Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Without giving any spoilers away, as always, we will be discussing a thriller by Ellery Lloyd called The Club. I have been nursing this book for a while because I haven’t had much free time to read and I was very happy to be done with it; Partially because it took so long and partially because it wasn’t my favorite book in the world. It definitely fell under the “pretty good” but not great category! Before we begin, I will be placing a big fat trigger warning on The Club for murder, violence, and rape. Now, let’s get to it:
The Home clubs are a celebrity’s playground with ultra lux resorts in locations ranging from London to Italy and Manhattan. There is an insanely high membership fee and with that comes the privilege of privacy. No cell phones are allowed on Home properties so the members have no fear of paparazzi or unflattering photos and have the freedom to do what they want when they want. The Home clubs have been in the Groom family for a long time and was passed down to the eldest, Ned, after his grandpa’s death. After a fire burned down the original location, Ned began expanding his empire to what it is today and did it almost all by himself with minimal help from his younger brother, Adam.
Now, Ned is preparing to launch the most ambitious Home club yet; Island Home. Yeah, he bought an entire island for his new resort and the caveat is that it can only be accessed when low tide reveals a causeway from the mainland to the island. Ned is a loud, brash man that can be difficult on a good day to work with, but his staff remains ever faithful. To assist him, there is his loyal PA named Nikki and the Hospitality Manager, Annie. A new staff member named Jess has also been welcomed aboard as the Head of Housekeeping. Before the weekend long launch party begins, it is anarchy on the island as everyone works diligently to turn Island Home into the best one ever.
By the time the rich and famous arrive on the island, it is perfect with huge cabins, a spa, gym, underwater restaurant, and private screening room just to name a couple of the many accommodations. Before a big launch, Ned likes to invite his chosen few to a feast to catch up, eat, drink, and be merry. The night, however, takes a drastic turn when Ned announces that there will eventually be a package waiting in the room of four of his most wealthy, celebrated guests. The packages will arrive at different times and each member is very anxious to find out what it could be. And, what it is is something that they would never expect.
The first package delivered is to a Jackson Crane – well known actor and husband to model and humanitarian, Georgia. After the dinner party, Jackson returns to his cabin to find a memory stick and a demand for an exorbitant amount of money for his yearly membership fee. And, one by one, the other three of the chosen receive their “gift” too. These memory sticks reveal the deepest, darkest, career destroying secrets of each member and all of the recordings were done in their rooms of various Home resorts. The asking fee to keep their secrets at bay is astronomical and even with all of their wealth combined, eventually the well would run dry. Essentially, Ned now owns them.
Other than Ned, Annie, Adam, and the chosen, no one on the island knows that they are constantly being recorded and continue to go about their weekend at Island Home. And why would they suspect anything, anyways? The whole point of Home clubs is to not be constantly recorded. As the celebrities enjoy and the staff caters to their every need, plots of murder begin to form and not just from the guests being blackmailed. It turns out that high ranking members in the Home hierarchy have secrets too. Nikki, Annie, and Jess all have a past that directly correlates themselves with guests on the island and have vengeance on the mind as well.
The grand finale of the Island Home launch party is an immersive theater event that will take the members around the island and back to the Manor to party. To keep everyone’s identity a secret as they wander the grounds and for the name of theater, everyone is required to wear a cloak and mask. It is the ideal scenario for revenge to be exacted and as the night plays out, several people meet their demise. What will become of the blackmailed guests of Island Home and the man who grew wealthy from their secrets? Read The Club to find out!
There were several things about The Club that I enjoyed. I thought that the plot was very interesting and loved the idea of these “private” places where celebrities could let their hair down for good or bad. I admit that I am a sucker for all things lux so I also really liked to read about all of the clothes, accommodations, and locations being described in the book. However, there was something about The Club that just didn’t connect with me no matter how hard I tried to make it happen.
The Club is told from the perspective of Jess, Nikki, Annie, and Adam and you all know I love a multiple narrator book. The problem was that I couldn’t stand any of them! Literally none of the key or supporting players in The Club were likeable in the slightest and it made for a very dry and stilted read. For the most part, I liked the ideas of each individual chapter but I couldn’t get into the characters as they spoke their piece. Not only that, but this book’s grand reveal left a lot to be desired and each twist and turn could be easily guessed before it happened. While nothing pleases me more than getting reveals right, I like to be surprised even more than that.
I feel very torn about The Club because the idea of the book was a winner but the execution just wasn’t there for me. Overall, I am going to give it a four out of ten stars. If this review sounds interesting to you, give it a try because it was still kind of fun. If not, you can most definitely skip on this book!
What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah