I love mysteries where we know that the culprit must be one of a limited number of people, and when I saw Guess Who available for £0.99 on Kindle, I just had to get it. This is a novel that has garnered a lot of support ahead of and since its publication, and I’ve been wanting to read it since I first heard about it earlier this year.
Morgan Sheppard is the presenter of Resident Detective, and takes on a role very much like that of Jeremy Kyle – answering questions as to whether a person is cheating on their partner, who really is the father of this child etc. His fame came about at quite a young age when he solved the murder of his maths teacher – something that the police had labelled a suicide, dismissing the case.
Sheppard is thrown out of his comfort zone when he wakes up in a hotel room with five other people, and a dead body in the bathroom. He is given three hours to solve the mystery, knowing that the murderer is one of those in the room with him. No one can leave – the only way out is for Sheppard to successfully identify the killer before the deadline. His task is made harder upon finding that all five people in the room with him have some connection to the victim, as does he himself. Can he solve it in time?
Whilst there are six people to get to know, I think that Sheppard was the only character that the reader gets to know in any detail, successfully replicating the situation that Sheppard finds himself in – the reader is also thrown into a situation of having to identify a killer with absolutely no information, and allows the reader to take on the role of detective as well. I love novels where the reader is given the same information as the protagonist(s), and I love the feeling of participation that this setting allowed.
I didn’t actually like Sheppard in the slightest, however. He comes across as being an extremely shallow individual – someone who has always wanted and pursued fame, and taking full advantage of the money, women, and substances that his fame has given him access to. At no point did this put me off the story – I wanted to know who had committed the murder, whether he or I could solve it in time, and why Sheppard had been put in this situation. I just wasn’t too concerned for his own outcome.
The plot moves along quickly, as you’d expect given the time limit on Sheppard’s investigation. And it’s anything other than straightforward, as things become increasingly tense in the room. There were elements of the plot that I figured out quite early on, although there was a twist that I did not see coming. I did find the ending a little anticlimactic, however. I thought the premise was fantastic, but the finale lacked a little je ne sais quoi for me personally. I enjoyed Guess Who overall, however, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on McGeorge to see what comes next.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