BOOK CLUB: The Party – Lisa Hall

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Author: Lisa Hall
ISBN: 9780008302726
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: 20 August 2018
Publisher: HQ Fiction
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

The Party is the first book I have read by Lisa Hall and it is one that I found disturbing and uncomfortable to read, while still enjoying it. The subject matter is entirely relevant and, sadly, completely believable.

Rachel attends a neighbourhood New Year’s Eve party in her street, with her husband and neighbours. A party that she feels safe at, as she should.

The story opens New Year’s Day when Rachel wakes up feeling terrible in a strange room with no recollection of how she got there. Things rapidly go from bad to worse as she struggles to remember what has happened, with no luck, but KNOWS that something bad has happened to her. It isn’t until she leaves the room she is in that she discovers where she is and it doesn’t help her feel any better.

Rachel’s life starts to spiral in the aftermath after having to face a worried/angry husband after she didn’t come home, reporting the incident to the police and realising that it can be very difficult to investigate a situation like this. I’m sure this is one of the biggest reasons so many attacks, especially ones in a party situation like this go unreported.

The police take the report and give assurances they will do all they can to find the answers. Rachel can’t sit back and do nothing with this hanging over her head, which I can completely understand, so she starts doing some investigation of her own; talking to people and trying to piece together events to fill the gaps in her memory. It seems that everyone has something to hide and no-one is telling the whole story.

Hall writes a suspenseful tale that left me questioning everyone, Hall left not a person untarnished, making it very difficult to know who could be trusted. Rachel had her head messed with as much as her body in a nightmare that lasted for weeks.

The story is told in two time frames, best to build suspense and an effective tool when well used. The party is the pivot point for the time slips with everything falling into a time frame before the party, or after the party.

Things weren’t so amazing for Rachel and her husband in the months leading up to the New Year’s Eve party and there was quite a bit to cast suspicion in a range of directions which just left Rachel shattered, jumpy and I wanted to say paranoid, but it wasn’t really paranoia with someone doing all they could to mess with her head.

Everyone has something to hide, something they don’t want people knowing, and hiding info to protect yourself makes you look extremely suspicious. The more we discover about the time leading up to the party, the more people seem to have motive and the further we get from uncovering the truth. Through it all Rachel has moments of time come back to her but nothing conclusive, and the police are struggling to find the answers.  Rachel is determined to find the answers because she refuses to allow herself to become a victim.

The Party is an intense read that I think some people may struggle with. Yes this is a fictional novel but it could definitely be a trigger. The gloss and façade of a relatively close suburban area isn’t always as happy and friendly as things seem, the things that go on behind closed doors can be disturbing on many levels and if everyone is out to protect their own secrets who can you ever be sure has your back if you need them.

The Party is a disturbing look at life and relationships that I think has been realistically explored with some massive unexpected twists that I would recommend to thriller lovers, especially those that like a more ordinary (for want of a better word) scenario. Definitely an author I will be keeping an eye out for.

Lisa Hall can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

Thanks to HQ Fiction 15 of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Party. Please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

19 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Party – Lisa Hall

        1. ahh.. well that’s excellent on so many counts.
          it was just that I went to update records and couldn’t find you 🙂

  1. The Party was a thrilling, suspenseful book that I could not put down. Full of twists & turns, it kept me on the edge of my seat for the two days that it took me to read. The book flowed at a steady pace and was very well written. I’ll definitely be looking to read more books by Lisa Hall

    Thanks to Beauty & Lace & Harlequin for providing this book!

  2. The Party was a one night read for me. I class it part thriller-part domestic drama.

    Rachel wakes up the morning after a neighbourhood New Years Eve party with no memory of the night before, however her instincts tell her something is not right…something has happened.

    The story then goes onto follow Rachel as she tries to piece together what happened that night, something hard to do when everyone that was there is not telling the truth- they have their own secrets.

    The story is told in dual timelines- we learn alot about Rachels marriage, family and life leading up to the party.

    The author throws in quiet a few possible suspects- i wasnt sure which way the story would go but being a seasoned armchair detective i guessed correctly towards the end of the novel.

    The Party was a well written, fast paced novel that i raced through to find out the conclusion.

  3. Wow! What a roller coaster ride of emotions. Lisa Hall has done it again.
    I was horrified, saddened and gripped by this book. We have all had that moment of ‘what if?’ – The Party is a dark look at following your instincts even if you are not going to like the outcome.

    Not everything is as it seems!

    This is the second novel I have read of hers and I am definitely a fan!

    Thank you to Harlequin and Beauty & Lace for the copy.

  4. Easy to read, hard to put down and (unfortunately!) very close to real life!

    The Party by Lisa Hall is an enthralling read with many twists and turns that addresses the issue of rape. Rachel wakes up the day after her neighbour’s party with no recollection of where she is or what happened to her at the party. That in itself is such a disturbing and scary situation to be in. Then comes the realisation that she was violated with no idea of who had done that to her. Without clear evidence, the police slow down their investigation so Rachel decides to take matters into her own hands.

    The story is told through two different time frames so we are able to learn some history before and after the party. We learn that there are quite a number of shady characters who could be Rachel’s rapist, and with plenty of twists and turns, the suspense is held right to the end.

    Well done Lisa Hall for writing a very interesting novel. Thank you very much Beauty & Lace and HQ Fiction for this wonderful opportunity. The Party is a book that I recommend to others. You will find it very hard to put down.

