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The Last Guests

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In this thrilling new novel for fans of Megan Miranda, a wife finds herself racing for answers when the decision to rent out her family vacation home takes a deadly turn.

Newlyweds Lina and Cain don't make it out to their vacation home on gorgeous Lake Tarawera as often as they'd like, so when Cain suggests they rent the property out on weekends, Lina reluctantly agrees. While the home has been special to her family for generations, their neighbors are all signing up to host renters, and frankly, she and Cain could use the extra money. What could go wrong? And at first, Lina is amazed at how quickly guests line up to spend a weekend--and at how much they're willing to pay. 

But both Lina and Cain have been keeping secrets, secrets that won't be kept out by a new alarm system or a locked cupboard. When strange things begin happening on their property, and a visit takes a deadly turn, Lina becomes convinced that someone out there knows something they shouldn't--and that when they come for her, there will be nowhere left to hide.

336 pages, Paperback

First published July 28, 2021

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About the author

J.P. Pomare

8 books897 followers
J. P. Pomare is a New Zealand author who lives in Melbourne, Australia.

He is the author of six critically acclaimed and best-selling novels including Call Me Evie, Tell Me Lies, and The Wrong Woman.

His novel In The Clearing has been optioned for screen adaption by Disney+ and will be released as an eight part miniseries in 2023.

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5 stars
622 (19%)
4 stars
1,314 (40%)
3 stars
992 (30%)
2 stars
248 (7%)
1 star
51 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 458 reviews
Profile Image for Pat.
2,310 reviews404 followers
July 3, 2021
I’ve often said that I don’t find scary books scary. This - this was scary because it was so realistic! Who hasn’t stayed at an Airbnb? Right from the prologue where we learn somebody is fitting very small covert cameras in the all the rooms of a house to be on holiday let (even the bathrooms) the plot sucks you in.

The story follows the fortunes of Lina, a paramedic, and husband Cain, a former SAS officer who is having trouble settling back into civilian life. They live in Auckland, New Zealand. Finance’s are an issue and some good friends recommend putting the house Lina grew up in and inherited from her grandfather, situated at Lake Tarawera, up for holiday let on the Westay platform. So that’s what they do. At the same time Lina has a strange one night stand stand with a man called Daniel Moore. You get the feeling it is transactional for her, she doesn’t want to see him again, but you don’t get the reason why until much later. Clearly she doesn’t want Cain to find out.

A sense of menace begins to creep over you as Daniel starts to kind of stalk Lina. She needs to get rid of him. But he’s getting more pushy. You are also privy to what some of the cameras are picking in various houses around the world. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. Lina and Cain have a few concerns about the last guests at their Tarawera house so they head there for a weekend to prepare it for the next guests when a shocking home invasion occurs and someone dies. It is quite visceral and I felt genuinely afraid for the characters. This is all tied up with the cameras.

But the book still has some twists to give. No one is blameless in this story and the secrets are yet to come out. Its just so very menacing. I really enjoyed this rather dark tale because it feels like it could happen to anyone. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel quite comfortable in an Airbnb again! Thanks to Netgalley and Hachette Australia for the free copy of the book, I am providing this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
813 reviews1,868 followers
September 27, 2021

Started out promising, but became a bit of a struggle....

My first by this author and I would most likely try another although this was a miss for me. It has a very creepy, spying on you--hidden cameras, peepholes, dark web apps type of vibe. The whole sordid affair just went on too long. Everyone has secrets and at one point the crazy train does de-rail.

Unlikeable characters, the repetitive tone (though sometimes amped up) and a convoluted twist made this one a disappointment. Around the halfway point, I began to lose interest and should have left it at that. I suppose that I did wanted to see who was behind the curtain, but I wasn't pleased!

I may be an outlier in my opinion, so check out the higher reviews.

Library loan / Read in Sept 2021
Profile Image for Ceecee.
1,972 reviews1,503 followers
July 8, 2021
Cain persuadés his wife Lina to put the house she inherits from her grandfather on Lake Tarawera onto WeStay for some much needed extra cash. Both of them have secrets in more than one closet and maybe a number of skeletons too. What unfolds becomes a nightmare especially for Lina.

