Ten lucky people have won a place at the most exclusive launch event of the century: the grand opening of the Hotel Artemis, the first hotel on the moon. It’s an invitation to die for. As their transport departs for its return to Earth and the doors seal shut behind them, the guests take the next leap for mankind.
However, they soon discover that all is not as it seems. The champagne may be flowing, but there is no one to pour it. Room service is available, but there is no one to deliver it. Besides the ten of them, they are completely alone.
When one of the guests is found murdered, fear spreads through the group. But that death is only the beginning. Being three days’ journey from home and with no way to contact the outside, can any of the guests survive their stay?
The Launch Party is an entertaining mystery set on the moon! A collection of 10 very different people are off to the first ever Hotel on the Moon – Hotel Artemis – having all won a competition. But when they get there, there’s no one to greet them, and seemingly no staff. Then one of the guests is murdered, and suddenly it becomes a real possibility that one of the ten competition winners may have killed them…
This book does a great job of making you feel incredibly claustrophobic and tense. Just the thought of being somewhere like the Moon, where if you step outside your hotel you WILL die, with nowhere else to escape to, makes me feel quite sick. I certainly wouldn’t be entering this competition, but it makes for an enjoyable story!
It’s a locked room-style story without ANY chance of someone having wandered in off the street. The people in that hotel – whether there’s anyone lurking there that they don’t expect – are the only people that could have committed the crime in question, and that means plenty of distrust, paranoia and panic!
The characters in The Launch Party are entertaining enough, though I never felt like I really cared enough about any of them and I got a bit confused as to who was who (they sometimes get referred to by their first names when we’ve mostly heard them called their surname, for example) which I struggled with a little. We get to know Penelope, a Detective taking a break from the Met, the best as we see her trying to find out who committed the murder and try to bring some sense of normality to this very bizarre situation.
Of course, because the story is set on the Moon, it crosses over into sci-fi realms, but I don’t think the science side of it is believable – but as with many mystery/ thriller stories, you have to suspend your disbelief to really get into it, and this is no different. You need to accept that some parts just won’t add up, but the story is entertaining and very easy to read, making this a great holiday novel – if you like your holidays with some added anxiety thrown in for good measure! 😄 Ultimately, it’s a really fun read and I enjoyed it.
My rating: 3.75/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Zaffre, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.