely gripped to the very last chapter of this clever and enthralling book.

The Cliff House is published by Little, Brown and is available now in ebook, hardback and audiobook.
The paperback will follow in May next year. I listened to an audiobook version through the Libby App.

About the author

My picture above is from the Portobello Book Festival event and I’m pretty sure he was telling the audience about how the book was inspired by Kim Kardashian!

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist with the publication of his award-winning debut Quite Ugly One Morning, which established him as one of Britain’s leading crime writers. His 2016 novel Black Widow won both the McIlvanney Prize and the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award. Brookmyre’s novels have sold more than two million copies in the UK alone.

2 thoughts on “The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre | #audiobook #bookreview | @cbrookmyre @LittleBrownUK @libbyapp

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