cover image The Last Party

The Last Party

Clare Mackintosh. Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99 (432) ISBN 978-1-7282-5096-0

This superb blend of psychological thriller and police procedural from bestseller Mackintosh (Hostage) begins with the discovery of Rhys Lloyd’s body on New Year’s Day in freezing Mirror Lake, which straddles North Wales and England. Rhys grew up in the village of Cwm Coed on the Welsh side, where he became disliked for building a luxury vacation development on the British side that the villagers believed would spoil the area and price them out. The case falls to Det. Constable Ffion Morgan of the North Wales Police and Det. Constable Leo Brady of the Cheshire Constabulary. Their working relationship doesn’t start well because on New Year’s Eve they had a one-night stand using fake names. Awkward doesn’t begin to describe the situation, but the two professionals find their investigative skills complement each other. Ffion was raised in Cwm Coed, an advantage and drawback, as she knows everyone, including their secrets, while Leo’s outsider status allows him to be more objective. A gripping portrait of two fractured people merges with believable plot twists, and the author perfectly captures the ennui of a small town where gossip can destroy lives. Mackintosh consistently entertains. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Nov.)