The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh
The Last Party is a murder mystery set on the Welsh border.
It begins on New Year’s Day when members of the local town take to the lake waters for the annual New Year’s Day swim—but this year they find a body floating in the water. Local music celebrity Rhys Lloyd returned home to create an upmarket lakeside resort, The Shore; he’s a smalltown hero, so why would someone want him dead?
The border between England and Wales crosses the centre of the lake, and Leo from Cheshire Major Crimes works with Ffion from North Wales Police to unravel the mystery. At first it’s an awkward reunion for the duo after some anonymous New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The story dots back and forth between a New Year’s Eve party held at The Shore, and the current time investigation. Once the police start digging, it appears that Rhys had a long line of people who were unhappy with him.
The setting, although cold and bleak in the first days of January, worked well; I could almost feel the icy lake waters in my own bones as I read the story and I liked the genuine atmosphere of the Welsh town. The author built up the layers of mistrust and number of suspects which really muddied the waters for myself and the investigators.
A good start to a new crime series for DC Morgan, I shall be interested to see what her next investigation involves.
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At midnight, one of them is dead.
By morning, all of them are suspects.
It’s a party to end all parties, but not everyone is here to celebrate.
On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests. His vacation homes on Mirror Lake are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbors.
But by midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.
On New Year’s Day, Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects. The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbors, friends and family—and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.
With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead…but who finally killed him.
In a village with this many secrets, murder is just the beginning.