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The Beach Party cover art

The Beach Party

By: Amy Sheppard
Narrated by: Amalia Vitale
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Summary

We were all at the party. Which of us wanted her dead?

As the smoke from the bonfire spirals into the night sky and the cool drinks slip down our throats, none of us can take our eyes off Lacey. She dances in the dunes, her long golden hair damp from her late-night swim, her smile dazzling, her blue eyes closed.

Everyone who is close to Lacey sits by the smoky fire. Her adoring boyfriend, who holds onto her, perhaps a little too tightly. Her little sister, always in Lacey’s shadow, sifting fine soft sand through her fingers, never taking her eyes off Lacey. And me. Sad and full of rage, after an argument forced the man I love to leave the party early.

When the fire burns out, we stumble away from the beach, along the cliff path—faces burned by the wind, hearts full of secrets. But Lacey never makes it home. The next morning, her body is found in the sand dunes, a heart-shaped locket missing from around her neck. 

Who would have thought our beach party could end the way it did? Close friends gathered on the last night of a long hot summer—which one of us could have killed the girl everybody loved?

An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with an ending you will never see coming! Strap in for a twisty roller-coaster ride. Perfect for anyone who adored The Holiday, The Guest List, or Gone Girl.

©2022 Amy Sheppard (P)2022 Bookouture, an imprint of Storyfire Ltd.

What listeners say about The Beach Party

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WOW Unexpected 5 Star Mystery Thriller - Loved it!

After being very let down by my latest eagerly anticipated pre-order (The Cruise by Catherine Cooper) and returning I was down with a bug and foresaw sleepless nights with no Audiobook to keep me company. Disaster!

I searched and searched and nothing took my fancy but I kept coming back to the beach party and listened to the sample a few times before taking the plunge. To be honest I did not expect much. I imagined a linear sort of dull domestic drama possibly revolving around a group of mums with teens limping to a predictable end.

But nooooo. Plot twist - this is a fantastic thriller, never a dull moment and not one school run/packed lunch or PTA meeting.

Instead this is a superbly written multi layered murder mystery where all the characters are carefully constructed with real depth and so much interest.

As someone who also grew up having driftwood barbeques and beach parties as a teen I loved the nostalgia, which resonated with me and made me reminisce also, though thankfully there were no murders in my happy memories. I thought it was just so well written and captured the intense feelings, changing romances and complex friend group structures you have as a teen while tantalising with more background to the murder.

To be honest, the story was so strong it would have been a great listen even without the whodunnit, especially with the theme of the unsolved murder Podcast giving extra interest plus the glamorous social influencer bestie and the friendship dynamic now she is dating a childhood friend of the protagonist, which is another intriguing, strong story in itself.

Just so much going on and it all flows together to make an amazing and immersive thriller,
I also loved the way that it did not go the usual route of chapters being "Then" and "Now" which seems ubiquitous these days and I found it really top class story telling that was so seamless that it did not require flashback devices and instead the excellent writing unified the present and the events 5 years prior.

The twists and turns just kept coming and although I had sat back on my hands early on, feeling sure I knew whodunnit, I was totally wrong and the final reveal showed how blindsided I had been.

Have to say I was also shocked at what the protagonist, journalist/researcher Katy did at the end - no spoilers but I am fairly sure I would have had different priorities and let those sleeping dogs doze on!

The narration was excellent also with just the right amount of drama, so as not to be intrusive, but let the story flow and be the star of the show. I thought the casting was spot on but found pronunciation of word "us" as "uzzzzz" grated a bit and also towards the end it sounded as if she was getting a little tired and tagged on new topic sentences/paragraphs in the same tone as the one that just ended which left it feeling a bit flat and harder to follow - so a 4.5 really for that.

OK, I can never get through any review without some tiny quibble (as above on narration) - and this is the use of the word "toward" as I have noticed is used in US English whereas I thought in the UK "towards" was the norm? It seemed to come up a lot and each time I was left pondering it and had to go back as lost my concentration, then I noticed a few other Americanisms such as "Afterward" instead of "Afterwards", "Sedan" instead of "Saloon" which I also thought did not belong in a book set in Cornwall and spoiled the flow a little for me. Also people "stood" on doorsteps and "sat" in chairs and "fit" into their jobs instead of "standing", "sitting" and "fitted" jarred a bit as otherwise grammatically spot on.

However as quibbles go, this is verging on nit picking and I was very thrilled I had taken a chance on this fabulous mystery which saw me through two nights of disturbed sleep while I was ill and when I did nod off I made sure I went right back to the last spot I heard as I wanted to enjoy it down to the very last drop.

I will be longing for the next Amy Sheppard thriller which I read is well underway and again set in Corwall - hats off to this formidable talent in a crowded sector, where she is head a shoulders above at least 90% of the authors working within it.

How lovely it is to discover a new favourite author and such a treat to find a tip top mystery thriller just when I needed one most.

Thanks so much to the author and narrator for so many hours of stellar entertainment.

All the stars for this one.






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4 people found this helpful

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Great first book!

This book is a more "who done it" kind of book rather than a thriller, I didn't guess who the killer was so bravo at that! I really enjoyed the book and will look forward to the authors next release.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dreary

Really dreary story and narration I finished the book but would not recommend it felt like a chore

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Good story

found this hard to put down !! it kept me guessing, good narration. will look out for other titles by Amy Sheppard

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  • KB
  • 31-12-22

great listen!

This is my first audible purchase....I wasn't disappointed! The narrator is clear and has a pleasant voice and the story hooked me. It was an easy listen and I highly recommend!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely fantastic

This book gripped me right from the off. I bought it to read whilst on holiday but never got a chance and I was desperate to read it. I decided to download it on audible and listened to it whilst working.
I listened to it in 1.5days. Can’t wait for the next one by Amy :-)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great idea Fun listen

Really love the podcast sections. Very good story. Likeable characters and interesting plot. Great twists. Is it perfect? No! Is it unique. Probably not. But it’s a great enjoyable book.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Slow but enjoyable

I enjoyed this and the scenery of Cornwall it evoked. I also didn't see the twist coming.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Great who dunnit?

Not read this author before. Wasn’t sure at first and sure there are some contradictions within but it was really intriguing trying to work out who the killer was and kept changing direction making it hard to guess. A good listen.

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podcast

Good way of presenting the story, enjoyed the plot line and the telling of the story

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