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The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh

The Last Party

Repeat author

Clare Mackintosh is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include I Let You Go.

by Clare Mackintosh

Quick take

Nobody likes the reflection in Mirror Lake when a dead body bobs to the surface and starts unveiling all their secrets.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Rural_update


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Whodunit



At midnight, one of them is dead.

By morning, all of them are suspects.

It’s a party to end all parties, but not everyone is here to celebrate.

On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests. His vacation homes on Mirror Lake are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbors.

But by midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year’s Day, Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects. The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbors, 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, murder is just the beginning.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Last Party.

Why I love it

Clare Mackintosh’s The Last Party had me from its eerie first page. The book’s pace and use of comedy made it unputdownable. It’s rare to find a piece that allows you to laugh one minute and be an armchair detective the next.

The novel is set on the border of Wales and England around fictional Mirror Lake, where a luxury housing development dubbed “The Shore” has recently been erected. Cwm Coed is a sleepy and seemingly peaceful small town . . . then on New Year’s, a body turns up in the lake. I found myself so impressed by the structural device Mackintosh uses in writing each chapter from a different character’s POV. In The Last Party, the reader is given an insight into each character’s—sometimes subtle, sometimes overt—variations of reality, allowing us to understand the circumstances through each person’s bias, personal experience, and history.

For me, the biggest (and most thought-provoking) surprise was the way The Last Party tackles class and national tensions in this painfully homogenous town. These tensions become the unseen guests at every table, a fog that shrouds and divides the residents of Cwm Coed and The Shore. What are you waiting for? Add The Last Party to your box now.

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Member ratings (18,376)

  • Erin K.

    Tampa, FL

    Absolutely LOVED this book!! Looked forward to reading it every night and was sad to see it end. Happy though to hear Fion’s story isn’t over and look forward to the next chapter! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Nicole S.

    Lochubuie, CO

    What an interesting storyline and characters. Very well developed and an easy read. I appreciated the authors back and forth between characters. It allowed for a more complete picture. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Alexandra V.

    Waverly, WV

    In the beginning I wasn’t enthralled, but the more that was revealed, the more I had to find answers. I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending & I definitely did not guess who did it! Overall ❤️

  • Cathie D.

    Acton, MA

    On New Year’s Day, the body of Rhys Lloyd is found floating in Mirror Lake. Everyone at the party and in town are suspects. Shifting from past to present, you get a character’s perspective of events.

  • Julianne B.

    Fairfax, VA

    Loved, loved, loved this book! So excited it’s the 1st in a series! The atmosphere/ setting felt like another character which complemented the author’s other characters. Excellent procedural mystery