The Party House By Lin Anderson

Reviewer rating

Format reviewed: Audio
Ready by Greg Miller Burns and Susie Riddell
9 hours and 48 minutes

The Party House by Lin Anderson

Joanne Addington, a writer and blogger, meets Greg Taylor at a conference in London which is being held to promote the Scottish highland estate where Greg works as a gamekeeper. They have a fling and Greg invites Joanne to visit him at Beanach, a small village. The invitation was meant to be one of those things you say, but to his surprise, Joanne shows up shortly after. Joanne soon learns that there is trouble brewing. The Blackrig Estate was purchased some years ago by an investment company and the manor was being used as to host retreats and hunting parties. This is where Greg works. The problem is that during the Covid pandemic, the Blackrig owners broke curfew and opened the house for a party. Subsequently, several residents of the village, including children, died from the virus and the locals are very upset to learn that the property will be opening again.

Joanne, in theory, is visiting for vacation and to do research for her writing. Greg is trying to juggle having a passionate guest visiting, dealing with the estate owners who seem to enjoy bossing him around, and the locals, who have affection for him since he grew up there, but are mad at him for his association with the owners of the estate. It quickly becomes apparent that Joanne, Greg, and some of the village residents have secrets motivating their actions. The discovery of the body of a local teenager who went missing a few years earlier adds another layer to the story, as a very competent police team arrives and secrets start being exposed.

A big strength of the story is the localization of the story with authentic Scottish names. There were two readers, one for Joanne’s point of view and one for Greg’s. They did a great job and having two readers added a lot to the story and helped develop the atmosphere. The pacing dragged a bit in places, but overall it was an enjoyable mystery.

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