Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Couple at the Table

The Couple at the Table by Sophie Hannah
11/1/22; 368 pages
Spilling CID #11

The Couple at the Table by Sophie Hannah is a recommended murder mystery.

Jane and William are on their honeymoon at Tevendon Estate Resort, an exclusive couples-only resort, that her father owns. During the same time William's ex-wife, Lucy Dean, is also there with her fiance, Peter. Five other couples are there also, including Constable Simon Waterhouse and his wife Sargent. Charlie Zailer. During the stay Jane has received two notes that she finds threatening and decides to verbally attack Lucy. As the drama unfolds, Jane leaves and is later found murdered. The plot is a closed room whodunit.

The quality of the writing is good and following the clues in this case and the beginning of the novel are both strong elements. Then it proceeded to keep going on and on, only to became tedious and over long. I appreciate following the clues to find the guilty party, but after a strong start, the plot was a slog to get through. All the various theories and motives were simply too much. Jane was a thoroughly unlikable character, so who wouldn't want to see her gone. Although this is part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone.

The timeline moves between July 2019, at the resort, and January 2020 during the investigation. All of the couples at the resort have secrets, but the question is what secret are worth murder. The number of characters made it a challenge at times to keep everyone straight and follow the narrative. While it is an enjoyable, Hannah has written better novels.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.

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