Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m posting my review of Chris McGeorge’s compelling crime novel, ‘Guess Who’. I had no idea what to expect going into this book – but I ended up really enjoying it! Keep reading to discover my thoughts…
ONE ROOM. FIVE SUSPECTS.
THREE HOURS TO FIND A KILLER.
A waitress. A cleaner. An actress. A lawyer. A student. Everyone is a suspect.
In a locked room – with no escape, and no idea how they got there.
In the bathtub, the body of a man they all knew. Someone murdered him. Someone in this room.
They have three hours to find out. Or they all die.
THE RULES ARE SIMPLE. THE GAME IS NOT
‘Guess Who’ is Chris McGeorge’s debut novel, and was released in May 2018. Since then, he has also written ‘Now You See Me’ (June 2019). McGeorge lives in Durham and completed the Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller) MA at City University. As well as writing, he also loves film and acting in an amateur theatre group.
The novel has received rave reviews, from the likes of fellow authors such as Adam Handy: “Packed with gripping twists and turns, Guess Who is an inventive, entertaining locked room mystery that kept me utterly hooked”, Jenny Blackhurst: “A FANTASTIC whodunnit with more twists than a Great Hotel corkscrew”, Claire McGowan: “An ingenious twisty mystery in a totally unique setting” and James Oswald: “An impressive debut and a sign of great things to come”.
‘Guess Who’ follows a group of strangers, who all wake up one day in a locked hotel room. There’s a dead body in the bathtub, and one of them is responsible – will they discover whodunnit, before it’s too late?
The narrative is told from the third-person throughout, mainly focusing on Morgan and his experiences. The reader is given a deep insight to the thoughts and feelings of the characters, as well as a distanced observation of the events as they unfold. The story is mostly told in the present day, with some flashbacks to the past. Overall, the narrative is really easy to follow, yet still very effective.
Morgan Sheppard is probably my favourite character in the novel. He’s a pretty unlikeable character; however, I thought he was absolutely fascinating, and really enjoyed discovering more about him as the novel went on. Morgan is a daytime television actor on a detective show, and has issues with drink and drugs. He’s definitely not perfect and has made many mistakes in his life, and is quite a cold-hearted, “macho” man. However, when you delve a little deeper, it appears that Morgan has had a difficult life, and is deeply scarred by a childhood event. He must now put the past behind him and do the right thing, in order to save these strangers’ lives. Morgan is a very well-written, three dimensional character.
The other suspects include: Amanda Phillips (a kind, innocent lady who works at a coffee shop), Ryan Quinn (cleans at the hotel in which they are trapped), Constance Ahearn (famous West End actress and devout Catholic), Alan Hughes (successful black lawyer who is currently involved in an important case), Rhona Michel (17 year old student who suffers from claustrophobia) and Simon Winter (Morgan Sheppard’s therapist).
** TRIGGER WARNING ** This novel features explicit descriptions of physical violence and murder, including the grizzly details of dealing with a dead body. The theme of substance abuse is explored throughout the novel, specifically alcoholism and drug dependency. Finally, mental illness is depicted in the novel, specifically anxiety and claustrophobia. All of these issues are explored with appropriate sensitivity – but if you feel that they may trigger a negative response, I suggest you skip this book.
As the narrative motors onwards, tensions between the group reach their peak. They must learn to put their differences aside and work together to discover whodunnit – but how can they achieve this when they don’t know who to trust?
So, let’s talk about the ending. There’s a dramatic end scene in which the killer is finally revealed, and the characters’ must fight for survival. The ending is jam-packed full of action and suspense, and I was literally on the edge of my seat whilst reading. I must say, I wasn’t entirely convinced by the reveal, and I was a little bit disappointed when I discovered who the murdered was. However, that’s just my personal opinion, and you may enjoy the ending more than me.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy crime/murder mystery novels, particularly if you enjoy fast-paced plots that take place over a short period of time. There is plenty of suspense and mystery throughout, and the characters are very well-written. I didn’t enjoy the ending very much for reasons explained above – but that being said, the rest of the novel was really good and I’m very glad I read it!
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Happy reading 🙂