First of all, the characters of Lina and Cain are really good. They are both very flawed, carrying multiple loads of baggage and the ups and downs of their relationship is very well conveyed. Cain’s own particular nightmare as an ex member of NZSAS and has served in Afghanistan is portrayed vividly and parts of that storyline are shocking as it emerges a bit at a time. Initially I can’t see where the seemingly disparate threads in the storyline are going but this is JP Pomare! Of course they connect well and as soon as that happens it’s full steam ahead. It’s very well written and there are some enticing descriptions of New Zealand which is about as far as we’re likely to get for the foreseeable future. As the plot warms up and oh boy, does it ever ramp up, it becomes dark, unsettling on occasions and the threat level rises to Defcon 1 and there is plenty of tension, some of which is between the couple. It’s creepy, makes you shudder, there’s fear, at times it’s claustrophobic and at others it’s jump on board the crazy train time. I work out how part of the end is heading but I definitely don’t see the how! The ultimate ending is maybe a bit surprising but then again who knows what decisions we would make if we walk in Lina’s shoes?

Overall, the author always delivers something a bit different which he has succeeded in doing yet again. It’s well written and full of twists and turns in the storytelling.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Hodder and Stoughton for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,068 reviews3,614 followers
August 31, 2021
I’ve consistently been a huge fan of J.P. Pomare. I’m always guaranteed a clever, super-twisty thriller. Once again, this latest release was no exception.

Lina and Cain are barely getting by financially. They decide to use Lina’s lakeside vacation home as an Airbnb for some much-needed extra income. While Cain is all in, Lina has more than just a few moments of hesitation. Deep concern to be more precise. But come on, what could go wrong?! What could go wrong indeed! If you’re familiar with the author (as I am) buckle up everyone! He will twist this premise into knots in ways you could never imagine.

You may very well think twice before booking your next Airbnb vacation!😎

Lina and Cain are both highly-developed characters that are flawed, and yes, hiding plenty of secrets! Is the past about to catch up to both of them?

I had suspicions about where the storyline was headed…but of course, no answers. And I was gleefully kept in the dark right to the end. Just the way I like it!

A buddy read with Susanne!

Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Thank you to NetGalley and Mulholland Books
Profile Image for Michelle .
879 reviews1,274 followers
June 29, 2021
DNF - no rating

I'm at 20% and I'm not engaged with this in the slightest. All I keep thinking about are the other books I could be reading so that's what I am going to do.
Profile Image for Lisa.
751 reviews
November 19, 2021
Cain persuades his wife Lina to put the lake house up for rent on the Net she inherited it from her grandfather, but someone is peeping through holes & have cameras hidden throughout the house. Meanwhile Lina is Charing on Cain… yes the old think I will do the dirty on my husband thing which is quite boring.

This was quite the creepy read but didn’t do much for me to say the least, I must say that the spying thing is creepy as it sometimes happens in reality, this was just okay for me.
Profile Image for JaymeO.
369 reviews228 followers
September 29, 2021
I spy with my little eye…

Welcome to Peephole, the site that lets you watch without them knowing!

Lina and Cain have a happy marriage, but both of them are keeping secrets. When they decide to rent out their lake house in order to make some extra needed money, they are pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. But then they have an unexpected visitor that turns their world upside down. He has been watching them from hidden cameras set up all around their house. Who has been watching Lina and Cain and why?

This is a creepy book that will leave you very unsettled. In fact, I don’t think I will ever stay at an AirBnB after reading it! This clever game of cat and mouse will have you guessing until the very last page. I really enjoyed the beautiful New Zealand setting and learning about the Maori people. The plot kept my interest because there are many twists and suspects. However, the ending felt very rushed and like too much time was spent on several red herrings. Parts of the reveal were intentionally vague, but I needed answers after reading 300 pages! Ultimately, I was there for it until the 95% mark.

I am still a fan of Pomare, and am looking forward to what he comes up with next!

3.5/5 stars rounded up
Profile Image for Mandy White (mandylovestoread).
2,030 reviews529 followers
July 13, 2021
If you have ever read a book by JP Pomare you know that you are in for a wild ride. In the Clearing is one of my favourite books and one that I regularly recommend to others. I was really excited to get an early copy of The Last Guests and dived straight in. A few hours later I was finished. I just could not stop reading it. It is dark and twisty and it will shock you. The fact that it could so easily happen as well will scare you. Has definitely made me think twice about staying in an Air BNB.

