MYSTERY

The Perfect Guests

Berkley. Jan. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9780440000488. pap. $16. SUSPENSE
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In 1988, after 14-year-old Beth Soames is orphaned and her aunt is unable to take care of her, she’s sent temporarily to Raven Hall, an old country house in the fens of England. Arrangements have been made for Beth to be a companion for the homeschooled, isolated daughter of the house, Nina. Similar in age and interests, Nina and Beth become like sisters. Beth grows to like the house and the family, but she is always aware that Nina could have her sent away at any time. Some strange things happen while she is staying there, scary things, but being a guest, and a child, Beth is afraid to question what she thinks she sees. Then tragedy strikes. Alternately, Sadie is a struggling actress in 2019, settling her mother’s affairs while trying to find work. She is invited to participate in a game, an acting job, a murder mystery weekend. It pays well, so she accepts. The job takes place in an old country house in the fens of England, where strange things begin to happen...
VERDICT Rous’s second novel (after The Au Pair) has surprises and twists that mystery fans will love, and parallel intrigues that will draw romance fans.

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