The Club by Ellery Lloyd: A Funny, Fast-paced, and Super Smart Thriller Book Review

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Ellery Lloyd's club
Ellery Lloyd’s club

It’s billed as the celebrity event of the decade…

Of course, the A-listers are all dying to be invited to the party, but what they don’t yet know is that if your name is on the list, you might not get out.

Ellery Lloyd, pseudonyms for the London-based husband and wife writing team of journalist Collette Lyons and author Paul Vlitos, follows up her sizzling debut People Like Her with an engaging and highly entertaining exploration of the pernicious cult of celebrity.

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Think greed, vengeance, jealousy and uber ambition, and with the darkest of hearts and a razor-sharp brand of satirical humor, this inspired duo transports readers into the seething tensions, burning ambitions and wildest whims of the glitzy, glamorous celebs whose dirty secrets become theirs surpassed only by those paid to attend to their every need.

There’s no place like Home, a glamorous collection of exclusive private members’ clubs dotted around the world where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash in their five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of the fans and the media.

And now the most spectacular and ambitious project to date – Island Home, a forgotten island off the coast of Essex – has been transformed into a luxury resort, and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.

But behind the scenes, and just hours before the first guests arrive, tensions are at breaking point. The project has pushed Ned Groom, the cranky, tantrum-prone CEO of the Home Group, and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits.

Leading the staff are newly appointed housekeeper Jess Wilson, who was never told why her predecessor left, Ned’s revised PA Nikki Hayes, Head of Membership Annie Spark, the super fixer supreme, and Ned’s brother Adam, the partner , who has always stood in the shadow of his older sibling.

They all have something to hide… before the beautiful people with their own dark secrets even arrive on the island in their helicopters, speedboats, blacked-out SUVs, and Model S Teslas.

As tempers flare and behavior worsens, things grow spookier by the hour and the death toll begins to mount, some of Island Home’s members will wish they had never made the guest list.

There’s so much to enjoy in this well-planned foray into an unforgettable weekend at Island Home as this world-class storytelling team plunges us into a veritable snake’s nest where discontent, revenge, hidden truths and intrigue are on a grisly collision course.

In classic locked room mystery style, the action takes place on an island where journey to the mainland is dependent on the tides, and with alternating perspectives between the main characters and a Vanity Fair magazine retrospective, we get tantalizing glimpses of the deadly dangers who expect the wealthy clientele.

With some current issues taking center stage, a setting straight out of a Bond film, an immaculately crafted cast of intriguing and flawed characters, and an alluring trickle of twisty surprises for you to savor, this is a fun, fast-paced, and super-smart thriller that will keep you hooked until… completely satisfying finale.

(Mantle, tied, £14.99)

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