A taut psychological tale of obsession and betrayal set over the course of a dinner party, The Party tells the story of two married couples who, in a single evening, will come to question everything they thought they knew about each other as the long-buried secret at the heart of their friendship comes to the surface, culminating in an explosive act of violence.
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 her 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 feels 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 never could have anticipated.
"I practically murdered this book in an evening I loved it so much. The Party is a terrifying, hilarious, brilliantly written original with a wit to die for." (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, creator and star of Fleabag)
"Witty, dark, and compelling." (Sebastian Faulks)
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- Brianna Egbuka
Waldo Lydecker Lives!
It may be premature for me to comment on a book I just started, but, I can't help it. The narrator is right out of the movie, Laura. Waldo Lydecker is a wonderfully drawn villain, critic extraodinare, effete, a misogynous and worshipper of beauty and perfection. Martin begins his narration in the first chapter. He has that same obessive attention to details and superior view of himself as Lydecker in Laura.
The Party is an intriguing read. The first narrator, Martin is a poseur who has convinced himself of his place in the aristocracy forgetting his very humble roots. His self-love is pathogoical. As is the case with Lydecker, it forecasts his undoing. They are both villains' villains who when put in the mix, will cause trouble and chaos all around them. You are waiting to find just how much trouble and how things will turn out.
So far, not a thing.
His narration is on-the-money. It is strong and subtle. Some narrators beg the listener to pay attention to them, not the story making listening unlistenable. He is a perfect presence clear and strong but not overwhelming.
There will be.
- Debra Bis.