The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh

How can it possibly be more than three years since I read a Clare Mackintosh book? Then I was reviewing After The End in a post you’ll find here. Prior to that I reviewed I Let You Go here.

Today, however, I’m sharing my reviewing of Clare’s latest book, The Last Party and I would like to extend my grateful thanks to Emma Finnigan for sending me a copy in return for an honest review.

Published by Sphere on 4th August 2022, The Last Party is available for purchase through these links.

The Last Party


On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.

His lakeside holiday homes are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours. This will be the party to end all parties.

But not everyone is there to celebrate. By midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year’s Day, DC Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects.

The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbours, friends and family – and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead . . . but who finally killed him.

In a village with this many secrets, a murder is just the beginning.

My Review of The Last Party

Rhys Lloyd is dead.

What an absolute belter of a story. I literally suspected almost every single character in this narrative of having murdered Rhys Lloyd at some point, except for DI Crouch!

The Last Party is superbly constructed and the way in which Clare Macintosh draws the threads of the story together is just brilliant. Of course, her twisty, fast paced technique makes it impossible to say anything about the plot for fear of spoilers for other readers. Let me simply say that I thought The Last Party was a brilliant story and the shifting time frames and perspectives make it a mesmerising narrative that is just fabulous.

I loved the characters too. What Clare Mackintosh does so well is to illustrate in her characters how no-one is perfect, how we all present personas that may not be the truth about who we really are or how we really feel, and how right and wrong can become blurred and inverted. Indeed, The Last Party made my head spin and my concept of morality shift on its axis.

I thought Rhys Lloyd was a triumph. The fact that any one of those around him had reason to want him dead should have made him thoroughly despicable and the more I discovered about him, the more glad I was that he’d been murdered! However, just at the point when Clare Macintosh makes her reader delighted such a man has been murdered, she provides just enough redemption for him to add depth and make the reader question their response. I absolutely loved this aspect of the story. It’s incredibly skilled manipulation of reader expectation.

I could not be happier than to learn that The Last Party is the first in a new series as Ffion Morgan is a rounded, flawed, addictive character about whom I need to know more. I felt her sense of belonging to the local community contrasted so intelligently with her difference from others in it making her thoroughly intriguing and compelling.

The themes underpinning The Last Party are profound. Whilst the story can be read as a highly addictive police investigation into a murder, it also explores identity and fame, family and relationships, various aspects of control and manipulation in a swirling maelstrom of engaging elements. Certainly I was thoroughly entertained by The Last Party, but I was equally moved by some of the relationships and revelations, and left contemplative too. I thought this was brilliant writing.

The Last Party is everything a reader wants in a thriller. It’s twisty, engrossing, and downright cracking entertainment. I thoroughly enjoyed it and think everyone should read it.

About Clare Mackintosh

clare mackintosh

Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and is the founder of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She now writes full time and lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times bestseller and the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club (and was the winning title of the readers’ vote for the summer 2015 selection) and for ITV’s Loose Women’s Loose Books. It is a New York Times bestseller, with translation rights sold to more than 30 countries.

Her second psychological thriller, I See You, was a number 1 Sunday Times bestseller and Audible’s best selling psychological thriller in 2016. Translation rights have been sold to almost 30 countries.

Clare is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity which supports the work carried out in the John Radcliffe Hospital’s Silver Star unit, providing special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy.

There’s further information on Clare’s website. You’ll also find her on Facebook and can follow Clare on Instagram and Twitter @claremackint0sh.

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