Your Preview Verdict: The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare

Your Preview Verdict: The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare

Ever have the feeling you’re being watched? A smart, unsettling, unputdownable literary thriller from the award-winning, critically acclaimed writer.

Lina and Cain are doing their best to stay afloat. Money has been tight since Cain returned from active duty, and starting a family is proving harder than they thought.

Putting Lina’s inherited lake house up for rent at weekends seems like the solution to at least one of their problems. The secluded house is more of a burden than a retreat, anyway, and fixing up the old place makes Cain feel useful for once.

But letting strangers stay in their house might not be the best idea. Someone is watching – their most mundane tasks, their most intimate moments – and all the things Lina and Cain want to keep hidden will be exposed.

A darkly riveting psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Call Me Evie, In the Clearing and Tell Me Lies.

Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:

What a great lockdown read! I read this book in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it! It was suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely captivating! I would definitely recommend this book!! Emily, VIC, 5 Stars

J.P. Pomare is a must read for me having loved all of his books to date. I was extremely excited to receive an early reading copy of The Last Guests which I devoured over two sittings. Renting out your holiday cabin on weekends for extra cash seemed like a great idea, but with all great ideas comes risk. What are people doing in your house while you are not there? The voyeuristic overtones immediately spark interest, does this really happen? Are people secretly watching you? It incites chills and makes you overthink every holiday rental you have ever booked. J.P. Pomare has created another winning topic, his writing sends you down plenty of rabbit holes and keeps you guessing right until the last page. With lots of dubious characters to choose from you will trust no one and second guess every move. The Last Guests is a twisty thriller with lots to like, and if you are a watcher of people you are going to LOVE it! Thank you to Better Reading for this ARC it is one I would highly recommend and is guaranteed to be one of 2021’s big sellers. Cassandra, VIC, 5 Stars 

Thank you Better Reading for the opportunity to read The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare. This is a real thriller!! It definitely kept me turning the pages to the end- An end I did not expect!! This is a story about a couple called Lena and Cain. Their story is of ups and downs and heaps of surprises. Keeps you hanging onto your seat!! This is a definite must read!! Highly recommend!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  Judy, NSW, 5 Stars

Thank you to Better Reading Preview for the opportunity to review The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare. Fast pace heart stopping thriller that will have you captured from the very first page. I could not put this novel down, best Thriller of 2021. This novel takes you on a journey on how persuasive and invasive technology and surveillance has become. Husband Cain and Wife Lina go about their daily routines until one of them has a secret in which everything starts to unravel into a nightmare that just won’t go away! Scary, heart-stopping, creepy and nerve-wracking. Put it this way: I won’t be staying in any Airbnb or alike accommodation anytime soon. Sally, NSW, 5 Stars

I have a new favourite J.P. Pomare book! This one had me hooked right from the start. The suspense started from the first chapter and did not let up. It was an intriguing thriller and I changed my mind on what was going on so many times. It had such an eerily sinister feel – the Peephole chapters were so creepy. I don’t think Airbnb stays will ever be the same! I loved the New Zealand setting and really enjoyed the cultural references. I loved both the main characters. Lina was fragile and troubled yet resilient as well and I was really hoping things would work out OK for her. I enjoyed the inclusion of Cain’s military background in the story and his struggles after returning from active duty. This was another impressive read and full of the thrilling twists and unpredictable endings that I’ve come to expect from this author. Sharon, VIC, 5 Stars

The whole idea of this story freaked me out! Aka will never put my house up for AirBNB and the like, but this booked sucked me in very early! Great Characters, some you liked some you didn’t, kept me on the Edge of my Seat till the Last Page, and I can say I Didn’t See That Coming! Loved the New Zealand Setting! Will definitely read his Previous books! Karina, NSW, 5 Stars

First off I have never read this author before so was very happy to receive an advanced copy. Needless to say I will be looking for more of his books in the future. Originally I thought the book started fairly slowly building the characters and the back story and then wham straight into a gritty tense story and a wild ride for the reader. I liked the characters (despite their flaws) and it was a race to the finish line for me to find out what happens. I thought it was a fabulous book and would not hesitate to recommend if you like twists and turns in your books. Tracey, WA, 5 Stars

