The Last Party

A Novel

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 08 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 19 Nov 2022
SOURCEBOOKS Landmark, Sourcebooks Landmark

Talking about this book? Use #TheLastParty #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


It's the party to end all parties....but not everyone is here to celebrate.

On New Year's Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests. His vacation homes on Mirror Lake are a success, and he's generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbors.

But by midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year's Day, Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects. The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbors, friends and family—and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn't who wanted Rhys dead...but who finally killed him.

In a village with this many secrets, murder is just the beginning.

It's the party to end all parties....but not everyone is here to celebrate.

On New Year's Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests. His vacation homes on Mirror Lake are a success, and he's...

Advance Praise

"A superb blend of psychological thriller and police procedural...A gripping portrait of two fractured people merges with believable plot twists, and the author perfectly captures the ennui of a small town where gossip can destroy lives. Mackintosh consistently entertains." ― Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

"Layers of historical and social context deepen the allure of this icy murder mystery set in North Wales...Come to meet the interestingly dysfunctional characters; stay to cheer them on with a full heart." ― Kirkus Reviews

"Like the TV series Broadchurch and the novels of Ann Cleeves, this wonderful novel takes the reader―through twists and turns, and red herrings aplenty―deep within a community. Crime fiction is a whole lot better now that DC Ffion Morgan has arrived." ― First Clue

"The writing is superb. Wicked fun, devilishly clever, with echoes of Agatha Christie. This is a party you won't want to miss." ― Patricia Cornwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Brilliant, so atmospheric….I fell in love with the courageous, complicated detective Ffion Morgan and I think readers will too." ― Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of One by One

"I loved everything about The Last Party. Taut, pacey and so atmospheric with brilliantly executed twists and wonderfully written characters. DC Ffion Morgan is my new favorite detective. An absolute triumph." ― Claire Douglas, author of The Couple at No. 9

"Superb. A compelling murder mystery told with warmth, humor and enough red herrings to keep even the most seasoned crime reader guessing." ― C.L. Taylor, author of Sleep

"Expertly plotted and relentlessly gripping, a perfectly executed murder mystery. The whip-sharp and deeply likeable Ffion leads the investigation, introducing us to a cast of brilliantly realized suspects. I loved every page." ― Lucy Clarke, author of One of the Girls

"Clare Mackintosh is just getting better and better with every book. This is a wonderfully assured and gripping read." ― Peter James, creator of DS Roy Grace

"Whipsmart dialogue, droll observation, great characters and some very nasty business make this another standout from Mackintosh." ― Linwood Barclay, author of Elevator Pitch

"Detectives Leo and Ffion make a storming debut in this twisty, cleverly-layered tale of worlds colliding." ― Belinda Bauer, author of Snap

"Her best yet. A picturesque setting, wonderful cast and a pair of detectives you'll love. Plus I guarantee you'll never guess whodunnit." ― Mark Edwards, author of Here to Stay

"Hands down the best closed cast mystery I’ve read in years! Clues and suspects fill every page as two detectives search for the killer of a former music celebrity on a lake that borders England and Wales. Readers will adore the cast of characters and never guess whodunnit! Clare Mackintosh is absolutely brilliant." ― Wendy Walker, international bestselling author

"A superb blend of psychological thriller and police procedural...A gripping portrait of two fractured people merges with believable plot twists, and the author perfectly captures the ennui of a...

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781728250960
PRICE $27.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 330 members

Featured Reviews

I love Clare Mackintosh’s books, and this one does not disappoint. Thrilling and unexpected, this one grabbed me from the start, although it did get slow in some parts. I usually can predict what will happen in many of the thrillers I read, but this one had a lot of “oh, I wasn’t expecting that!” moments. Great read!

Was this review helpful?

Was there anyone in the Welsh village of Cwm Coed who didn't hate the town houses built on the English side of their lake? When a body floats up during annual New Year's swim, secrets hidden for years also bubble to the surface. Everyone is a suspect in this fast paced, cleverly plotted, who ( or who all ) done it.

Was this review helpful?

Clare Mackintosh is phenomenal and this series opener promises exciting things to come. A recommended first purchase for all collections, particularly where thrillers are popular.

Was this review helpful?

I am a big fan of this author. Her new book set in Wales , involves a murder of a famous musician., a person who was not liked by many. This is not the easiest read; between the welch words and the introduction of many different characters, I had a difficult time remembering who was who. I stuck with it and I was glad that I did. A surprised ending and maybe a continuation of the main two characters has me anxiously waiting for the author's next book.

Was this review helpful?

This is mind spinning, complex, absolutely deeply layered and well written small town murder mystery!

I’m a big fan of author! Normally if any other authors created a slow burn murder mystery with a large of number characters, I would have a second thoughts to get into the story and I could stop reading to grab another book.

