A lucrative contract for Faith Fairchild to cater a reunion of college classmates on the private island of a famous author becomes a nerve-wracking game of cat-and-mouse.
Long before she dubbed herself Barbara Bailey Bishop, Elaine Prince lost her twin sister, Prin, to a fatal fall from the tower at Pelham College in 1970. Pelham, a distaff Ivy League school, was still a bastion of old money and strict rules in the late 1960s. Prin’s stunning beauty attracted both men and women, but she was manipulative and cruel, collecting and creating misdeeds and sadistically torturing the friends who came to hate her. Now Elaine, who suspects that her sister was murdered, has invited eight women she believes include the culprit. She’s given each guest a different pretext for the invitation. Once they arrive, the boatman departs, leaving them stranded. The first death seems like an accident, but when another classmate is found stabbed, the ladies panic, some hiding out on the island, others huddling together for safety. Because Faith is the only one they can trust, it’s up to her to discover the murderer before she strikes again.
It may be impossible to surpass And Then There Were None, the obvious model here, but Page (The Body in the Lighthouse, 2003, etc.) builds tension and makes us care about the suspects’ troubled lives.