I loved The Last Guests. From the first page to the last, there was not one lagging moment, as the tension ratcheted up towards its compelling end. The story is told from the perspective of Lina, a character so real she almost leaps off the page. I enjoyed her complex predicament, and was kept guessing as to her fate. Her husband Cain has a sinister feel and I was never sure of his motives, or whether I even liked him, until the end. The relationship between Lina and Cain twisted and turned, and was one of the aspects I enjoyed most as I was reading. In all, this book is a great ride! Kim, WA, 5 Stars

The Last Guests was a perfectly woven story . Thoroughly enjoyed Sally, VIC, 5 Stars

This fast-paced thriller The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare is set in New Zealand. I read it in two days. Lina and Cain are living in her inherited lakeside house once owned by Lina’s grandfather. They fix it up for short-term rental stays to help increase their income. As the story progresses, our intrigue is captured when someone is using ‘big brother’ voyeuristic methods with modern surveillance technology in a flat. As if making a garment, the author brings pieces together like a jigsaw. Once portions are sewn together, the reader is drawn in to see the bigger picture, or so we think. Can we really fathom it? We are drawn in as voyeurs too into the privacy of people’s lives. Are the lies in this couple’s relationship beneficial to the other or not? Will they save this relationship by hiding their truth? What about their friends? Who can be trusted? Even on completing the last chapter of the book; I was left seeing some loose threads of the finished garment. They were the questions still unanswered that left me feeling queasy. Alison, QLD, 5 Stars

Beautifully written, contemporary and scary – I loved it. The Last Guests is a compelling read. The dark web world of voyeurs and misfits was evident at the beginning of each chapter in the chat room excerpts. Miniature cameras hidden in rooms with the in room action played to people for money. The key themes – secrets, flawed decisions and ultimately acceptance are profound. It was disturbing yet absorbing. I read it fast so I could work out what was happening. I highly recommend this book and thank you to Better Reading and Hachette for the opportunity. Sandra, ACT, 5 Stars

The Last Guests is a gripping read which I could not put down! It is a fast paced and well plotted thriller with plenty of twists that leaves readers guessing right until the end. The characters of Lina and Cain are intriguing and well developed. The novel delves into the secrets within relationships and the justifications we tell ourselves to keep these secrets. It is not only great story telling but it also examines issues such as the gig economy, the media and the ongoing effects of trauma. The descriptions of the landscapes were outstanding and added to the tension and intrigue of the story. This was my first time reading a novel by J.P. Pomare and I look forward to discovering his backlist. The Last Guests is a highly recommended read. Holly, WA, 5 Stars

What a fabulous book. The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare is an amazing thriller that takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of who did it. I could not put the book down and finished it overnight. The story keeps you thinking until the twist at the end. Thank you so much J.P. Pomare – this book is a definite hit for 2021. Maree, VIC, 5 Stars

The Last Guests was a roller coaster ride. It was an unputdownable book. I was only halfway through when there was a heart racing climax and then you start part two. OMG! The second half keeps you guessing all the way to the end and even the end was not what I thought it would be. When I finished the book I had to go back and recheck something from earlier just to understand how it ended. Great book! I really enjoyed it and will check out other books written by this author. Kim, VIC, 5 Stars

The secret, deceitful lengths that some people will go to get what they want seems to know no bounds. Add to this the global success of AirBnb (thinly reimagined as “WeStay”), welcoming strangers into one’s private sanctuary of home fuelled by greed in chasing Mammon, especially when combined with one’s own flaws and spiralling debts, and the perverse, voyeuristic tendencies of a worrying section of the population addicted to their internet connection and one has the framework of this novel, which, concerningly, unsettlingly, could easily be true. Who hasn’t ever wondered if someone, somewhere is watching them despite the front door being shut? This chilling book, set in New Zealand with a struggling married couple, plays into that fear and sucks one in on the first page. I found this to be a suspenseful psychological thriller of a very high calibre. Many thanks to Better Reading for the opportunity to read this magnetic book. Pamela, SA, 5 Stars

This novel was so hard to put down. There were twists and turns constantly. The amazing setting of tranquil New Zealand was juxtaposed against heart racing thrills. The secrets kept boil to the surface creating distrust, lies, deceit and conflict. This is a brilliant story from start to finish. Tina, QLD, 5 Stars

Where to even start with this thrillingly realistic horror story… it’s a story that is so believable in this technology driven world and the thought of hidden cameras and voyeurism is just such a fresh and new concept and I’ll never not think of this book when I’m staying in any accomodation again! Lina our leading lady makes the ultimate sacrifice for her family which seemingly backfires in the worst way possible but she battles her way through it determined to keep her family together. Fate being the fickle beast it is, works in her favour but it’s not without its own consequences. A fantastic binge book! I could not put it down and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Mercury, NSW, 5 Stars