But the deeply layered character stories, Wales and England detectives’ forced teaming up, elaborated descriptions of the area, smart dialogues, the plot line about multiple suspects keeping ugly secrets including main character, well structured development about a victim who is the worst man damaged people’s lives are brilliant elements that attract my full focus.

The Broadchurch vibes of haunting mystery surrounding around the tight knitted community makes you drawn into the story a little bit more!

Summary of plot: on New Year’s Eve a very rich, popular singer Rhys Lloyd is found death, floating in the freezing water of the lake, found by townies who want to swim in the lake as a New Year tradition.

Rhys Lloyd threw a big party party at that night. There are too many witnesses and also suspects because Rhys wasn’t a good man and touched so many people’s lives and ruined them including his own family.

The lake his body is found that divides England and Wales so two detectives from different jurisdictions are in charge, teaming up for solving the case. Unfortunately those two detectives: Leo Brady from Cheshire Major Crime and Detective Constable Ffion Morgan from North Wales CD had a one night stand in New Year’s Eve. Both of them didn’t plan to see each other. But now they have to act like what happened on New Year’s Eve stays in New Year’s Eve, focusing on the case.

But Ffion is under a lot of extra pressure. Even she wants, she doesn’t walk away from the case. She’s keeping a big secret, protecting someone. But who and why? Will Leo find out about her secret agenda?

Overall: this is not my all time favorite work of the author but the writing is so good. It was long and keeping taps on lots of characters was a little exhausting but I still enjoy to get lost in this smart, challenging murder mystery! The ending was heartbreaking and moving!

I’m rounding my 3.5 stars to 5 I have to learn Welsh language stars.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

Was this review helpful?

Oh my gosh I absolutely loved this book! It had me literally sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time!

Was this review helpful?

This author has become one of my favorites. I love a thriller but I especially love hers because they always have a really great story. This book is no exception. It begins at a party and eventually involves everyone in a small community. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened.

Was this review helpful?

Excellent!! I just had a feeling that this novel was going to be outstanding! Absolutely one heck of a thriller. The writing style is phenomenal and it kept me guessing the whole way through.

Was this review helpful?

I love the part of the synopsis that said “…the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead…but who finally killed him.” That is exactly what we go through in the book – finding the who!

We are introduced to the main characters in a bang-up way! And the hits just keep on coming!

Macintosh spins The Last Party in a whirl of directions and throws in so many surprises that you totally do not see coming! She really keeps us on our toes throughout with redirection and then laces in bits of humor hidden in the recesses of the dry police crime procedures. She even throws in characters you love to hate! Yesss!

Through her fabulous storytelling ability, she crafts a compelling book that shows off her twisted brilliance as she spins us around the theories. Then she caps it off with a bomb blast that leaves you wondering what the heck….

Hang on for this ride!

Was this review helpful?

Awesome start to the series. Vivid descriptions of the Welsh countryside, tempted to get the audiobook to hear how the Welsh names are supposed to be pronounced. On the one hand the Welsh names slows the reading a little as your brain tries to figure out how to pronounce them each time. Also the time lines bounce back and forth to reveal little details of what lead to Lloyds death and eventually “whodunnit”, one could get a little lost as to whether something that happened at the New Year’s Party was being revealed, or an occasion further back in time that would reveal a new suspect, explain the actions of the suspects or the current investigation which also slowed the pace some as almost everyone involved with The Shore Resort or Mirror Lake/Llyn Drych seems to have a reason to want Lloyd dead – even DC Ffion Morgan who is investigating for the Welsh side.

Typical twists by the author scattered here and there, Typical as in when the reveal happens you might be able to say yup saw that coming, but often the delivery is more of a sucker punch.
Loved the ending but at the same time was like “what!!???”
Really looking forward to the next installment to see what the feisty Ffion’s gets up to next.
Solid 5 ⭐

Thanks to Netgalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark publishers, for the arc of The Last Party in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This was a great story: a murder mystery whodunit that was full of characters who were all so well developed and interesting. On the edge of a small Welsh town, where everyone knows everyone's business and history, Rhys Lloyd a local boy turned famous opera singer has developed lakeside land into exclusive vacation properties for only the wealthy. On New Year's Day, the locals go for their traditional cold swim and the body of Rhys Lloyd is discovered in the water. Since the lake sits on the border of Wales and England, Ffion Morgan and Leo Brady, detectives from both sides of the lake, work together to find the killer. Secrets are uncovered along the way. More than just a murder mystery, the story explores relationships between characters and how past hurts, grudges, and kindness affect how we behave and interact with one another. It's a beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this advanced copy!

Was this review helpful?

Another great novel by Clare Mackintosh!

There were a lot of characters! It took a while to build the background needed but then once we were going, I could not put the book down! I loved how all the of secrets unfolded and we got to hear all the gossip and rumors.

