Title: The Couple at the Table
Author: Sophie Hannah
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
You’re on your honeymoon at an exclusive couples-only resort.
You receive a note, warning you to ‘Beware of the couple at the table nearest to yours’. At dinner that night, five other couples are sitting close by, but none of their tables is any nearer or further away than any of the others. It’s almost as if someone has set the scene in order to make the warning note meaningless. Why would anyone do that?
You have no idea.
You also don’t know that you’re about to be murdered, or that once you’re dead, all the evidence will suggest that no one there that night could possibly have committed the crime.
So who might be trying to warn you? And who might be about to kill you, and seems certain to get away with it?
It’s great to be back in the world of Simon Waterhouse, and another twisty, addictive case.
I always hugely look forward to a new Sophie Hannah book, and the premise of this book intrigued me. The ‘locked room’-style instantly made me want to read it – we know one of the fairly small group of people staying at the luxury holiday resort must have murdered fellow guests Jayne, but even 6 months later the thoroughly entertaining Simon Waterhouse hasn’t worked it out. Oh, and I should mention – Simon and Charlie happened to be staying in the same resort at the time of the murder!
We see a lot of this novel from Lucy’s point of view. She’s the ex-wife of William, who is married to Jayne, the murder victim, and she happened to be staying at the resort at the time of the murder too! Since her and William’s marriage ended on very bad terms, you’d think she was suspect number 1. And yet, we soon find out there are a LOT of people at that resort who disliked – perhaps even hated – Jayne, making it much harder for Simon (and Charlie) to work out what on earth really happened.
This is a puzzling but very fun murder mystery, and in the inimitable style of Sophie Hannah, you’re kept guessing right up until the end. I had no clue about what had happened and couldn’t have guessed it at all before the end but, as expected, I loved the journey to get there!
Simon is his usual brilliant but frustrating self, and Charlie’s exasperation with him is as entertaining as ever! We switch between Simon and Charlie’s perspectives, that of the other guests (mainly Lucy’s), and also staff member Anita. I loved the switch between characters and, although I felt this book moved at a slower pace than others in the series, I honestly didn’t want it to end and enjoyed every page.
There’s humour, surprises and plenty of intrigue from the first page to last. Sophie Hannah is still, without a doubt, the master of bonkers mysteries, and she is one of my favourite authors full stop.
My rating: 4/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.
Great review, Laura! Makes me want to read it 🙂 x
Thanks Janet! It is a twisty, fun read – just the kind I am drawn to ????