Set in NZ, The Last Guests is the story of Lina and Cain, a married couple with money issues. Lina is a paramedic and Cain is an ex-SAS officer, now personal trainer. Lina desperately wants a baby and Cain is still having nightmares about his tour overseas. Friends convince them to make some extra money by renting out Lina's family home at Lake Tarawere, that she inherited from her grandfather. At first she isn't keen but Cain manages to talk her round, saying that it will give him a project. It is the start of a nightmare for the couple with their secrets threatening to be exposed.

Whilst reading this I was feeling Lina's fear and anxiety. Pomare writes such great characters and you can relate to them and what is happening to them. I hope that this is a situation that I never find myself in!!

Thanks to Hachette Australia for my advanced copy of this book to read. Publication date in Australia is July 28th
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
September 1, 2021
Review posted to blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

I’m not sure I have the words.

I wanted to like this one. Really I did, and at first, I was intrigued. Hidden cameras installed in Airbnbs to spy on guests. Consider me creeped out!

I guess it’s a good thing I haven’t traveled in over 2 years.

So let’s dive in to see where it went off the deep end: Lina and her husband Cain are our main characters. Lina is a naughty little girl. She’s not just naughty, she’s very naughty. Of course, it comes back to bite her in the worst of ways. Shocker!

Owners of property on Lake Tarawera, Lina and Cain decide to rent it out on weekends for extra income. That of course turns out to be a big mistake. HUGE.

I wish I could say I felt sorry for them.

A deadly game of cat and mouse. A pulse-pounding mystery/suspense that had me from the get-go and lost me fairly quickly.

Perhaps it was because I didn’t quite care about the characters or because I felt that the plot was completely far-fetched and was simply unable to suspend my disbelief. In the end, unfortunately, The Last Guest just wasn’t for me. I am however, one of a few reviewers who didn’t quite love this, all other reviewers were thrilled by this, including my book buddy Kaceey, who liked this one much more than I did.

Thank you to Mulholland Books via NetGalley for the arc.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.
Profile Image for Gloria (Ms. G's Bookshelf).
591 reviews126 followers
August 23, 2021
⭐️5 Stars⭐️
The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare is an absolutely mind-blowing psychological thriller. This is one book you won’t want to miss, it’s intense! It’s also furiously dark and chilling with a voyeuristic flavour. The plot is so realistic, it had me thinking that this could actually happen.

Can one indiscretion lead to something so unimaginable? Somebody out there knows something and secrets have a way of coming out.

Set in New Zealand our main characters are Lina a paramedic and Cain a former SAS soldier, now a personal trainer. The pair agree to rent out Lina’s inherited, secluded vacation home at Lake Tarawera as their friends gave them the ‘WeStay’ (think Airbnb) idea and Lina and Cain could do with the extra cash after all.

The married couple both have their secrets and as the plot ramps up things get dark and the tension heats up. Could they ever anticipate what experience lies ahead for them both?

The author has given a wonderfully executed, exhilarating, modern and perfect thriller and the killer twist keeps you guessing until the end!

Will I ever feel comfortable staying at an Air Bnb again? Maybe not but I’m now going to read every other book this author has written as I also loved his novel In The Clearing!

Highly recommended, you won’t be able to put it down!

Thank you to Hachette Australia, Tandem Collective Global & NetGalley for an early copy of the book.
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,395 reviews145 followers
July 25, 2021
The Last Guests is the fourth novel by New Zealand-born Australian author, J.P. Pomare. Lina’s dream of wedded bliss with Cain, a quiet family life in the lake house she inherited from her grandparents, has been dealt a few blows. Her sweet, loving elite soldier has returned from Afghanistan damaged, physically and psychologically.

The physical has cost. The mental, too: nightmares and secrets; and Cain’s personal training business isn’t his only unsuccessful gamble. Lina tries to relieve the financial strain with extra shifts in her job as a paramedic. A failed pregnancy, and a lacklustre love life: is it any wonder she seeks a little spice (and maybe something else) on a dating app?

It’s definitely a one-off. Except for one tiny thing…

Cain’s quick to notice the missing wedding ring, a family heirloom, but Lina covers. His SAS friend, Axel’s suggestion that they put the lake house on the WeStay website to rent out has Lina wary, but grateful for the distraction. The money would be welcome, and eventually, Lina dismisses worries over the horror stories at international WeStay homes and agrees. But she and Cain cannot possibly anticipate the terrifying experience ahead.