In today’s world, airbnb’s and homestays are seen as a popular holiday. After reading The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare, readers may have second thoughts. This book kept me interested from start to finish. Cain and Lina both have their own secrets. These, combined with past events, makes it hard to relate to each other. Their solution for one of their problems is to rent out their inherited home on weekends. As the story progresses, Lina feels that their lives are being watched. Neither of the characters came across as totally likeable but that didn’t make me enjoy the book any less. I still wanted to know what happened to them. The main story is intertwined with a secondary storyline, which works really well. The two different styles of writing are the normal story and a social media style. They flowed easily together and it didn’t make it hard to follow. I had never read any of this author’s books before and I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a thriller with twists. Theresa, NSW, 5 Stars

The main characters are CAIN a returned s,a,s, soldier and his wife LINA a paramedic. As a result of his service in Afghanistan there are many underlying issues in his life. Cain runs a not too successful gym in Auckland. Lina had a difficult childhood losing her alcoholic mother at an early age but has fond memories of being brought up by her grandparents which is why she inherited the lake cottage. There is a saying You can train a person to be a soldier but you cannot untrain them, which is very apt in this situation. It is a novel which once you start reading you won’t want to stop. Filled with many twists and turns. Jill, VIC, 5 Stars

This was a really enjoyable book, I had to finish it in one session, it really kept my interest and I will definitely recommend it. Kathleen, NSW, 5 Stars

Congratulations to the author J.P. Pomare, what a fantastic novel. I wasn’t sure where the story was going in the beginning but after that I couldn’t put the book down. Cain and Lina were both as a deceptive as each other but loved the characters. The story had me guessing right until the end. May have second thoughts about B&Bs (haha). Would highly recommend this book. Annette, VIC, 5 Stars

Thank you for sending me a copy of this book. I read this book rather quickly as I couldn’t stop turning the pages! It is a scary and creepy story and I found it a fabulous read. It has lots of twists and has made me think twice about staying at an Airbnb! I give the book 4 stars, I look forward to reading another of J.P. Pomare’s novels. Maria, VIC, 4 Stars

Oh, what a tangled web we weave!! Reading The Last Guests was like watching a train wreck – you can see the tragedy unfolding, but you cannot look away! The Last Guests was so well-written. J.P. Pomare knows exactly how to string the sentences together to maintain an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning read. While I couldn’t approve of what Lina did or accept her rationalisations, I still didn’t want to see her suffer. However, I never imagined the twists and turns that would result from one indiscretion. Wow! And the ending has left a persistent, vague sense of unease – just as a good thriller should! I love taking holidays, but I’ll be checking over every room I stay in VERY carefully from now on! Yvonne, NSW, 4 Stars

Makes one wonder about our fears of technological surveillance and is thought provoking as to whether this could or is happening around the world on the dark web. A thriller of sorts that keeps you reading until the very end. Margie, VIC, 4 Stars

I’m not really a fan of psychological thrillers but I have to say this one got me in and kept me guessing till the end, I could not put it down, I read it in 2 nights and the ending caught me by surprise. Michelle, VIC, 4 Stars

WOW! The whole word around me could be on fire and I wouldn’t know, with my nose buried in this book. The Last Guests is a fast-paced thriller with twists and turns that won’t allow you to leave your chair. The short chapters and intriguing characters made this novel an easy and enjoyable read whilst still leaving me with questions about my own life and reflections on what I would do if I was in their situation. I loved reading about the scenery of New Zealand and the description of the lake house made me feel like I was right there in Tarawera with them. I highly recommend reading this during the day with all the lights on and not at night-time before bed when any little noise will have you jumping out of your skin. Fantastic read, I can’t wait to get into more of J.P. Pomare’s novels, although I will never stay in any accommodation quite the same after this. Emily, VIC, 4 Stars

It was very hard to put J.P. Pomare’s The Last Guests down! I was engaged with the journey Lina went on and really wanted the best for her. Although I did enjoy the book and all the twists and turns very much, I feel as though certain aspects could have been expanded on and that the end came in a rush. I would definitely recommend this book though to people who like to be kept guessing until the end. Jo, QLD, 4 Stars

