Publication: 16th April 2020 – Wildfire
Eight guests. One killer. No escape.
A year ago today, we gathered for Lucas and Nina’s wedding at their glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea.
But no one was married that day.
Last year there were nine of us. Now there are eight. And Lucas has invited us back for a macabre anniversary.
Tonight, he’s planned a game for us: we each have a costume and a role to play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin.
What does Lucas want? What are we not being told? And how will this terrifying game end?
And So It Begins is the first novel by Rachel Abbott I read and it is also the first novel featuring detective Stephanie King. I really liked And So It Begins and I am so happy they are both back. I said I liked the first novel… well, I LOVED The Murder Game. I devoured it in less than two days and, days later, I am still thinking about it.
First of all, I enjoyed the plot. It is suspenseful, with an Agatha Christie vibe, and you never know what is coming next. A group of friends reunite in a beautiful house on the Cornish coast to celebrate a wedding. Secrets, lies, jealousies, and resentment all risk to come to light and when tragedy strike, there is no wedding and the guests all go back home. One year later, they are all invited back to celebrate the wedding that didn’t take place, but there is a game to play, a dangerous game and everyone has a part to play.
Also, let’s talk about the setting. I LOVED IT! The more books set in Cornwall I read, the more I fall in love with the place and it’s at the top of the places I need to visit one day. The story is set in a grand house with a beautiful view on the ocean, a private cove, and hiding places where one can overhear other people’s secret conversations.
I found the characters often annoying, not very likable, and unreliable with their secrets, but they are so well-done. The story is told from three different points of views, Nina, the bride, Jemma, one of the guest, and detective Stephanie King. I like the character of Stephanie and I am already looking forward to read more about both her professional and personal life. Jemma is the wife of Matt, one of the childhood friends. As an outsider of the group, she knows that everyone is hiding something, including her husband, and she starts her own investigation in what is really going on.
I love Rachel Abbott, her stories and her writing story, and The Murder Game is definitely a must-read for all her fans. Twisty, gripping, and absolutely engrossing, it will keep you guessing until the end.
A huge thank you to Wildfire for providing me with a copy of the novel.