The Invitation

Grand Central. (Stephanie King, Bk. 2). Sept. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781538719411. pap. $12.99. THRILLER
In Abbott’s second “Stephanie King” thriller (after And So It Begins), a wedding-turned-reunion at Lucas Jarrett’s mansion takes an unexpected turn when the groom’s sister is found dead the morning of the ceremony. Det. Stephanie King is called in to investigate the drowning, which is ruled a suicide. Now it’s one year later, and all of the guests have been invited by Lucas to return, only to learn they will be forced to play a game reenacting the events of that fateful night. The purpose? To determine which one of them is a murderer. At the same time, a missing-persons case comes to the detective’s attention, arousing her suspicions and leading her back to the house by the sea. Savvy readers may feel let down by an easily foretold twist ending and a character’s story line that is left unfinished; however, these shortcomings in no way diminish the cleverness of the tale.
VERDICT The Big Chill meets the board game Clue in this British whodunit. Lies, secrets, and the wonderfully twisted murder game will have readers furiously turning the pages.

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