Wow – what a book. This is the first book I’d read from J.P. Pomare and I suddenly have his other books on my to-read pile now! The prologue was creepy and really drew me in. I was a bit disappointed with some of Lina’s actions but once her reasons were explained, I was a lot more sympathetic. I could see Cain so clearly in my head – we all know men like him who are strong, protective and dealing with demons. I couldn’t put this book down – especially after about halfway through when things really start happening. There were so many things left unanswered in this book, but that didn’t annoy me as much as normal. I loved how this book made it really clear that the secrets we keep, have a way of coming to the surface eventually. Rochelle, VIC, 4 Stars

Be ready to be taken on a wild and unpredictable ride in J.P. Pomare’s latest thriller! The story takes us into the lives of a young New Zealand couple (Cain and Lina) managing life in their twenties – careers, friends, financial burdens along with past traumas and future dreams. As Pomare slowly reveals the details of their lives, the reader is pulled along with a taut narrative that slowly builds suspense. The reader doesn’t know what is unfolding but they know it’s not anything good and as the thrill increases Cain and Lina’s lives unravel. Twists and double twists leave the reader feeling like the characters – a part of a story they can’t predict. As a thriller it meets its brief wonderfully, as a story it touches on modern day concerns and comments on the treatment of war veterans, our obsession with mobile phones and privacy in the world of the internet. Pomare also raises the age-old moral question – ‘what would you do to protect your child?’ Pomare has managed to take the thriller genre and add to it in an unpredictable and unique way. And a word of warning… do not read it late at night if you are alone in the house! Kayte, NSW, 4 Stars

An absolutely brilliant read! I just couldn’t put this cleverly crafted psychological thriller down, it ticked all the boxes. So many twists and turns leading to an unbelievable climax. You will not predict the ending. The prologue sets the pace and the reader is immediately drawn into this rather dark and creepy story. The writing style is so engaging and even though the book is quite scary the premise is very believable. Perhaps that’s why it works so well? The main characters Lina and Cain have flaws, weaknesses and secrets from each other. When their world is turned upside down trusting each other becomes an issue, of course it doesn’t help that someone is watching you! Highly recommend. Ilona, VIC, 4 Stars

The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare was a psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns. Married couple Lina and Cain experience a terrible event at their holiday house and realise they are being watched. Totally creepy but I had to find out what happened! Karlie, SA, 3 Stars

The Last Guests was not the thriller I was expecting. I was expecting something that was ‘goose bump’ tingling but this was a tamer version. Well written with a very interesting start that promised a view into voyeurism that I hadn’t come across before in a novel. It didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Page turning probably only just to finish. The little snippets we got of New Zealand didn’t play into the story line much so setting could have been anywhere. I didn’t feel any sympathy for the two main characters. Little side stories didn’t add to the plot and just made it confusing and not spine chilling. Thank you Better Reading for giving me the opportunity to read J.P.Pomare’s, The Last Guests. I appreciate all the hard work that was put into this novel but just a little tame for me. Sharon, ACT, 3 Stars

Reviews

A Darkly Riveting Psychological Thriller: Read our Review of The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare

Review | Our Review

27 July 2021

A Darkly Riveting Psychological Thriller: Read our Review of The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare

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                Publisher details

                The Last Guests
                Author
                J.P. Pomare
                Publisher
                Hachette
                Genre
                Fiction
                Released
                28 July, 2021

                Synopsis

                Lina and Cain are doing their best to stay afloat. Money has been tight since Cain returned from active duty, and starting a family is proving harder than they thought. Putting Lina's inherited lake house up for rent at weekends seems like the solution to at least one of their problems. The secluded house is more of a burden than a retreat, anyway, and fixing up the old place makes Cain feel useful for once. But letting strangers stay in their house might not be the best idea. Someone is watching - their most mundane tasks, their most intimate moments - and all the things Lina and Cain want to keep hidden will be exposed. A darkly riveting psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Call Me Evie, In the Clearing and Tell Me Lies.
                J.P. Pomare
                About the author

                J.P. Pomare

                J.P. Pomare is an award-winning writer who has had work published in journals including Meanjin, Kill Your DarlingsTakahe and Mascara Literary Review. He has hosted the On Writing podcast since 2015 featuring bestselling authors from around the globe. His first novel, Call Me Evie, was critically acclaimed and won the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel. In The Clearing, Pomare's second novel was also a critically acclaimed bestseller. He was born in New Zealand and resides in Melbourne with his wife.

                Books by J.P. Pomare

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