What a page-turner! Pomare gives the reader! Lots of twists and turns and distractions as Lina gets herself entangled in an increasingly complicated web with all the lies she feels compelled to tell. Will the consequences of her risky choice of self-indulgence gain Lina any sympathy with readers?

Pomare presents the concept of online streaming of candid video footage for paying viewers as scarily believable, and he’ll certainly have readers thinking twice about AirBnB-type services. This is a cleverly plotted thriller that will keep readers guessing right up to the last pages.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Hachette Australia.
Profile Image for Kathryn in FL.
716 reviews
November 3, 2021
Unpopular Opinion

I found this story 'to extreme' in its graphic telling. I say this due to the lurid details and a disturbing look into a psychologically ill voyeur. The premise was interesting but I found the characters a little unbelievable (although most won't probably take issue). I put aside to consider if I wanted to see it through to its conclusion and decided it was too disgusting for my tastes.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,038 reviews213 followers
July 13, 2021
The concept of having hidden cameras watching your every move whilst you are having a great time in a hotel or Airbnb is not new, but it is no less terrifying, and I was excited to see what unique spin JP Pomare would put on the theme.

Lina (a paramedic) and her husband Caine (an ex-soldier) have been struggling financially, so they are reluctantly considering converting the house Lina has inherited from her grandparents into an Airbnb, on the recommendation of close friends who are making a good income from theirs. Whilst Lina has her reservations about letting strangers into her childhood home, Caine is excited to collect some easy money. Things soon start going wrong when one of Lina's past secrets is catching up with her in her present life - and without giving too much away here, let's just say that it involves the couple's new venture, some hidden cameras and a sinister online community.

I really enjoyed the way Pomare slowly ratcheted up tension as Lina's secret is catching up with her and she is getting more and more entangled in her lies. It is painful to watch when characters get caught in their own webs, but it also makes for some great suspense if it is skilfully woven into the story, which was certainly the case here. And whilst I was ready to judge Lina on her actions, her motives became clearer later on and it was hard not to feel some empathy. The New Zealand setting also added something unique to the story, which I really enjoyed, especially the contrast between the idyllic lake landscape and the sinister goings on in the lake house.

Pomare's writing flows and I was soon caught up in the story, which held plenty of red herrings and a very clever twist at the end that came as a total curveball and knocked me over. I love it when a book surprises me!

All in all, THE LAST GUESTS was a fast-paced mystery which cleverly uses our fears of the dark side of technology and the web to terrify readers and ensures that I feel like unscrewing every light socket in every airbnb I will ever stay in to check for hidden cameras. Pomare's characters are all flawed and complex and yet also relatable, which made for a rich and enjoyable reading experience. The final twist added some spice and set the story apart from others in the genre. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from this author in future.

Thank you to Netgalley and Hachette Australia for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.

*blog* *facebook* *instagram*
Profile Image for Janelle.
1,160 reviews141 followers
January 22, 2022
A creepy and tense novel about hidden cameras in holiday rentals for online voyeurs. Set in Auckland and Lake Tarawera (near Rotorua), there’s plenty of atmosphere. Lina is a paramedic married to Cain, a war veteran and they both have their secrets from each other. Cain encourages Lina to put the family lakehouse for rent on WeStay( an Airbnb thing) and the complicated plot follows. It’s fast paced and I read it quickly to find out what was going on. The resolution was surprising, I didn’t pick the twist!
Profile Image for Crystal.
712 reviews88 followers
September 15, 2021
Hidden cameras installed in Airbnbs to spy on guests a la Vacancy? That sounds creepy, and I'm here for it! The prologue was intense and sucked me in right away....And then the rest of the book happened.

What I wanted was a book of super unsettling voyeurism. What I got was pages upon pages of marital discord and discontent. Lina and Cain are unhappily married due to crippling financial strain because of Cain's gambling, Lina's infidelity because of Cain's infertility issues and Cain's crippling PTSD stemming from his time in Afghanistan. Yes-Lina even manages to blame Cain for her infidelity. With a marriage this fraught, why even try? Cain and Lina are both so unlikable, and it's really unfortunate that most of this book is told from Lina's perspective.

As far as the hidden cameras go-There was more psychological insight dedicated to war-related PTSD than there was to voyeurism. In fact, the hidden cameras seemed to take a backseat to everything else that was going on. There were so many plot points that went absolutely nowhere, making the story meander on and tedious to read.

