The Wedding Party by Tammy Cohen | Book Review

“Do you believe in fate? I’m undecided, but I do think it’s funny how things happen in your life without you really having much say in them, as if they were waiting in store for you the whole time.”

Lucy has dreamt of her wedding day for as long as she can remember. And now the day is almost here. Her nearest and dearest are gathered on an idyllic Greek island and she just knows it’s going to be perfect. It has to be.

But even the best-laid plans can go horribly wrong. Why are her parents behaving so strangely? Why won’t the rather odd lady from the airport stop hanging around? Who is the silent stranger her sister brought as a plus-one?

It’s going to be a day to remember… and then they find the body.

38. The Wedding Party

I’ve read one book by Tammy Cohen before this—Dying for Christmas—which I loved. The fact that it was extremely dark and hard to stomach at places perhaps made me hesitant to pick another one. Until I came across this on NetGalley.

A body has been found on the beach at a resort. There is no clue as to its identity or how it got there. But that takes a backseat for now.

Lucy’s perfect destination wedding is planned to the minutest detail except for her sister’s bridesmaid’s dress. Jess was sent a specific colour choice to pick her dress to fit Lucy’s wedding palette but it’s down to the last moment and there is no news of Jess, or her dress, until she arrives at the resort. With a total stranger she met on the plane ride as her plus-one.

Shelly—Lucy’s BFF—also as an interesting arrival story to share: of the woman wearing a headscarf who was washing her breasts in the sink of the ladies toilet at the airport. Except that she’s now at the same resort as the wedding party and insists on inserting herself in every conversation.

What could have otherwise been a dreamy romance novel with a beautiful wedding on a Greek island, Tammy Cohen turns into a suspense thriller.

Told from multiple points of view, the characters introduce themselves to the reader as they mingle among each other. Lucy’s anxiety is growing by the minute and she may not have been entirely truthful to Jason, her fiancé, about the wedding budget. Shelly is the only person who can calm her down but this doesn’t sit well with Jess who sees Shelly as a leech. Lucy’s parents are behaving oddly and Jason’s mother has struck up a friendship with Jess’s plus-one. As for Gil, he spends most of his time calming Zoe, his wife, who seems to be getting into a battle of words with Jess every time they see each other.

Behind the glitter and gloss of the impending wedding, secrets begin to surface, some harmless, some sinister and these characters are forced to examine their relationships. The plot is constantly evolving with plenty of motive to go around and you find yourself hooked.

Coming back to the dead body – the narrative is interspersed with transcripts of police interviews with the guests. Though this is meant to serve as part of the investigation, it is more a revelation of their opinion of each other.

I thought this had a similar vibe to The Guest List by Lucy Foley. However, unlike the spooky setting for that one, Cohen brings a dreamy romantic feel to this until it all explodes into one big mess on the day of the wedding with one person dead and at least two versions of what really happened.

I enjoyed reading this primarily for the characters. Each came with their own flaws and it was fun to watch them being dissected as the story progressed. One character shares their therapy journal through the course of the narrative which reveals secrets tying up with the main plot. This adds to the mystery and brings in some psycho-thriller elements that are surprisingly addictive.

When you’re looking for a summer read that’s not all romance, this whodunnit with its glamour and picturesque location, grips you with a twisted, creepy thriller.

The Wedding Party by Tammy Cohen. Ebook published in June 2021 by Transworld Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Transworld Publishers.

Book 38 of 2021.

Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2.

Available on Amazon*.

About Photo: A destination summer wedding in Kefalonia means plenty of sun, sand, and sea.
This beach lounger is made with ice-cream sticks and the sun hat in quilling using 5mm crimped strips.
38. The Wedding Party
About the Author: Tammy Cohen is the author of six psychological thrillers. She is fascinated by the darker side of human psychology. Her books explore how ‘ordinary’ people react when pushed into a corner, the parts of ourselves we hide from the world – and from ourselves. Previously she also wrote three commercial women’s fiction novels as Tamar Cohen debuting with The Mistress’s Revenge which was translated all round the world. In addition, she has written three historical novels under the pseudonym of Rachel Rhys. The first, Dangerous Crossing, was a Richard & Judy book club pick in Autumn 2017. She is a member of the Killer Women crime writing collective and lives in North London with her partner, three (allegedly) grown up children, and her highly neurotic rescue dog.
You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
 
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*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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