The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

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The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: #
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: June 2024
Publisher: Harper Collins
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008385064

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It's midsummer on the Dorset coast and guests gather at The Manor. It's their opening weekend and splendid celebrations are promised. It's all headed up by Francesca Meadows. The Manor was her ancestral home and she's converted it into an impressive retreat for the wealthy and famous. Her husband, Owen, was the architect and work is still ongoing on parts of the site. The heat is oppressive and amongst the guests are enemies as well as friends. Old scores are going to be settled and it won't be long before a body is found.

If you're going to get the best out of this book (and it's definitely there to be got) then you'll need to be in the wide-awake club. The events that determined what would happen in 2025 occurred fifteen years ago when many of the characters were in their late teens. Frankie, as she was known then, befriended Alison, a visitor to the local caravan park. It was a convenient relationship for Frankie as she could control Alison - or ‘Sparrow' as she called her.

As always, Lucy Foley is clever. The narrative switches back and forth over the fifteen years as we're drip-fed information. Sometimes you need to establish the truth for yourself. Foley is trusting like that: she builds convincing characters and knows that we'll get the measure of them without explanations from her. As I gathered information together, I wondered if there were just too many coincidences: would people really find themselves gathered together accidentally all those years later? I needn't have worried: all is revealed in the very satisfying ending.

The publishers categorise this book as ‘contemporary horror'. I don't normally read horror: there's enough of it in the world at the moment without looking for more, but this book appealed to me. The horror was there - but it was never unpleasant or gratuitous. It was simply part of a good story.

I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy. As well as reading the book, I listened to an audio download, which I bought myself. The narration is by Roly Botha, Laurence Dobiesz, Joe Eyre, Tuppence Middleton and Sarah Slimani. Considering the time changes and characters that had to be accommodated, this was an excellent production. None of the names was familiar to me but I would certainly be more than happy to hear more from them.

For more from Foley, we can recommend The Hunting Party.

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