Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Couple at the Table’ by Sophie Hannah. Huge thanks to Jenny at Hodder & Stoughton for the opportunity to join and for the fab review copy.
Author : Sophie Hannah
Title : The Couple at the Table
Pages : 420
Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date : January 27, 2022
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
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 sitting close by, but none of their tables is any nearer or further away than any of the others. It’s almost as if someone has set the scene in order to make the warning note meaningless. 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.
So who might be trying to warn you? And who might be about to kill you, and seems certain to get away with it?
| MY THOUGHTS |
Six couples are on holiday at a resort but before they know it, one person will be dead and everybody else will be under suspicion for murder. One of the couples just happens to be detective Simon Waterhouse and his wife Sergeant Charlie Zailer. The story switches back and forth between the “then” and the “now”, which is six months later when Waterhouse is rather obsessed with this case as it has not yet been solved.
The victim, Jane, had been receiving what looked like threatening notes. Hardly surprising because, well, let’s just say she wasn’t exactly a terribly nice person. Who wrote the notes? What was so special about the tables? Is the person who wrote the note also Jane’s killer? And why? Holy cow, so many questions. Forensics has ruled out an intruder so the suspect must be one of the six couples but detective Waterhouse is stuck and his boss wants him to start focusing on other things.
Help, if you can call it that, comes from the most remarkable corner in the form of Lucy. After all, it is her ex-husband’s new wife who has found herself dead. Why would Lucy care who did it or why, as long as this person is out of her life? I didn’t particularly like Lucy, or her annoying habit of seemingly shoving her nose into wherever it didn’t belong, but she does make an awfully good unreliable narrator.
In fact, all the characters are well thought out. I would have liked to have known more about them, spent some more time with them, got into their heads and really get a grip on what they were thinking. Each one is quite quirky in their own right, yet none of them are particularly likeable. Everybody seems to be hiding something, which makes finding out the killer’s identity a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. I did guess correctly but it wasn’t at all due to my excellent detecting skills. More of a lucky shot in the dark but I don’t feel any less smug about it 😏.
I must admit that there were parts I found dragged a little and were slightly repetitive, but the latter part of the book especially is hugely addictive. I absolutely adored Simon and Charlie. Speaking of, in case you were unaware (as I was) this is part of a series but not having read any of the previous books didn’t have an impact on my reading at all. There are plenty of twists and red herrings, and questions that need answers. Also, I quite liked the ultimate reveal which felt rather Agatha Christie-esque.
Premeditated murder? A tale of revenge? An accident? Who the heck knows. ‘The Couple at the Table‘ is most definitely a twisty, slightly bonkers but delightfully entertaining whodunnit.
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling crime fiction writer whose books have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her crime novels have been translated into 49 languages and published in 51 countries.
Sophie helped to create a Master’s Degree in Crime and Thriller Writing at the University of Cambridge, for which she is the main teacher and Course Director. She is also the founder of the Dream Author Coaching Programme for writers which launched in September 2019.
She lives with her husband, children and dog in Cambridge, where she is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College.