Review: The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare


Title: The Last Guests

Author: J.P. Pomare

Published: 30th July 2021, Hachette Australia

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Hachette


My Thoughts:

Hugely impressed by In The Clearing, I’ve been looking forward to reading J.P. Pomare’s newest release, The Last Guests.

Set in New Zealand, The Last Guests is told primarily from the perspective of Lina, a paramedic married to Cain, an ex-SAS soldier turned personal trainer. Though their five year marriage has had its up and downs, stressed by PTSD, a gambling addiction, infertility and the resulting debt, the couple remain committed to each other, and their plan for a family. When friends of the pair, who aware of their financial struggle, suggest Lina rent out the home she inherited from her grandparents at Lake Tarawera through the short-stay accomodation site WeStay, Cain is enthusiastic about the idea. Lina is less so, the house is to eventually be their family home and she’s uncomfortable with the risks of opening it up to strangers, but let’s herself be persuaded. She relaxes when the first few guests come and go without incident, but Lina is about to discover the real threat to their future comes from closer to home.

The Last Guests is probably one of the more unpredictable thrillers I’ve read in a while. Though not quite flawless, convincingly led in one direction, I almost developed whiplash as the plot twisted and turned offering more than one surprise as Pomare unraveled the secrets held by his characters.

Lina is particularly vulnerable as her secret threatens to surface, and her anxiety is palpable as she attempts to stop it from happening. I liked the complexity of her character, Lina may initially be judged harshly and she doesn’t make the wisest of choices, but there isn’t any malice in her, so I was invested in her fate.

One of the elements I think Pomare excels at is creating an atmosphere of anticipation that ebbs and flows from uncertainty and unease to dread and shock. In part this stems from the way he turns the intimate and ordinary into provocation and a threat.

This novel is certainly guaranteed to make you think twice about booking a short-stay rental in a private home. There are known risks in using services like AirBNB, Stayz and FlipKey, most often they are fairly benign -the accommodation may not live up to its description, or the host may try to extort extra charges, but there have been incidences where guests have learned of hidden cameras, not just in spaces like the living room and kitchen, but also in private areas, such as bedrooms and bathrooms. In The Last Guests Lina discovers not only have such camera’s been secreted into her lake house without her knowledge, which is creepy enough, but the feed is one of thousands being live streamed to a site that offers paying subscribers a voyeuristic window into the lives of unsuspecting people.

Tense, thrilling and compelling, The Last Guests is another stunning novel from Pomare.


Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helen Murdoch
    Aug 04, 2021 @ 10:41:54

    This sounds really good! 4.5 stars is certainly something for me to add to my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Stephanie - Bookfever
    Aug 04, 2021 @ 17:54:20

    This one is going on my TBR! I read only one book before by this author but I absolutely loved it so I definitely need to read more.



  3. Bonnie @ For the Love of Words
    Aug 04, 2021 @ 22:13:07

    I’ve seen Pomare’s books pop up in my timeline a lot lately. I think I need to give him a shot! Great review. 🙂



  4. Lauren Becker
    Aug 04, 2021 @ 22:56:19

    This sounds pretty intriguing! I do love a good suspense novel.




  5. Susan
    Aug 05, 2021 @ 00:00:54

    Oooh, I like the premise of this one. I also like that it’s unpredictable. So many thrillers are all the same. I definitely want one that surprises me!




  6. WendyW
    Aug 05, 2021 @ 03:15:33

    This sounds exciting! Your review is excellent.



  7. sydneyeditor1
    Aug 05, 2021 @ 20:13:08

    Oh my goodness, the idea of cameras in an airbnb just freaks me out. Mind you, it most definitely makes for a tense, suspenseful read like this.



  8. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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