4 star

Review: The Bridal Party by J.G. Murray

Sometimes friendship can be murder…

It’s the weekend of Clarisse’s bridal party, a trip the girls have all been looking forward to. Then, on the day of their flight, Tamsyn, the maid of honour, suddenly backs out. Upset and confused, they try to make the most of the stunning, isolated seaside house they find themselves in.

But, there is a surprise in store – Tamsyn has organised a murder mystery, a sinister game in which they must discover a killer in their midst. As tensions quickly boil over, it becomes clear to them all that there are some secrets that won’t stay buried…

This was a really exciting one! It was an incredibly (and I mean incredibly) fast read, barely 300 pages on my phone, and it was super exciting. Mostly a psychological thriller, it takes place as a macabre DnD-styled murder mystery game at a bridal party—or is it?

The Bridal Party takes place in a wooded area in New Jersey, at a beautiful cabin in the woods, known as the Herodias House. Based on a history of mythological witch hunts, the house itself is an exciting dark backdrop to this bridal party. The first mystery is where the maid of honour disappeared to before the trip, and just what waits in store for the five girls at this party. Slowly things get more and more out of hand—just who is responsible for all this?!

This story takes place in multiple POVs, and each character that we see definitely comes with his or her own flaws. In that sense the characters were believable and relatable, giving real intrigue to the story. As more mysteries keep adding onto the story, the suspicion gets cast around and it becomes very unclear as to what was going on, really adding to the psychological suspense part of the novel.

The plot itself was of course very fast moving. I have really been enjoying this style of book lately, and this one did not disappoint. It was like one of those kind of whack-a-mole situations, where putting out one fire only led to another. It is completely unclear who to trust and I felt like this was well maintained throughout the book. The POV flips back and forth between the past and the present and it was all effectively timed to keep me turning the pages as quickly as possible, so kudos to the author for that.

The ending was quite satisfactory for me. It happened perhaps a little more quickly than I would have liked, but considering the culmination of everything that happened I felt that it was well executed. It had the right amount of surprise factor mixed with believability. I truly felt thrilled and suspenseful in this whole book, so it definitely accomplished that. If you’re into fast-paced thrillers, and in particular into role-playing games as well, this may be the one for you!

Overall Recommendations

The Bridal Party is a murder mystery, but not in the way you’d expect. It actually takes place in the form of a role-playing game at a bridal party. However, things quickly take a downturn when the game seems more real than make-believe. Cults, witches, sacrifices and real news galore, just who is behind this devious plot? If you like fast (and I mean fast) paced thrillers, this is one for you!


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