#PsychologicalThriller #BookReview | The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter

Four people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave.

Matthew: the perfect husband.

Titus: the perfect son.

Charlie: the perfect illusion.

Rachel: the perfect stranger.

Charlie didn’t want her at the book club. Matthew wouldn’t listen.

And that’s how Charlie finds himself slumped beside his husband’s body, their son sitting silently at the dinner table, while Rachel calls 999, the bloody knife still gripped in her hand.

Classic crime meets Donna Tartt in this nerve-shredding domestic noir thriller that weaves a sprawling web of secrets around an opulent West London world and the dinner that ends in death.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Dinner Guest is a deceptively subtle psychological thriller. Its full impact, as a result, doesn’t hit you until you have walked away and are thinking back on what you read.

Sometimes, this story moved a bit slow for me until I finished it and realized the story’s pace is totally fitting. It is ingenious in its delivery of the journey to figure out who killed a dinner guest and why. One of the dinner guests will not leave the table alive, but which one and why.
I had to explore so many secrets as they slowly unfold in increasingly complex layers to figure that out. Those secrets leave no doubt that the perfect picture can hide an abundance of imperfections.

The narration is primarily through Charlie and Rachel, who have subtly unique voices that rarely leave doubt about who is telling the story. Both perspectives are essential to fully disclose the story, and at no point did I find it confusing or redundant. They are both interesting characters. Both have an exciting story to tell, even when it seems like they are just recounting the mundane.

The timeline is anything but linear going backward and forward as the plot dictated, the murder being the central point around which everything else is told. This sounds like it could be very confusing, but surprisingly it is not. To understand the unraveling of the secrets, some latitude with the timeline is essential. The narration is written clearly and distinctly, so I always knew when I was in the story.

I loved the ending. I had to read it twice to make sure that I read it correctly. I do not think I have read such a gloriously devious conclusion before, and I must say, I am in awe at the mastermind that came up with it. It seems so innocuous at first. Then I thought about it and realized it was perfect – the perfect revenge, the ideal manipulation, and the ideal conclusion to the story.

The Dinner Guest will surprise you with its subtle delivery and level of deviousness, and you will love every single morsel of the perfect dinner.

22 Replies to “#PsychologicalThriller #BookReview | The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter”

  1. I am torn. This is the first i’m hearing about the bouncing time line, which might bother me but.. it also has this crazy ending, which I love! I’m going to have to read it, it sounds too good.
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The “dinner” is the pivot point from which they have to tell the events leading up to then events much further in the past and they even move forward at various points. I don’t think it was really confusing though. I really wanted to know more about the further back point in the timeline. It all comes together at the end.

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      1. Wow, not confusing at all. 😂
        Kidding, sorry, I can see what you mean. That sounds pretty interesting.. I might have to bump it up on my list. Thank you!

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    1. Enjoy! Just remember, it’s not the typical “make you feel like your going crazy psyc thriller”, instead it so subtle that my immediate reaction was “is that all” until I started to think about it and it hit me what the story was that was being subtly told. Then I was like, “Oh!”

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      1. That’s what sold me on it. I always read the pulse-pounding kind. I want to see what the slow-sizzle puzzler feels like. 🙂

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  2. As if I don’t have enough books to read, LOL!
    This one appealed to me the first time I saw it. Your review sucked me in. Like Staci, I just bought it. Now to work it into the TBR!

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    1. This is a pretty quick read. Two big things to remember going in – it’s a very subtle story – not like the normal and their is no calm in the storm character, it’s not needed since the story is so subtle but that means you have no one to like – which didn’t bother me but I saw where a blogger friend mentioned it because it did bother her. Happy reading!

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      1. Thanks, Tessa. For some reason it has me thinking of The Dinner Party. Did you ever read that one?
        Subtle is fine. Sometimes the best reads are the ones that slowly work their way under your skin.

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  3. I remember being intrigued by this from one of you WWW posts. I’d love to find time to read this one, but I’m buried in ARCs right now. Put it on the backburner!

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    1. I have an even better one coming up for you tomorrow. A dark YA thriller/suspense novel, so more in your preferred reading area.

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  4. Sounds like a great read, Tessa. It’s interesting how some books might seem slow but then at the end it’s clear why it was necessary. I’m glad the jumping through time was well done as sometimes that doesn’t work at all. Great tease with the end. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. Thank you! More subtle stories can definitely have a big impact. I think it’s that whole having to work for it thing rather than having it handed to you on a silver platter.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good thing I had this on pre-order then 😏 You’ve totally convinced me to bump it up Mount TBR, fantastic review!


  6. Excellent review, Tessa! I love a good psychological thriller. Adding it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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