“Thirteen guests. One killer. No escape.”
The Invitation by A.M. Castle is set on an island on the coast of Cornwall, cut off from the mainland by the tides for most of the day, where thirteen old friends meet for a weekend of revelry. By the next evening, only twelve are still alive.
Amongst them is a killer – but who? As a storm traps them on the island and past betrayals and grievances are revealed, nerves fray and friendships begin to fracture. But with no escape and no way of calling for help it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again. And when everyone is keeping secrets, anybody could be the next victim…
The trouble with a story like this is that if you’ve read something similar before, you’re always going to compare it. So if you haven’t read anything that feels vaguely familiar, you will likely enjoy this a lot more than I did. But unfortunately, I have read a few books with a very similar plot, one of which was also set in a location akin to this fictional Cornish castle.
It was the setting that really intrigued me with this story as I live in Cornwall and love visiting St Michael’s Mount, which seems to be the inspiration for this fictional building. But I didn’t get enough atmosphere from it, so there was nothing that made the most of this beautiful but isolated location for me, aside from it cutting off the characters from the possibility of leaving.
Because I have read similar, nothing stood out for me in this one. The characters were all petty and unlikeable, and it irritated me how much they openly disliked each other, outright admitting that they wanted to kill each other. When you’re faced with characters like this, you end up wanting them all to die, so it was disappointing to have so many of them still stood standing at the end.
I would definitely give this author another shot as it’s hard to fairly review a story that you’ve had various other experiences of, but The Invitation just fell flat for me.