Cover Image: The Couple at the Table

The Couple at the Table

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Member Reviews

The Couple at the Table 
by Sophie Hannah 
Pub Date: Nov.1, 2022
Hodder & Stoughton 
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.  Interesting premise but I just couldn't get into this book.  It was unnecessarily long too.  No real emotional impact for me. 
3 stars
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Ace as usual! Sophie Hannah will always be a recommended purchase for collections where crime and thrillers are popular.
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This mystery reminded me of an old fashioned Agatha Christie book (no surprise there, since Sophie Hannah writes new Hercule Poirot titles).  It involved a large cast of characters and a locked room scenario in which no one there could possibly be the killer.  Overall I found it enjoyable, despite the unlikeable characters and the somewhat contrived plot.
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An unlikely scenario sets the stage for this psychological thriller, in which Jane and William, on their honeymoon, meet William's exwife and her husband staying at the same resort. Then when a murder occurs, the clues seem to make no sense and point to no one at the resort as the murderer. 

The novel was clever to let the plot unfold and the mystery resolve in an Agatha Christie fashion, with all the possible culprits facing a detective together and being grilled relentlessly in a controlled setting. This, before the detective reveals what really happened as he solves the crime.

The main characters, the wife Jane especially,  are ditsy personalities, which leads the reader to want to see more of where their extreme behavior will take them.  Clever plotting and character development.
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Thank you William & Morrow for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 3 stars as I DNFed it. Unfortunately I found it very overwritten and unnecessarily long. The premise itself was very interested and I was really looking forward to reading it, but due to the length, there was no real emotional impact.
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Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest opinion.

Woof. I struggled to get through this one. Far too many characters, names, and details… it was a slog. The premise was intriguing but it was tediously written and I couldn’t keep up with all the minutia.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this novel. I am rating this book based the stars due to lack of time to leave a full review. #NetGalley #TheCoupleattheTable
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I received an ARC from NetGalley in return for this review.

A victim lies stabbed to death in a posh British resort. But it doesn't seem possible that any of the other guests could have killed her, and nobody got in from outside. It's up to curmudgeonly detective Simon Waterhouse and his wife, fellow police officer Charlie Zailer, to figure out what happened. Adding to the drama is the fact that the victim, Jane, is a truly horrible person who's threatened and offended a whole host of people, including at least one couple who were present on that fateful day.

I really enjoyed this locked-room mystery, but will caution that if you don't like locked-room mysteries, where the detective is a step ahead of you most of the time and everybody sits together at the end and waits to receive his wisdom, it may not be your thing. I didn't see the solution coming and appreciated the twist at the end.

The characters were quite badly behaved, and at times I found it a little hard to believe in -- I don't think Proust could really get away with his actions in any real workplace environment, and I'm not sure I totally buy that all but one of the guests would conspire in the nasty prank, though I was willing to accept it for the sake of the story. I think the murderer's motivation also needed to be more deeply shown earlier in the story. Still, I found this an engaging read.

It may be helpful for readers to have read Hannah's other books featuring these characters first -- the plot is standalone, but you would come in with a better sense of the people and their history.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58235076-the-couple-at-the-table
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This masterful storyteller has created a story that is thrilling. Beware of who you sit by when you are out to dinner. This has all the Riley Sager vibes and I absolutely love Sophie Hannah. If you want twists and turns and all that comes with reading a thriller then this is the book for you!
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