I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter
Published by One More Chapter on April 1 2021
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Four people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave.
Matthew: the perfect husband.
Titus: the perfect son.
Charlie: the perfect illusion.
Rachel: the perfect stranger.
Charlie didn’t want her at the book club. Matthew wouldn’t listen.
And that’s how Charlie finds himself slumped beside his husband’s body, their son sitting silently at the dinner table, while Rachel calls 999, the bloody knife still gripped in her hand.
Agatha Christie meets Donna Tartt in this nerve-shredding domestic noir thriller that weaves a sprawling web of secrets around an opulent West London world and the dinner that ends in death.
The Dinner Guest was one novel that I gobbled up, in one serving! Just when you think you’ve read all there is in the thriller genre along comes this beauty and smacks you upside the head. The perfect couple trope on drugs. Uniqueness. An impending threat. Twists by the bucketload. If you think you have this one figured out be prepared for a grenade to literally blow your face to shreds. Walter lies in wait for the perfect moment then hits you straight between the eyes for a killer blow. Set in the super rich areas of London. It sets the scene. Things are about to be rocked to its core.
The Dinner Guest is the building blocks of the class system, death, grief, secrets and manipulation. The prologue is a deadly starting pistol and it immediately has the reader invested, shocked and literally reaching down to the floor to pick up their jaw. Its one hell of a start with kindly father Matthew being murdered whilst sitting down to eat dinner. Charlie can only stare on at his husband whilst the life ebbs away from him as their guest Rachel phones 999 whilst holding a bloodied knife.
The story is told in mainly dual perspectives, that of Charlie and Rachel. Charlie the Instagram sensation, sharing snapshots of his perfect life with husband Matthew and adopted son Titus. His fans lap it up. Matthew and Charlie are the perfect fathers, they live in the perfect area, with handsomely paid jobs and cars but something isn’t right beneath the surface which seems to become exacerbated when they meet Rachel. They meet her in Waterstones, it starts friendly enough but when they meet again in M & S Matthew invites her to his book club, they exchange numbers, and we see a different side to Charlie.
The plot was watertight. A dead husband, a suspect that has already confessed to the murder. Surely the case is opened and closed. End of story. I’m afraid not, things just spiral into a mind-bending series of events that tell a story as the layers are peeled back. Charlie’s narrative is one of a shallow, jealous and narcissistic character. I didn’t feel sorry for him one bit, he’s the kind of character that you wouldn’t tire punching! Yes, he has an incredibly good life, but he has absolutely no empathy for those in different circumstances.
The Dinner Guest can be summed by the feeling of a fog descending. The twists and turns kept creeping up on you especially when you least expected it. Little niggles, a finely painted parallel, the author grabs you by the jugular and fights to maintain control. The control the author held over me was immense. A sniper focused on its target. Try as I may I was never going to put that book down.
The Dinner Guest is a testament to Walters visceral prose. It will keep you hooked with its handbrake turns and a work of utter genius.
ABOUT B.P. WALTER
B.P. Walter is the author of A Version of the Truth (published in the US as The Couple’s Secret) and Hold Your Breath. He was born and raised in Essex and after spending his childhood and teenage years reading compulsively, he worked in bookshops then went to the University of Southampton to study Film and English followed by an MA in Film & Cultural Management.
He is an alumni of the Faber Academy and currently works in social media coordination for the head office of Waterstones. He lives in Central London.