‘The Couple At The Table’ is the latest book by Sophie Hannah.
You’re on your honeymoon at an exclusive couples-only resort. You receive a note warning you to ‘Beware of the couple at the table nearest to yours’. At dinner that night, five other couples are present, and none of their tables is any nearer or further away than any of the others. It’s as if someone has set the scene in order to make the warning note meaningless – but why would anyone do that? You have no idea. You also don’t know that you’re about to be murdered, or that once you’re dead, all the evidence will suggest that no one there that night could possibly have committed the crime.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Sophie Hannah, so when I got the opportunity to read her latest, I jumped at the chance.
If you’re a fan of Cluedo then settle in, as this book has all the key components of a gripping whodunnit, packed with suspicious characters who all had motives and one huge thing in common – they all despised the victim. Newly wed Jane to William, the ex husband of Lucy who had an affair whilst Lucy was pregnant with their daughter Evin. Lucy is now engaged to the kindhearted Pete and they decided to go away on a weekend, unknown that Jane and William, Lucy will also be staying at Tevendon, couples resort with three other couples. Whilst on this break, Jane manages to annoy everyone and when she receives a note saying “Beware”this gets her back up. So, when she’s found with stabbed in the back, couple Charlie and Simon who were off the beat with their job find themselves consumed with case and trying to find the killer.
This story is written in the past and present tense, the moment leading up to the murder and the couples in the months after as they all try to piece those last moments together knowing that there is a killer amongst them. Lucy who was once friends with Jane when she was her doula, is obsessed with the case and resorts to writing letters to all the visitors of the resorts as if they are the killer, just to get some movement on the case. Her obsession is the main plotline in the story and does make for dark reading as we learn more about the nasty character that Jane was.
Simon the police officer is also consumed with case, much to the pain of his colleagues and spends his day drawing maps and constantly accounting for each moment whilst staying at Tevendon. What’s interesting about the story, is the wide range of characters, who are all flawed in some way and all harbour secrets that they never want expose and this makes the pace of the story increase and the suspects mount up as you’re constantly wondering what if.
An extraordinarily gripping and cleverly crafted book riddled with deceit and uncertainty from the first page, ‘The Couple At The Table’ is a taunt and observational story about complex relationships that had an ending that will blow your mind.
You can buy ‘The Couple At The Table’ on Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.