Chris Brookmyre: The Cliff House

This review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review The Cliff House.


One hen weekend, seven secrets… but only one worth killing for

Jen’s hen party is going to be out of control…

She’s rented a luxury getaway on its own private island. The helicopter won’t be back for seventy-two hours. They are alone. They think.

As well as Jen, there’s the pop diva and the estranged ex-bandmate, the tennis pro and the fashion guru, the embittered ex-sister-in-law and the mouthy future sister-in-law.

It’s a combustible cocktail, one that takes little time to ignite, and in the midst of the drunken chaos, one of them disappears. Then a message tells them that unless someone confesses her terrible secret to the others, their missing friend will be killed.

Problem is, everybody has a secret. And nobody wants to tell.


I’ve never read anything that Chris Brookmyre has written in his own name, but The Cliff House has encouraged me to read much more. I loved his writing style, his sense of humour, his use of twists and his way of hooking the reader with so many questions. I really wanted to know what was happening and I really wanted to know which Manic Street Preachers song they hated so much. (I didn’t get it right, but the answer is mind blowingly clever) 

Each chapter is written from the perspective of one of the seven women involved with Jen’s hen weekend. This technique allowed Brookmyre to tell the reader secrets ahead of the rest of the characters and this created a lot of intrigue as I tried to work out the truth behind the secrets and lies. Each character has a detailed back story which is cleverly woven into the novel and I was transfixed trying to work out what everyone was up to! Unfortunately I am not sure that the stave format helped this as there were a lot of characters to keep up with and being forced to stop reading at regular intervals made this more difficult. 

As the novel reaches the end, I could feel the tension rising and I loved it. There is a sense of danger and I was on the edge of my seat to see how everything would be resolved.

The Cliff House is available from Amazon.

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