I'm really starting to think J.P. Pomare just isn't the writer for me. I loved Call Me Evie but, unfortunately, this book has a lot of the same problems I had with In The Clearing so I'm just going to be done with his books.

Honest opinion-If you want a good hidden camera novel, skip this one and read Rewind instead.
Profile Image for Chryssie.
202 reviews21 followers
June 3, 2021

Talk about an entertaining and completely absorbing story! Just reading the disturbing prologue at the beginning gave me the heeby-jeebies and had me hooked right from the very first page! Let’s just say that some people do very, very bad things...

This fabulous book is a dark and twisty ride FULL of secrets! The scary part is how realistic the story feels because it really could happen to people (think hidden cameras in holiday rental houses... eeek!! That just freaks me out!!) The suspense was SO GOOD and the writing excellent!! I couldn’t wait to find out how the situation would end for Cain and Lina... and to say that the ending shocked me is an understatement. Like... wow, no words. What a great book! 😃

Thank you to Hachette Australia, the author & NetGalley for a copy of this book in return for an honest review, I really enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Monique.
194 reviews26 followers
June 8, 2021
This novel takes our global love of AirBnB and uses it to play with our fears and explore the ways in which we leave ourselves vulnerable by inviting strangers into our homes. But the novel is about more than that, it's about secrets and what price we're prepared to pay to realise our desires.

The central characters of Lina and her husband Cain are likeable and believable in their flaws and weaknesses. The story richochets from one plot twist to another, so that without realising it you're turning the pages and an hour passes without notice. It's an engrossing read and, I confess, there were moments in this novel that had me thoroughly creeped out, which was very satisfying.

This was the second book by Pomare that I've read and I think this was better than Tell Me Lies. This was an advanced reading copy for me, and I went into the book knowing nothing more than the genre and an expectation based on the author's name. I recommend you dive in blind; to know any of the plot points is really to know too much.

For me this is just shy of a five star read because there are definite points in the resolution of the plot which I think are not quite believable, or not quite wrapped up. But don't let this stop you as these are small points and the story ride is worth it. For psychological suspense close to home, this one delivers nicely.

Profile Image for Sarah.
702 reviews128 followers
July 29, 2021
The Last Guests is another superlative thriller from the pen of Australia-based Kiwi author J.P. Pomare. This time around, Pomare explores the dark side of the sharing economy and employs New Zealand's central North Island as a setting.
The book opens with a tantalising scene of a black-clad operative installing covert cameras into a short-stay accommodation property. Following this brief prologue, the story is told mostly from the perspective of Lina, a thirty-something ambulance paramedic who lives with her former SAS soldier -turned personal trainer husband Cain in Auckland, New Zealand. They're happily married, but there are some difficulties they're facing - Cain remains traumatised by his experiences when deployed in Afghanistan, he's having difficulty re-establishing himself in the civilian world and has battled an addiction to gambling, which has placed their personal finances in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Lina is still recovering from having suffered a miscarriage and struggles with resentment for their closest friends, Cain's army mate Axel and his wife Claire, who are not only enjoying financial success, but have just announced their own pregnancy. Lina commits a risky and uncharacteristic act of infidelity, her motivations for which become clearer over the course of the novel.
The narrative is punctuated with excerpts from online discussions in an subscriber-only group for voyeurs called Peephole. Like the subscribers, readers consequently become privy to a different perspective on the novel's characters and settings.
Meanwhile, Axel and Claire suggest that Cain and Lina could generate much-needed additional income by listing their holiday home on stunning Lake Tarawera on holiday letting app WeStay (a similar online model to Airbnb or Stayz.com). Cain is immediately taken with the idea, but Lina is more cautious - the house is her former family home, where she grew up in her grandparents' care, and she's not sure she's comfortable with the idea of renting it out to total strangers. Despite her misgivings, Cain convinces her to give WeStay a go and they prepare the lakeside property for visitors.
At first, things seem to be working out for them, but Lina soon starts receiving troubling text messages and a weekend away at Lake Tarawera turns into a nightmarish experience for herself and Cain. Who's behind the threats to their privacy and safety, and can things ever return to the way they were before?
Given that the pivotal high-action thriller sequence in The Last Guests takes place at around the halfway mark, Pomare structures his plot masterfully to maintain tension and mystery to the end. There's a palpable sense of lurking menace throughout, and plenty of foreshadowing, while several unexpected twists and turns await the reader by the conclusion. While both Lina and Cain are flawed characters, they're sufficiently well-developed to engage the reader's sympathy and investment in their fates. Having visited Rotorua and the beautiful Lake Tarawera region a couple of decades ago, I appreciated the quintessentially New Zealand setting created by Pomare - an aspect of his writing with which readers dedicated to his work will already be familiar.
I'd highly recommend The Last Guests to all readers who enjoy top-notch thriller / suspense, with compelling plots, believable characters and great settings.
My thanks to author J.P. Pomare, publisher Hachette Australia and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this outstanding title.
November 4, 2022

The Last Guests by J. P. Pomare. (2021).

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 harder than what they thought. Putting Lina's inherited secluded lake house up for rent at weekends might help the money issue, and fixing it up might make Cain feel useful. But someone is watching - their most mundane tasks, their most intimate moments - send all the things Lina and Cain want to keep hidden threaten to be exposed.

After finishing this engrossing psychological thriller, my takeaway was to ensure whenever I stay somewhere have a good look around for cameras! This one covers the very real and scary result of modern surveillance technology where it's possible people are watching you and you don't even know. Making this particular story more complex is that Lina and Cain are hiding some very big secrets from each other which ramps up the tension even more. There are some intense scenes where you can really feel Lina's fear and confusion about things going on in her life.
Overall: I enjoyed this psychological thriller and would happily recommend it.
Profile Image for Courtney.
196 reviews3 followers
August 18, 2021

Lina, a paramedic, and her husband Cain, a returned Afghanistan soldier-turned personal trainer, have been struggling with money due to Cain's ongoing issues with gambling. They own a lake house which was left to Lina by her grandparents, so they decide to rent it out on WeStay (Airbnb type thing).
Meanwhile, Lina has met a man on a dating app (unbeknownst to Cain) with whom she is planning on having a one night stand and getting pregnant. This, because of Cain's infertility and her desperate need to have a child.
Meanwhile (again), it turns out a there is a ring of creepers online who install cameras in WeStay properties and watch the people staying there. Lina is filmed having sex with the man, then spends the rest of the book freaking out about it and hiding it, EVEN WHEN THERE IS AN ATTEMPTED MURDER AT THEIR LAKEHOUSE AND HER INFORMATION COULD ASSIST POLICE.
Anyway, it turns out Cain knew about the cheating the whole time and was actually involved in the attempted murder that ended in Lina killing an innocent man. Lina forgives him anyway because "I guess we both have secrets" 🤷🏼‍♀️

That is honestly just the tip of the iceberg, as there is so much happening throughout this book and so many plot points that go absolutely nowhere. I have read psychological thrillers before (although not my go-to) and enjoy them when well-written, but this ain't it.

The characters were like cardboard. They were underdeveloped as were their relationships. I couldn't stand any of them and they had zero chemistry. I felt no empathy or connection to any of them, and therefore felt no suspense or shock at any of the "twists and turns". The climactic scene happens around the middle of the book and honestly it should have just ended there.

There were long explanations about online betting, constant referring back to Cain having served in Afghanistan, repeating the same things over and over, and whole characters (like Scotty) that didn't need to be there. All a waste of words.

Sometimes it's also the little details in a book that ruin it, where the writer could have just sought an opinion. For example, a Detective at the police station writing his number on a piece of paper and giving it to Lina. Detectives would have business cards. 100%. Or Lina's friend Claire entering a scene with "winged mascara". Did ANY woman proofread this at ANY point?

On the topic of women, this book would not pass the bechdel test. Lina and her (supposed) best friend Claire have zero chemistry and all they talk about are their husbands, who are also best friends. The way this author has written the female characters in this book and portrayed their relationships makes me think he has never met a woman in his life, or simply doesn't care enough to get to know her inner world. There's also a lot of traditional gender role, "man as protector" rubbish between Cain and Lina, which I don't like, and could sit here referencing forever but don't have the space.

Avoid if you can. I honestly don't know what compelled me to finish it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Donna.
1,847 reviews
November 15, 2021
In the prologue, a nondescript man installs hidden cameras in a house.

Lina and her husband Cain are tight on funds. Their friends share experiences in renting out a home that they don't use all the time to make extra money. Cain is all aboard but Lina is not so sure about renting out the lake house where she grew up even though they don't use it. However, since she has done something she shouldn't have done, she agrees due to her guilt feelings. Neither of these situations many turn out well for her.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to own a 2nd house on the lake? You could enjoy it when you want and rent it out at other times to help make ends meet or just to make mad money. Oh, but what if you rent to the wrong person?

