To celebrate the release of A M Castle’s gripping new thriller The Invitation, we’re giving you a sneak peek at the guest list! Here is the author introducing six of the characters. They received their invitation, but can you guess the killer?
Thirteen people are about to gather at heiress Rachel Cadogan’s new home, Mount Tregowan, for the Halloween party of a lifetime. But it’s going to be the death of one of them…
My new psychological novel, The Invitation, is about a group of friends who meet for a Halloween reunion weekend, twenty years after uni. Once upon a time they lived in each other’s pockets, but over the years secrets, lies and misunderstandings have crept in. This is the first time they will all be under the same roof since uni days. And, when the roof belongs to a medieval castle, on a private island, cut off from the mainland by the worst storm of the decade, then the stage is set – for murder.
Let’s meet Rachel and some of her guests:
Rachel Cadogan, head of the famous Cadogan Art Foundation
‘I suppose you could call me privileged, yes, but I do work for a living. Managing my family’s money is a full-time job. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed uni so much, all that freedom. I had a wild time with Gita and Vicky. And Tom, of course. I have a feeling things have been a little flat since I left. They always did need me to liven things up. So what better way to celebrate my marriage to Ross Tregowan than with a party? I’m holding it at my – our – castle, on our own remote island. I can’t wait to catch up with my old friends, right a few wrongs and, of course, let everyone in on my amazing secret. It really is to die for.’
Gita, Rachel’s friend
‘Yes, of course I’m still Rachel’s best friend. All right, I haven’t seen that much of her in the past few years, but she’s not in the UK often – or she wasn’t, until she suddenly married Ross. She invites me to everything. The wedding? Oh, that was an oversight… obviously we’re both really busy. Rachel’s dashing around, New York, Rome, galas, whatever. And I’m busy with work. I have three daughters, too. Oh, and my handsome husband, Tom. Listen, I don’t know what you’ve heard, but… Well, anyway, I’m really looking forward to the party. The pictures will definitely look great on my Instagram.’
Tom, Gita’s husband
‘Yeah, I suppose you could say I’ve had a high-flying career in the Met. Graduate trainee, that whole bit. It’s definitely served me well over the years. Gita will be hob-nobbing with Rachel all weekend. She loves all that glitz and glamour. The kids will be doing their own thing. Do them good to get a bit of proper fresh air, Gita keeps them on a tight rein. I’m looking forward to a break. Trouble? Nah, not on a titchy island in the middle of nowhere. Well, the usual squabbles breaking out between our girls, maybe. But I’ll be keeping an eye on things. Trust me, nothing bad’s going to happen on my watch.’
Vicky, Gita and Rachel’s friend
‘Look, don’t get me wrong, Rachel’s… great. And what’s not to like about a free holiday on a private island? I’m hoping it’ll give me a chance to get back in my son’s good books, too. I’ve said a few things to him over the years that I regret… me and my big mouth. But I could do without this weekend, to be honest. There’s a lot going on at the bank, and being with people 24/7 can be stressful. I don’t like being judged. What I choose to do in my own spare time is my business. Isn’t it?’
Jane, Vicky’s friend
‘Yes, yes, I do write those books, The Melford Mice. So glad your children enjoy it. No, um, I don’t have any kids of my own. Two dogs. Yes, dachshunds. Do you want to see pictures? No? I suppose I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’s never easy to say no to Rachel – and it’s always good to see Vicky. Rachel and I don’t really move in the same circles… she’s so gorgeous, isn’t she? I can’t imagine what it’s like to be that beautiful… or that rich. To be honest, I’m happiest in my little writing shed in our garden, working on my next story. But my husband Geoff really needs a break.’
Geoff, Jane’s husband
‘Let me be frank with you. Time away with my beloved wife is always precious. But rubbing shoulders with the rest of what I call ‘the Rachel set’, well, that is a mixed blessing. Jane has known them all since university but I take a dim view of some of the, shall we say, shenanigans that went on back then. Of course, nothing like that would ever happen now. I simply couldn’t countenance it. On the other hand, I have hopes that Rachel’s husband, Lord Tregowan, will be able to recognise an excellent, if perhaps too often overlooked, practitioner of the law when he meets one. Yes, of course I mean myself. I have high hopes that this weekend will change my fortunes for the better.’
Meet the rest of the characters in The Invitation, out in e-book now.