  5. The Party starts with Rachel waking up from a New Year’s Eve party and no remembering anything that happened the night before. It jumps between different time frames to fill you in on the characters backgrounds and it had suspense but I picked who it was about 3/4 of the way through. I felt like some of the characters were just in there to pad the story out though.
    It was an easy read.
    Thanks for the book 🙂

  6. The party is a novel centred around a woman- Rachel who finds herself waking up to from a NYE party, in someone else’s bed, but alone and traumatised. The story then follows Rachel as she tries to uncover what happened that night, why she can’t remember any of it and who she can really trust. I found the book to be an enjoyable thriller, was left guessing throughout the novel as to the culprit and would recommend reading for anyone that enjoys this genre.

    Thanks to B&L and Harlequin for the read.

  7. I read this book as part of the book club. Thanks Beauty and Lace and HQ Fiction

    I found this book to be a little uncomfortable to be honest (Although this is most likely due to personal experience). I had a sexually motivated home invasion a few years back and honestly reading about someone else’s fears about being home alone etc really got to me-its written in a very realistic way as to the thoughts that go through someone’s head when fear takes over, the funny thing is I still kept reading and I just couldn’t put it down.

    The story follows Rachel and her desperate search for answers, she wants to know exactly what happened to her and why. It didn’t end up being the person I though it was at all, that’s probably what made it all the more interesting

  8. The Party by Lisa Hall had me sucked in from the first few pages. The thrill, suspense, sadness and real life emotions took me on one hell of a ride.
    When Rachel wakes in a strange bed after a neighbours party it starts her downward spiral of trusting no-one. Her husband, her lover, her best friend. She questions everyone’s motives and their relationship.
    By far one of the best reads I have read lately. I’d recommend to all. The suspense will get you and keep you questioning until the end. Thankyou Beauty and Lace!

  9. The party by Lisa Hall was a very easy enthralling read, which I easily finished in two sittings!

    A disturbing story, but a story that could easily happen in real life, The Party was chilling, well written, and easily kept me entertained.

    As a first time reader of Lisa Hill, I will definitely be looking for more titles by her!

    Thankyou to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read this great story.

  10. Really enjoyed The Party, was drawn in very easily from the start and didn’t want to put the book down.
    Love books that keep you guessing whodunnit and this book had many twists and turns and surprises right till the end.
    I couldn’t imagine being in Rachels position but Lisa Hall did an amazing job of making us really empathise and feel exactly what the character was feeling on so many levels.
    Will certainly recommend and be looking for more by this author!

  11. This isn’t the sort of book that I normally read but once I got started I couldn’t put it down.

    The plot itself was quite confronting and my heart was breaking for the main character the whole way through. The twists and turns kept me guessing till the end

  12. The Party by Lisa Hall is not usually a genre I enjoy but I have to say that this may be a turning point for me. A very engaging roller-coaster of a book which was hard to put down. Lots of clues along the way but still left guessing. The character-Rachel, is very relate-able and the way the book is written, I felt connected to her and felt that it could have been me.

  13. When Rachel wakes up in a room she doesn’t recognise after a neighbour’s party, she has no recollection of the night before. Her husband had left her alone at the party, and her arms in covered in bruises. Little by little, Rachel pieces together the events that took place at the party. Her neighbours and friends are vague about the night’s events, and they all have something to hide.

    I didn’t get very far in this book. Unfortunately, I found the subject of this book too confronting. As soon as it was brought up in the book, I had to put it down. However, I decided to read snippets of the book, to get a better idea of the characters and the writing style.

    Very early in the story, there is a lot of character development. You get an almost instant impression of who Rachel and Gareth really are. You also get a bit of an impression of the other characters involved in the story. I found myself getting really angry at Gareth early on – he really irked me with his attitude.

    I ended up skipping to the end of the novel to find out what happened and who was responsible for what. I was a bit surprised by the ending, however I think a bit of a surprise ending can make a great story. It was also a story with a bit of an open ending – you wonder what will happen next!

    I’m glad I had the opportunity to at least try this book.

  14. ‘The Party’ begins with main character Rachel waking up in the spare bedroom of her neighbour’s house after attending a New Year’s Eve party the night before. Rachel notices that she is injured, and it is clear from her injuries that she has been sexually assaulted. Rachel is unable to remember any of the details from the night before and desperately seeks answers from all who attended the party. As time goes by Rachel becomes increasingly desperate to know what has happened and it begins to take over her life.

    I thought the author did a good job to disguise the identity of the attacker throughout the novel and was able to build to a climax by revealing alternate secrets kept by each of the party goers and thereby eliminating each suspect until the true perpetrator was finally revealed.

    The author included confronting and difficult themes in this book including sexual assault, however, I think these were treated respectfully and thoughtfully.

    Unfortunately for me, the ending was a disaster. Personally, I would have preferred the author to leave the ending completely open-ended rather than hinting at such an implausible and dramatic outcome.

    Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others. I would definitely read another book by Lisa Hall in the future as I enjoyed her writing style.

  15. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Beauty and Lace Bookclub.

    I found this book a difficult read because it is so realistic with some very confronting content. In some ways it reminded me of the book and tv series The Slap, whereby a story is told with different piece woven together by different characters. This book grabs your attention and holds it, making it hard to put down and hard to not spend your time away from it try to pick the culprit. I didn’t love the way some of the timing jumped around, but other than that it was a great book which I would recommend to others.

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