Published by One More Chapter on 18 October 2019
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Source: Purchased Book
Buy on Amazon
All your friends are invited. But which of them will survive?
An addictive and twisty psychological thriller about the dark secrets that lie within a peaceful neighbourhood.
Eight friends. Eight secrets. One killer.
A group of old friends gather in a peaceful suburban street for a dinner party.
They are expecting a fun evening of wine, food and pleasant company. But then they start to play the game…
It’s about trust and dark secrets – it tests marriage to its limits – and none of them can begin to imagine its consequences.
Because the next day, two guests are dead and the others are trapped in a nightmare…
The Dinner Party is a dish best served cold. Mr. Parker, what on earth have you created? The opening chapter ensures that the reader isn’t going anywhere. Make sure you have cleared your schedule because you won’t do anything else whilst you are reading this book. No hoovering, no baking, no husbands asking where clean socks are lurking…this is a story to be consumed whole, with no breaks but plenty of tea and biscuits.
So THAT first chapter – it sets up the story immediately, it has that hook that embeds in your mouth like a prized salmon. You may try and look away but one word, one yank of that line, and your right back there, in the mercy of the author’s expert hands.
The opening leaves the readers guessing – it’s the scene of a bloodbath. Ted the protagonist is on the floor clutching at someone’s leg. He appears to have been stabbed with a sharp, prong-like implement, a cooking temperature gauge seems most likely. The reader will need to wait some time for this to be revealed, but when it is…it is so worth it!
The Dinner Party is held by married couple Ted and Juliette. They are parents to six-year-old, Georgie. They are being joined by their friends, Jakob and Evie, Orla and Connor, and Kathryn and Rhys. The wine is flowing, they enjoy a beautiful meal and then Evie suggests that they play a game. It is a game of trust. Each person must write down a secret that their partner doesn’t know and seal it in an envelope. They will then pass it to their significant other and they burn it and give them forgiveness without ever reading it. NOW… I don’t know about you but that would fester inside my mind. You know that your partner is hiding something from you, but you have no idea what and have already forgiven them for it so how can you bring it up without a massive argument?
The protagonist, Ted is a multidimensional character. He’s kind, conscientious, and a good father and husband. He reminds me of a therapist. I could imagine him talking you out of a bad situation. A warm voice that can be a support.
The next day two guests are dead and suddenly the accusing finger is pointing at the remainder of the dinner guests. Was it something to do with the trust game they played the previous evening? Did they have financial worries that just became too much? It was enthralling to delve into the guest’s secrets. Each chapter brought me a little closer to the edge of the precipice. The closer we got; Ted found himself swimming further away from the life he knew. Just as I thought I had it figured out, it kept slipping through my fingers.
The Dinner Party is the concoction of a twisted mind. He keeps company with some of the best mind-bending writers. Crackles with toxic relationships, dark desires and turns that have you questioning why you took them in the first place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Parker worked as a professional TV writer for twenty-two years and started by submitting material to the BBC. After contributing to a wide variety of TV shows he became a head writer, script editor then producer. He then decided to subject himself to the easy streets of writing and getting a novel published. A ten year cornucopia of disappointment followed. But STOP ME was picked up for publication in 2009.
It was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2010 and entered the Amazon Top 10 bestseller chart.
SCARE ME, his second stand alone thriller, was acquired by Hollywood producers. Wentworth Miller has written the screenplay.
His third stand alone, STALK ME, followed and was a huge hit in the UK and US Amazon charts.
Richard was then published by Bookouture. Check out their titles from him – FOLLOW YOU, HIDE AND SEEK, KEEP HER SAFE, NEVER SAY GOODBYE and THE SONGBIRD GIRLS.
He is now being published by HarperCollins/One More Chapter and has four titles under the name R J Parker – THE DINNER PARTY, WHILE YOU SLEPT, THE GOOD NEIGHBOUR and THE REMOVAL MAN.
He now lives in Salisbury.
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