Cover Image: The Guests

The Guests

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Member Reviews

The Guests is an exotic destination thriller set in The Maldives in the luxury eco-resort of Asana Fushi.
Arriving there is depressed Cara Hamilton, her extremely wealthy eco businessman. Zack and their spoilt teenage daughter Alexa. The whole family want to relax and recover following the twin traumatic events of Cara accidentally running over Alexa in the car and a break-in at the family home.
The prologue appears to set a chilling scene as you are aware that something horrific may have happened to one of the characters. On the subject of characters, apart from the Hamiltons, there is a collection of other guests and Asana Fushi staff. It becomes apparent that a great deal of ill will is felt towards Zach by literally everyone gathered there. Each chapter is prefaced by a countdown clock which gives the reader a sense of impending doom.
In a book of this type, there has to be a suspension of belief as we need to buy into the fact that a whole lot of people who don’t who have multifarious reasons for disliking Zach both in the present and historically, have managed to gather together on an extremely small island at exactly the same time as him.
Unfortunately, even taking this into account, there is a lot of the story that doesn’t ring true and even grates. None of the characters have any redeeming qualities at all. They are all entitled and selfish and they are only united by their motivation to harm. This is a trope that is often done, but, in order for it to work, the characterisation has to be spot on. In The Guests,, they all end up as 2D cartoon villains rather than properly worked-through and fleshed-out characters. There are also continuous references to designer brands to reinforce the sense of luxury, and to social media sites to reinforce being relevant. These really got on my nerves.
Even worse, were the constant plugs for the author’s previous book. I hate it when authors do this and it makes the story totally cringeworthy.
All this and despite the countdown clock building constant tension, it ends up going nowhere, and instead we get a completely lame ending.
My thanks to NetGalley, Penguin and Nikki Smith for the ARC in exchange for an open and honest review, but I can only give this 2 stars at best.

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This one was okay, took me a while to get in to it. But I definitely did get into it and liked it. However I’ve gave it 3 stars as it took me a while to get through and I just didn’t enjoy it as much as others like this.

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I absolutely loved my first book by Nikki Smith. I expected a standard beach read but this was something else. I read it in one sitting and was hooked all the way through to the fantastic ending. I can't say I really liked any of the characters. I thought they all deserved everything they got. But oh wow!! the twists and turns on the way we're a joy! I'm delighted to recommend The Guests as a 5* read.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

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This book wasn't what I expected at all. I really enjoyed it, but found myself wondering who I was rooting for. The characters all have different agendas and I found myself drawn to the characters I wouldn't necessarily have expected to. I am still questioning the ending and running it over in my mind and that is always the sign of a good book! I now really want to read more by this author.

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I read and enjoyed The Beach Party and was looking forward to this book. Fantastic, luxurious holiday destination in the Maldives is the setting for this novel. There is a large of generally unlikeable characters with hardly a redeeming feature between them. The chapters count down to quite an unsatisfactory ending which feels like the set up for a sequel. I also feel the prologue would work better as an epilogue. Easy beach read.

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I was so looking forward to this book. As a lucky one time visitor to the Maldives I was looking forward to reminiscing about my own experience. I had also read the authors previous book The Beach Party and enjoyed that.
However!! This book takes the tangent of fluffy prose (constant naming of designer labels anyone? Always a pet hate of mine in books) and flaky plot and 2D characters. I tried to get past this as I had had a positive experience with this author as I said, and hoped it would improve. BUT the straw that broke the camels back was the shameless plugging of her OWN book at 11% through;
“She slides them open to find her mother stretched out on the hammock by the plunge pool, a copy of The Beach Party in her hand, the paperback bestseller she’d picked up in W. H. Smith at Heathrow.”
What??? Really????
If I didn’t value my kindle I’d have thrown it out of the window at this point.

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC, but this really was pants.

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The resort of their dreams. A destination to die for….
I really enjoyed this thriller, it had plenty of twists and an interesting plot. It focuses on the Hamilton family on their holiday in the Maldives, an idyllic and unlikely setting for the events that unfold. Zach, his wife Cara and their daughter Alexa, all hold secrets of their own and the back story comes out as you read on.
This is a great holiday read, nice and easy to read and set on the beach. 5 out of 5 stars. Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for providing an advance copy in return for my honest opinion. I have also published this review on Goodreads.

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📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚

The Guests @nikkismith_author

The author of this book is the most loveliest lady. She reached out to me as soon as she knew that I was reading this book as a buddy read. I thought this was so kind.

I was lucky enough to receive an early arc copy of this book from @netgalley and it was a great and gripping read.

I loved the descriptions of the setting of this book. I've never been to the Maldives but it sounds dreamlike but I wouldn't want to be there with the characters in this book.

Right from the get go of the prologue we know something terrible has happened but we are unsure what. Each chapter in this book is titled with a countdown and it really adds to the drama of the book. There are secrets, lies and twists and turns at every opportunity. You're never quite sure who to trust and as the book is told from different point of views, you're never sure if the narrators are reliable. The characters are not very likeable but it didn't matter as I needed to know where the story was going.

I also thought that the author tackled an important subject in being more environmentally friendly in the world. This helped to keep the book fresh and current and makes it stand on its own in a genre that is often written about. Who doesn't love a destination thriller?

I can't really say anymore as I want to keep this spoiler free. But it's a great and thrilling read and one I enjoyed very much. An addictive page turner.

#theguests #destinationthriller #kindlereader
#kindleread #gripping #thrilling #jamieskindlereads #jamieslibrary #jamiesreads #alwaysreading #readingeveryday #lovetoread

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Thank you SO much to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.

I absolutely loved this!! Such great characters and a great storyline.

My full review is to follow in a few days.....

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A white lotus style book set in a luxury resort and with a family full of secrets, lots of twists and turns and a very easy gripping read

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I found this book intriguing, there were lot's of hints and suspense of different events that had previously happened, that I think my nosiness kept me reading.

The book starts with a family going away on holiday to a very exclusive and supposed eco-friendly resort. Once there all three from the family encounter there own problems that they have to face, whilst also carrying the problems from home.

I didn't particularly like most of the characters, but that's not to say they weren't fully formed and I don't always believe we're supposed to like all the characters in a story.

I thought the story had potential, it really felt like it was building to an exciting end, but I felt let down and underwhelmed by the conclusion of the book.

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A very good book and would recommend to anyone that enjoys psychological thriller,

Thank you for letting me read and review this book on Netgalley.

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'The Guests' is a solid thriller novel set in a luxury eco-resort in the Maldives. the book focusses on the Hamilton family - Zach, Cara, and their teenage daughter Alexa - as they attempt a relaxing family holiday after some issues at home. Based on the blurb of the book, and the fact that I really enjoyed Smith's last book (The Beach Party) I should have absolutely loved this, but I didn't. I did like it, but for me, there were a couple of things that just weren't quite right.

First was the prologue, and I love a good prologue. This time, it felt out of place. By the end of the book I'd forgotten it was there and had to go back and re-read it to make sure I hadn't missed anything. I hadn't. For me, it would have worked so much better as an epilogue, where I'd have been left on a higher note at the end of the book, wanting to know what happened next. With it at the beginning, I didn't get that sense of wonder, and the ending left me feeling a bit flat.

Second was the setting. Whereas I felt immersed in the location in The Beach Party, that immersion was lacking in The Guests, to the point where I wondered whether the author had actually been to the Maldives, or had just done a lot of research. There was a lot of emphasis on heat and sand and coral (all true) but nothing that really sold the location to me. A couple more details here and there would have worked wonders, but they could have been staying on any island anywhere warm. There was no real sense of the Maldives in the book.

Third was the characters. A good cast fulfilling a range of required roles in the book. They were all highly flawed, which is great, but I just didn't like any of them and therefore didn't really care about what happened to them. I don't think any of the characters had any redeeming qualities at all; they were all very selfish, happy to walk over anyone else (including their own family) to get what they wanted. I need my characters to have something that makes me root for them, just one of them will do, so that I'm a little more invested in what I'm reading.

I hate to give any book less than five stars because I know how much work goes into writing one. If there had just been one thing that wasn't quite right, I could happily give a four, but for me this one is a three. Saying that, I'll still read what Smith publishes next, because I know how good her books can be, even if this one falls a little short.

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Carla and Zach Hamilton and daughter Alexa are taking a much-needed holiday in a luxurious 5-star resort on the island of the Maldives. Everything is perfect. It is in an idyllic location; the food is delicious, and they even have their own butler service that is there for them 24/7. What is supposed to help them get over the traumatic experience of a home invasion soon becomes a business deal for Zach. Where Carla is trying to bond with her daughter after an accident left her with scars.
But the holiday doesn’t run smoothly as not just the members of the family have all have secrets to hide but. some of the other guests too. Which ends up that a body is found.
This is an interesting read from the author, with all the secrets and lies from the guests from the resort and the authors descriptions of the beautifully scenery well but, sometimes I felt it was quite over descriptive. I didn’t quite understand that each chapter counted to something. I was waiting in anticipation for a big ending, but it failed to deliver. 3.5 stars

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I do enjoy a destination thriller, especially when it whisks me off to an exotic location where, just for a few hours, I can forget the cold and the rain. The Guests takes us to the tropical Maldives resort of Asana Fushi. The perfect getaway for Cara Hamilton, her husband wealthy businessman Zack, and their daughter Alexa. It’s a chance for the family to rest, relax, reconnect and recover following an awful ordeal. Throw in an untrustworthy supporting cast and you have all the makings for a twisted heart in your mouth psychological thriller.

Based on the prologue, the reader is aware that something terrible has happened to one of the characters. I loved how the author uses each chapter title to count down the days and hours until the ‘shocking event’ it gives the plot a genuine sense of urgency and a hefty dose of impending doom! The characters are pretty unlikable, they're an entitled bunch with no redeeming qualities. They make the worst choices. I’m not going to lie at some points, I screamed in frustration. And yet their tangled relationships make for an addictive read. Every action has a consequence and for some of THE GUESTS the consequences are far-reaching.

Nikki Smith’s visual imagery of the Maldives not only sets the scene, it also transports the reader to the luxury resort to watch the action unfold. Nikki Smith certainly knows how to keep the readers’ attention. As it’s the character’s fate that we learn about in the prologue that propels the plot forward. Anticipation grows as the countdown continues. I found The Guests to be such a fun read, addictive and deliciously twisted. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a destination thriller with a twist in its tail.

My review will be posted to my blog nearer to publication day

Blog: https://thebookreviewcafe.wordpress.com/

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This was a captivating thriller that had me on the edge of my seats from start to finish. The twists make this novel a page-turner, as secrets unravel and tensions escalate among the guests at a Maldives resort.

As the chapters count down to an event you know is coming; you are left waiting and wondering who to believe and what will happen!

With great characters and a setting filled with suspense the author delivers a thrilling ride that left me guessing until the very end.

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Fab story based upon a wealthy family who have made their money through supporting climate change sustainability. An idyllic holiday in the Maldives filled with murder, crime and an ever emerging picture of their dysfunctional family. Great story which I read in 2 sittings

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This was a quick and an enjoyable read with an absolutely gorgeous setting. Plenty of secrets and intriguing revelations, yet I sometimes felt.mayne too many characters and stories that didn't get looked at again or wrapped up.. Overall a perfect for an easy escape read

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‘The Guests’ by Nikki Smith is a destination thriller set at a luxurious eco-resort in the Maldives. Business deals, affairs, betrayals… and maybe even murder are all on the cards for the guests, each of whom have their own reasons for needing to get away on an idyllic break: ethical investor Zac, his wife Clara and their daughter Alexa need to relax and bond as a family after a terrifying event; eco-influencer Skye wants to review the hotel’s true credentials; other guests just want to be waited on hand and foot by the resentful staff.

As a reader you know trouble is brewing based on the prologue in which a body is found on the beach before we zoom back to the start of the holiday and get to know the guests. So far, so very ‘White Lotus’! In a similar style to the acclaimed TV show, we jump around between characters as their connections become apparent, their secrets are revealed and the tension escalates… at times it feels like any one of the characters could be the aforementioned body.

I liked the environmental aspect of the novel and the way it exposed shady practices at some so-called eco resorts where principles are sacrificed at the altar of guest satisfaction. However, I didn’t really warm to any of the characters and found myself at times not particularly caring who actually met their sticky end. I also didn’t feel as transported to the white beaches and turquoise waters of the Maldives as I have in other more immersive thrillers set in luxury destinations.

All in all, this was a three star book for me - it’s a decent thriller to read on the beach but I really was hoping for more.

I received an advance Digital Review Copy of this book from the publisher Viking Books UK via NetGalley. All opinions are my own. While this review is shared on NetGalley now, I will share on other platforms closer to / after the publication date.

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#TheGuests #NetGalley
Or so the staff say as they greet the Hamiltons on the pristine shores of the idyllic Maldives resort. And it starts off that way: snorkelling in the serene blue sea, champagne picnics on powder-white sand, and moonlit walks under the stars. But lies lurk beneath the luxury because each of the guests has a secret… and they're not the only ones. Months later, a grisly discovery is made.
Whatever happened to the Hamiltons? And how did their once-in-a-lifetime trip turn into the holiday from hell?
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK for giving me an advance copy.

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