I enjoyed this book. I felt the creepiness and suspense throughout. I was all caught up in the story. I enjoyed the twists. I had a suspicion about who was behind the cameras but I was wrong. The last sentence in the book made a super ending.

Before Covid, I rented many, many vacation rentals. Now I will have this story in the back of my mind. Makes me wonder about hotel rooms too.
Profile Image for Kori Potenzone.
569 reviews57 followers
June 17, 2021
This is literally the first time a novel has left me speechless!!! HOLY MOLY, was this a wild ride!!!!

First and foremost , a big THANK YOU to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review The Last Guests, prior to its release date. JP Pomare, bravo! This was one hell of a novel!

I am critical to give out 5 stars, however, anything less than a 5 star rating would never do this book justice. I was completely and totally absorbed in this story from start to finish.

I would like to say that we all like to see the best in everyone, however, some people are capable of doing some very very bad things. This is a story that narrates just that. This is a very dark book filled with twist turns and secrets that will leave you shocked and begging for more. The writing style is perfect.

You will not predict this ending, it is one that will leave you with a major book hangover.

The Last Guests NEEDS to be read by anyone who loves a psychological thriller! Congrats to JP Pomare on this exceptional novel!
Profile Image for Joanna.
24 reviews2 followers
May 10, 2021
I don’t know where to begin with this book, but JP has done it again, and perhaps this is the best of all his works? But then I did love In The Clearing and have a soft spot for Call Me Evie (a regular re-read for me), and I can’t fault Tell Me Lies in any way. It’s rare to find an author so consistently good, I think. Where it just gets better.

I wish I was a writer so I could express just how much I loved reading this, how my arms went numb from holding the book up but I didn’t care because nothing was going to stop me from getting to the end. How my phone rang twice (my mother) but I didn’t answer because nothing else existed outside of Lina and Cain and their secrets, oh my god the secrets.

I’m only disappointed that I now have to wait again for his next book.
Profile Image for Claire.
823 reviews176 followers
September 30, 2021
Quick take: Pomare does it again. This was an EXTREMELY tense read (in a good way). As always, I revelled understand the perfectly evoked, familiar setting. Pomare has mastered both pacing, and the pervasive sense of dread and unease that lingers in every scene, even ones that seem innocuous at first. It’s a book full of secrets, and complex weighing up of self against family, against the right thing to do. How far would you go?
Profile Image for Jennifer (JC-S).
2,865 reviews197 followers
July 15, 2021
‘He is anybody, everybody, nobody.’

Lina (a paramedic) and Cain (a former member of the NZSAS) could do with some extra cash. Cain convinces Lina to put the home she has inherited from her grandfather at Lake Tarawera in New Zealand, on WeStay to rent out thus generating some additional income. While she is initially reluctant, Lina agrees. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turns out, plenty. Both Lina and Cain have secrets which the reader learns as the various threads of this story are untwisted.

But first, imagine your every move being caught on hidden cameras? Cameras installed in bedrooms and bathrooms, technology to cater for the tastes of every voyeur, or to track your every move. Lina quickly becomes caught up in a nightmare, while Cain is trying to deal with some demons of his own.

But strange things start happening, and secrets have a way of intruding into the present. One early action by Lina becomes a dangerous vulnerability as she constructs a very shaky house of cards to try to keep it secret. There is a twist in the tale and an ending which caught me by surprise.

‘Sometimes it’s the quietest alarms that shake you most.’

If you have ever worried about covert surveillance, and you enjoy tension-filled twisty tales, then you may also enjoy this.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
200 reviews5 followers
July 28, 2021
J.P. Pomare strikes with yet another brilliant mind twisting read with his latest book The Last Guests. As always, be prepared for a wild ride.. Once you get on, there’s no getting off! I read this book in a single sitting! There is positives to a lock down and it gave me a good excuse to do nothing else but indulge in this gripping page turner!

Have you ever stayed in  an AirBNB? Be cautioned! This one might have you thinking like you have never before next time you take off on a lovely little getaway in an AirBNB!

At the onset of this book we are given a “this will suck you in" prologue with a scenario of someone renting an AirBNB house and installing discreet micro cameras in places you wouldn’t even dream of!