Ffion and Leo have great chemistry and depth of character that we got to see come out as they were trying to solve the murder.

Highly recommend this book!

Was this review helpful?

I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review

This author is mixing it up after many years of writing straightforward thrillers - man cop/lady cop team up after a “meet cute” from hell, the local color, the stifling bureaucracy, but she makes it fresh and it works! Excited to see that she has the next one in the series in the works for 2023! Easy five stars.

Was this review helpful?

When a local celebrity is found floating in the lake on New Year's Day, the small community are mostly all suspects as so many feel good riddance to him. As DC Ffion Morgan begins the investigation, the hardest part is trying to decide who DIDN'T want to kill him. With new secrets and lies uncovered at every turn, and her own past haunting her, every time she feels like she's closer to the truth another twist leaves her further behind than she was before. As the investigation begins to wrap up, she's not sure if she really wants to know who killed Rhys.

Was this review helpful?

Love this author! I already knew this would be a great one. It did not disappoint! I was hooked from the very beginning!

Was this review helpful?

First off, thank you so much to the publisher for this ARC!
I loved the tense atmosphere in this book; I read this book in one night which wasn’t my intention when I sat down to read it! This is my second book by this author and while the first book I read was good and I liked it, this book made me a fan of the author and I will be going back to read more of her books now. I don’t want to spoil too much but I really enjoyed how the storylines in this book got woven together and I was very satisfied with the ending!

Was this review helpful?

Big fan of Claire Mackintosh and always enjoy her books. This was no exception. I did have trouble with the Welsh dialogue at times, and feel like I have some lack of closure at the end, but as always kne what seemed like the end, really had some more twists and turns.

Was this review helpful?

This is my fourth Clare Mackintosh, who has always been a 4 star read for me. Well this one upped the ante and i give it 5, plus infinity, stars! i loved all the characters, even when i didn't. She is so masterful at connecting storylines/character relationships. I highly recommend this book! and also her back catalog.

Was this review helpful?

Out the gate Clare Mackintosh has created a engaging and flawed new main character in DC Ffion Morgan, a local on the Welsh side of Mirror Lake. First of what will no doubt be a successful series, The Last Party pairs DC Morgan with her English counterpart, Leo Brady, when a body is discovered near a posh development called the The Shore after a New Year's Eve party. Mirror Lake is split right down the middle vertically between Wales and England. There are many on the Welsh side (most) that didn't want to see The Shore development happen. The residents of The Shore also have reasons to wish the developer and cabin owner, Rhys Lloyd, dead. And dead he is.
There are many characters on both sides of the lake that are introduced and fleshed out with most having secrets. I love a good secret. With deep insider knowledge of the police system, being a resident of Wales, Ms Mackintosh is in a good position to bring the believability to the story. More than that even with big reveals in this novel, you can feel many more stories with DC Ffion Morgan leading the investigations.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and Netgalley for access to an early copy. All opinions are mine.

Was this review helpful?

With a literal boatload of suspects-all with a motive to commit murder- and a victim so despicable it's hard to summon any sympathy for him, a good time was not had by anyone at The Last Party (except for the reader!). Some were scammed financially by Rhys Lloyd, some fell under his predatory spell, all have an ax to grind. A musician turned real estate developer, the true mystery of The Last Party is how come no one offed Rhys sooner! What Clare Mackintosh does better than almost anyone is keep your interest through multiple twists that turn out to be dead ends. She is a master of the red herring. The Last Party has a beautiful setting-The English and Welsh countryside- inhabited by some not so pretty people (this includes a few of those investigating Rhys death). It holds your attention as you discard suspects and add others. While The Last Party is a murder mystery, the underlying plot is the tension between "the have's and have not's" living on Llyn Drych (Mirror Lake)-with the locals on the English side and the wealthy "weekenders" residing at The Shore-Rhys's upscale community on the Welsh side. The Last Party is driven as much by the characters as by the plot-the most intense moments are the back stories of Ffion Morgan and Leo Brady-detectives from each side of Llyn Drych- and others who unfortunately found themselves in Rhys's orbit. The Last Party is both fast paced and slow burn-you'll reread parts just to figure out what you missed the first time. The Last Party cements Miss Mackintosh's status as one of the most brilliant suspense writers of her generation.

Was this review helpful?

If Clare Mackintosh wrote it, you can bet I'm gonna read it.

This book captured my attention from the first page and didn't let go until the very end. This is one you won't want to miss!

Was this review helpful?

• Thank you to #Sourcebooks Landmark and #NetGalley for providing this Advance Reading Copy. Expected publication date is November 8, 2022.

#StoryGraph: fiction thriller dark mysterious tense medium-paced
448 pages | first published 2022

This might be the first book I’ve read set in Wales. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

This is the first in Mackintosh’s DC Ffion Morgan series. I have very high hopes for this series based on this first installment. The characters were realistic and I really liked the way she handled the romantic tension between Morgan and Brady.

