My description of The Party by Elizabeth Day is a classy thriller. The book is full of suspense and keeps you guessing until the end.
Martin Gilmour and Ben Fitzmaurice have been best friends since their school days but they couldn’t have come from more different backgrounds.
Ben is from British aristocracy and continues after his school days to mix with the British elite which is demonstrated at his 40th birthday party when he invites celebrities and even the prime minster to the bash. Martin meanwhile grows up in a single parent family after the death of his mother. He’s emotionally bullied by his mother and when he’s sent away to boarding school and meets Ben, he sets his sights on becoming his friend. He tactically bumps into him in the corridor or a overhears a discussion on what music he’s into, just so he can strike up a conversation on their supposed mutual interests. Eventually Martin gets his way and the two becme firm friends and he even ends up staying with Ben’s family for school holidays. It sounds so lovely but there is unnerving underlying tension which Day so brilliantly captures. Ben often hints at his annoyance over Martin’s obsession with him and even calls him Little Shadow and Martin hints to the reader at his love and infatuation with Ben.
On one drunken evening at a society party at university the pair jump in a car with Ben’s latest squeeze and with Ben at the wheel they crash. Martin takes the blame and Ben’s dad gives him a rather generous sum of money.
The novel flits between the past and what got them to present day – Martin winding up in a police station after Ben’s birthday bash. Due to Martin’s obsession with Ben, his marriage to Lucy is rather a marriage of convenience. The men’s friendship is incredibly fickle and when Ben decides his friendship to Martin is no longer good for his image and wishes to pay him off as he will be running for MP, Lucy hits Serena, Martin’s wife, over the hit and knocks her out. All is kept hush hush as it wouldn’t be good for Ben’s image.
Pretty much all the charcaters in this book are unlikable, yet the book is incredibly captivating and made me want to read to find out more about the difuctional world they live in. I really liked this boo