Marissa Parlette is celebrating her engagement and has invited to the party a childhood friend whom she hasn’t been in touch with since they had a falling out back in college. The engagement party turns out to be a disaster, since veiled insults and cryptic remarks are flying across the dinner table all evening, and Marissa’s friend appears to be flirting heavily with all the men at their table. The next morning, the friend shows up dead at the bottom of a cliff, and Marissa investigates the circumstances around the death.
I love Agatha Christie type mysteries in remote locations. I enjoy tense family and friend gatherings where the most casual comments are dripping with venom. And I especially adore mysteries where a murder turns out to be linked to some deep dark secret from the past that has been simmering for years and has finally exploded into violence. So A.J. Banner’s After Nightfall seemed like catnip for my reading tastes, and I was very excited to dive in.
The story was interesting, and the characters compelling, but the book overall didn’t keep me enthralled as much as I wanted it to. The last few chapters felt choppy, and while the big reveal wasn’t wholly unexpected, the pacing felt a bit rushed. There was also a last-minute revelation that just felt tacked on and unnecessary.
Overall, it’s a solid thriller, and a good quick read. I just wish it had a stronger grip.
Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.