In this story, an influential musician disappears, and later found dead, after a New Year’s Eve party that he was hosting. This is basically a closed door mystery because it takes place on a small Welsh island and practically the entire town was at the party. Now, Ffion has to find the murderer in an island full of suspects.

It took me a while to get comfortable with the unfamiliar names, but once I sorted it out this was a five-star book in every way. I am definitely looking forward to the next episode.

Was this review helpful?

4.5/5 stars! On New Years Day, while the village of Cwm Coed is taking place in their annual plunge into the lake, a body is found. Who is the body? Is it a murder? And how did they end up in Mirror Lake on New Years day? Ffion Morgan has a village of suspects and each person seems to be a suspect and have had a problem with the victim. Everyone in the village seems to have secrets, even Ffion.

This book takes place in Wales (and partly England). I really liked that Clare stuck to some of the Welsh roots and used names and words that were Welsh. I had to look up many phrases, especially pronunciations, but I think that added to the charm. The books flips from present day as two detective work to solve the crime and the recent past leading up to the murder from many of the suspects perspectives.

This book is deeply layered, with all the connections and relationships that are going on. Things we think are true, are not and some things we never even considered are happening right in front of us. Everyone in this book seems like they have a motive and the author kept me guessing until the very end! Everyone in this book has a secret, and Rhys has the most!

If I did have one complaint it would be that there was a little bit of dragging in the middle, but it quickly picked up again and I was hooked. This book is a slow moving book, which is something I have grown used to with Clare Mackintosh's books. It allows you to sit with the plot and make your own discoveries and decisions. A lot of the mysteries that are in this book, I managed to figure out, but it also didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.

I loved the stories of both Ffion Morgan and Leo Brady . I thought it didn't feel like either were finished and then I saw that Clare Mackintosh is writing a second novel in this universe! I am so excited!

This was a solid mystery, with some thrilling aspects. I found this novel a solid mystery that made my brain work, which is what I am looking for. It is a nice addition to Clare Mackintosh's array of works. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for a copy of this book. All opinions are 100% mine

Was this review helpful?

This book was everything I wanted it to be. It had me turned pages without even realizing. It was so good!

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a free advance e-reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
I love everything Clare Mackintosh writes, and "The Last Party" had me guessing nearly to the end! A fast-paced mystery set in Wales (I might need to get the audiobook just to learn how everything is pronounced), the novel opens with the race to identify the body floating in the lake at the end of chapter one, and continues with a detailed exploration heavy on character development to discover which of the many, MANY characters with motive among the townies and the posh residents of "The Shore" resort alike actually did the deed. The novel had me totally engaged from the "meet cute" of the two detectives working on the case from either side of the English / Welsh border who were themselves well crafted and sympathetic in their own rights, through the slotting of the final piece into the puzzle at the end. I highly recommend this novel, and am thrilled to read that a sequel is planned. What a great book. Five stars.

Was this review helpful?


A truly fantastic book- part thriller, part mystery, lots of community and relationship dysfunction, romance and police procedure and best yet, some culture ( I love to learn while I read as an armchair traveler).

In The Last Party, Rhys Lloyd, a Welsh hometown boy who has made it big as a singer, is discovered floating in Mirror Lake on New Year's Day. The border of England and Wales runs through the lake, thus two police organizations are involved. Ffion Morgan comes in to investigate representing the Welsh part of the area while Leo Brady is assigned to the death from the English side. The two have already met and are as opposite as can be.

I've read that Mackintosh is former police and her knowledge and experience shows in the perfect plot and procedural components. Mackintosh is also an extremely gifted writer and she is able to breath new life into situations that might have been tired elsewhere - such as a new workmates introduced after a one night stand.

Every character is interesting and all of the relationships are thoughtful and realitist. I truly never wanted this book to end and I look forward to book #2. If you like a good police procedural, a mystery with lots of human interest or just want to visit a charming town with secrets, The Last Party is for you!

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn't who wanted Rhys dead...but who finally killed him.

Was this review helpful?

The Last Party is a mystery/thriller set in modern day Wales. A has-been celebrity is found dead, and foul play is indicated. The Welsh and English police must work together to chase down leads and discover secrets in this picturesque village. I loved how everyone in this novel had secrets. There were constant surprises about people’s pasts! Whether the characters were modest or wealthy, they all had things to hide. There were a plethora of suspects that had motives for killing Rhys. I gave up on trying to make a prediction because so many people in the story hated the man. Overall it was an engaging well written mystery that I would recommend!

Was this review helpful?

Oh, how I loved this book! Clare Mackintosh never disappoints. There were so many "wait, what" moments in this book I couldn't put it down. I just had to know who did it. Definitely add this one to your TBR list.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: