"I loved everything about The Last Party. Taut, pacey and so atmospheric with brilliantly executed twists and wonderfully written characters. DC Ffion Morgan is my new favorite detective. An absolute triumph." — Claire Douglas, author of The Couple at No. 9
"Superb. A compelling murder mystery told with warmth, humor and enough red herrings to keep even the most seasoned crime reader guessing." — C.L. Taylor, author of Sleep
"Expertly plotted and relentlessly gripping, a perfectly executed murder mystery. The whip-sharp and deeply likeable Ffion leads the investigation, introducing us to a cast of brilliantly realized suspects. I loved every page." — Lucy Clarke, author of One of the Girls
"Brilliant, so atmospheric….I fell in love with the courageous, complicated detective Ffion Morgan and I think readers will too." — Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of One by One
"Clare Mackintosh is just getting better and better with every book. This is a wonderfully assured and gripping read" — Peter James, creator of DS Roy Grace
"Whipsmart dialogue, droll observation, great characters and some very nasty business make this another standout from Mackintosh" — Linwood Barclay, author of Elevator Pitch
"Detectives Leo and Ffion make a storming debut in this twisty, cleverly-layered tale of worlds colliding" — Belinda Bauer, author of Snap
"Her best yet. A picturesque setting, wonderful cast and a pair of detectives you'll love. Plus I guarantee you'll never guess whodunnit" — Mark Edwards, author of Here to Stay
"The writing is superb. Wicked fun, devilishly clever, with echoes of Agatha Christie. This is a party you won't want to miss." — Patricia Cornwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Hands down the best closed cast mystery I’ve read in years! Clues and suspects fill every page as two detectives search for the killer of a former music celebrity on a lake that borders England and Wales. Readers will adore the cast of characters and never guess whodunnit! Clare Mackintosh is absolutely brilliant." — Wendy Walker, international bestselling author
On the Welsh side of Mirror Lake, New Year's means the annual plunge into the freezing lake for all the villagers. On the English side, the wealthy residents of The Shore, a luxury development of lakeside lodges, celebrate New Year's Eve with a party, inviting their village neighbors from Cwm Coed. When Rhys Lloyd, owner of The Shore, is found floating in the water on New Year's Day, all the local residents are suspects. The villagers resent the development, and blame Rhys, who already had a reputation as the local bad boy. Detective Constables Ffion Morgan and Leo Brody are assigned the case. But everyone has secrets, including Ffion, and her secrets could sabotage the investigation. While the police seem to find Rhys's killer in just two weeks, the effects of accusations and rumors, affairs and broken marriages, and drugs and booze, could change lives forever. Neither police officer comes out of the investigation unscathed, but Ffion's secret from her past results in several shocking developments. VERDICT The author of Hostage launches a police procedural series featuring well-developed, complex characters. The format alternates between the party and the investigation in a gripping story with twists and turns.—Lesa Holstine
Layers of historical and social context deepen the allure of this icy murder mystery set in North Wales.
When Rhys Lloyd’s dead body is discovered during the traditional New Year’s polar swim in the village of Cwm Coed, it quickly becomes apparent that there is no lack of suspects; many people wished to see him dead. As the owner of The Shore, a new resort community, Rhys was a polarizing figure despite having grown up in the village. As the lake and the new mansions lie right on the border between England and Wales—and represent the fraught history of these countries—police officers from both sides are assigned to the case: Ffion Morgan, a local girl trying to live down her own history as “Ffion Wyllt” (Wild Ffion) and get back on her feet after a divorce, and Leo Brady, haunted by a decision he made that may cost him joint custody of his young son. Neither are they exactly strangers to one another, having spent one night together that was never supposed to mean more than that. Ffion and Leo must navigate their own tension—sexual and otherwise—as well as the historic tension between their countries and the extreme hierarchy of social class as it pertains to both their wealthy victim and their suspects. Mackintosh offers multiple perspectives as the chapters both move forward from New Year's Day and back into the past. As with most successful mysteries, the identity of the murderer, once revealed after a few red herrings, is both stunning and tragically logical. While the movement through time and perspective can sometimes be a little jarring, and makes the novel read slowly at first, the resolution—of not only the mystery, but also the relationships and side plots—offers a deep acceptance of human fragility and complexity.
Come to meet the interestingly dysfunctional characters; stay to cheer them on with a full heart.