Book blitz: 16 to 24 May 2023
In a luxury villa set high in the hills above the glamorous town of Sorrento, southern Italy, three couples gather for the perfect 40th birthday celebration.
Before the week is out, one of them is dead.
Their perfect reunion quickly becomes the holiday from hell when one of the group starts receiving anonymous messages, threatening to expose a dark secret from their university days.
As old friendships are tested to the limit, it’s clear that what happens in the dark past won’t stay buried …
Set in early August 2019 in the gorgeous Italian location of Sorrento, The Final Party tells the story of six friends (three couples) who have known each other for years. They’ve gathered at a stunning villa to celebrate Vanessa’s upcoming 40th birthday.
Padma is married to Nick, Vanessa (Ness) is married to Marcus (who she met at work), and Lana is married to Johnny. Four of them were at the University of Oxford together: Johnny, Nick, Padma and Vanessa. Lana and Padma were at primary school together and Johnny and Vanessa are childhood friends. They’re all very connected and know each other well – Johnny is also Padma’s ex! Two of the three couples have children.
In their final year of university, in 2001, something bad happened to Padma and it still affects her now. This period of time has particular significance in the story and there are regular flashbacks to the events that took place. The story is told from the points of view of each of the six characters, which gives the reader a great insight into what each of them has been up to and their deepest, darkest thoughts and fears.
Right from the start, the atmosphere was awkward and unpleasant and the holiday seemed destined for disaster. I was surprised that everyone was still friends – most of them didn’t seem to like each other particularly, even the couples! They were all hiding secrets, with varying degrees of severity, from each other and, over the course of a few days, the tension rose and things reached boiling point very quickly! The majority of them had spent the last 18 years beholden to each other, lying to/for the others and hiding secrets; such a stressful way to live.
I was a little confused by all the different characters at first but, once I’d worked out who they all were, I was transfixed. This was such a tense and gripping novel and so twisty – there were lots of shocking revelations; most of which I was totally surprised by!
Overall, this was a cleverly plotted and well-paced story and very engaging! All the characters were pretty horrible and there was so much tension, lots of seething emotions and so many unsaid words. I couldn’t put the book down as they all fascinated me and I was curious to put all the clues together and find out how everything was going to reach its dramatic climax and who was going to end up dead!
I’ve read and enjoyed A.A. Chaudhuri’s earlier legal thriller series (The Scribe and The Abduction) and can’t wait to read her two other psychological thrillers, She’s Mine and The Loyal Friend.
Buy the book
The Final Party by A.A. Chaudhuri is released on 25 May and can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback, and as an eBook from Kobo and iBooks. See also Ethical Booksearch.
About the author
A.A. Chaudhuri is a former city lawyer. After gaining a degree in history at University College London, she later trained as a solicitor and worked for several major London law firms before leaving law to pursue her passion for writing.
She is the author of The Scribe and The Abduction, books 1 and 2 of her Kramer and Carver legal thriller series featuring the feisty Maddy Kramer, which is also published in audio.
Her first highly acclaimed psychological thriller with Hera Books, She’s Mine, was published on Kindle, paperback and audio in August 2021 and in April 2022 was named the LJ Ross Book Club pick of the month. The Loyal Friend was published on 23 June 2022 and has received widespread praise.
She lives in Surrey with her family, and loves films, all things Italian and a good margarita!
Thanks to The SquadPod Collective for my place on the book blitz.