In much need of some extra cash to make ends meet, Lisa and her husband Cain decide to advertise Lina's house at Lake Tarawera that she inherited from her grandfather on Westay. Both Cain and Lina have their secrets though and what was supposed to help them out actually becomes their darkest nightmare!

Im not going to delve too much into this one but do know that this is one thrilling read you do not want to miss and its out today so grab a copy and jump on for the ride of a lifetime!

Thank you @hachetteaus for my advanced review copy.
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,915 reviews270 followers
January 3, 2022

The winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award, J.P. Pomare, dazzles his readers yet again with his latest thriller chiller. The Last Guests is a story of intense scrutiny, voyeurism, morality, trauma and exposure. I devoured this bombastic mystery tale in just a day!

Imagine opening up your home to a group of strangers – without your knowledge or permission. This is the spine-tingling premise of The Last Guests, a novel from thriller expert J.P. Pomare that will send shivers down your spine. Meet Lina and Cain, a couple who are struggling to keep their finances in order. Cain is a recently returned solider, who now carries the weight of his experiences, along with his inability to have a family with his partner Lina. With relations strained between Lina and Cain, a decision is made to rent out Lina’s inheritance, a pretty but secluded property. As Cain works to get the property up to scratch for potential tenants, a shadowy presence is observing the couple’s movements. Will Cain and Lina’s deepest secrets be revealed and who is watching them?

J.P. Pomare is quickly becoming one of my favourite writers in the psychological thriller domain. Since its release back in July 2021, The Last Guests has collected many glowing reviews. Pomare is an author who is going from strength to strength with each new book he releases and The Last Guests is fantastic tale that compliments Pomare’s growing collection of engaging thrillers.

Pomare is unafraid of tackling some rather hard hitting and weighty themes in this latest offering. With conflicts raised in terms of relationship strain, trauma, financial stress, addiction, obsession, infertility and the umbrella theme of cyber voyeurism, The Last Guests is an involving novel. I enjoyed being offered an opportunity to play detective and formulate all sorts of theories as to what was happening in The Last Guests. Pomare’s novel features a very taut plot and I felt on edge for the duration of the tale. With a strong focus on the actions of the characters and their inner workings, this one will keep you on your toes. Pomare issues his readers with plenty of plot diversions, red herrings and storyline possibilities. I didn’t pick the direction of this novel at all, even at the final resting point. I think this is a sign that Pomare completely duped me. What a sensational writer!

With a premise that could easily be found dominating the news headlines, The Last Guests is another titillating thriller from J.P. Pomare.
Profile Image for Lee at ReadWriteWish.
613 reviews79 followers
August 20, 2021
JP Pomare is fast becoming a must-read author in the thriller genre in Australia/NZ. In this, his fourth title, he’s written a unique and contemporary book full of tension.

The Last Guests is told from the first person point of view of Lina, a paramedic married to Cain, an ex-SAS officer who has returned from service with PTSD, a gambling addiction and anger issues affecting the success of his PT business. After some convincing, Lina agrees to make her family home available on ‘Westay’ (a stand-in for AirBnB) for some extra cash. Cue adultery, voyeurism, accusations of drug use, a home invasion and murder.

I must admit I wasn’t really sure who was responsible for the crimes in the book. Along with the plethora of likely suspects and red herrings, Pomare added tension by the bucketload. It simmered along, making the reader fret over Lina’s fate.

Yes, I did cheer on Lina, despite the fact she wasn’t the most likeable leading lady I’ve come across. Cain too was hard to warm to, proving Pomare’s writing was slick enough to keep me interested without adoring the leads.

I loved the setting - Auckland and Lake Tarawera in New Zealand. It made me want to visit the area (but maybe I’ll look for a normal hotel room when travel opens up again though).

The book’s subject matter is quite disturbing at times, most likely due to the realism of the plot. Adding to the authenticity was the fact that not every part of the crime plot was not tied up neatly. Even now, a while after finishing, I’m unsure how I feel about that.

I must mention one thing that I did hate -- Pomare’s character name choices. He’s not quite in Chris Hammer’s league but I will admit to often getting Cain and Axel mixed up as me just thinking, ‘the husband is the one with the stupid name’ didn’t narrow it down.

I’m sure Pomare has another hit on his hands. 4 out of 5

12 reviews
July 1, 2021
What a fabulous book. The Last Guests by J.P. Pomade 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. Pomade - this book is a definite hit for 2021.
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