Editorial note: I received a copy of The Club in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
The Club by Ellery Lloyd is truly a wild ride about the secret world of celebrity clubs.
At the beginning of each month, I plan to post what each celebrity book club will select for that month (here’s my March post if you haven’t seen it yet). As you can see, I had my doubts about Reese’s March Book Club Pick, The Club. I was concerned that it would be one of those outlandish psychological thrillers and those feel so overplayed now.
Still, I try to read most of the celebrity book club selections and since I also had an ARC, I decided to give The Club a chance. And I’m glad I did. For one, it’s more of a mystery, which is totally my speed, but also this book is entertaining. Although, it’s also quite dark in several aspects too.
I was so curious about the mysteries in this one. We read the story from many different viewpoints and they are all usually one step ahead. It kept me guessing until the very end.
What’s the Story About
The story follows the fictional Home Group, a producer of exclusive celebrity clubs found across the world. This gives celebrities the chance to party hard without fear of the media or social media watching their every move.
The Home Group recently finalized its biggest venture yet—Island Home—a closely-guarded, ultraluxurious resort, just off the English coast. Its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade with even the most high-profile guests are determined to get in.
But success comes at a cost and the Home Group, especially its CEO Ned Groom, are dealing with plenty of crises behind the scenes and lots of secrets.
As the guests arrive to the island, everyone’s secrets will be brought to light. Many people are going to pay with their lives.
First, let’s talk a bit about the authors. Ellery Lloyd is the pseudonym for London-based husband-and-wife writing team Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos. Collete was the former content director of Elle (UK) and editorial director at Soho House, a group of private members’ clubs aimed at celebrities, politicians and media.
In an interview with the Daily Gazette Standard, the couple talked about how they had stayed at the Osea Island, which is a privately-owned island frequented by A-list stars. Between that and what Collete witnessed of celebrities when she worked at Soho House, they thought a private members’ club would be a great setting for a mystery.
Very fascinating the story is potentially inspired by their experiences. I have to say, when I read the novel, I kept wondering which characters were based on real-life celebrities.
It’s interesting that Reese’s Book Club decided to feature a book not just about celebrities but one in which some are murdered! Quite unexpected. I wonder if her production company will look into turning this one into a series.
We read the story from the perspectives of several characters including Jess, the newly hired head of housekeeping; Adam, the brother of Ned; Annie, membership curator and Nikki, Ned’s personal assistant. But there’s also a ton of other characters throughout the novel as well.
However, there’s a reason why we mainly follow those perspectives—it definitely helped to paint a larger picture of what was happening, as they slowly reveal clues to the several different mysteries. Some characters are more likable than others, and several are certainly unlikeable, which is kind of the point. I will say the authors do try to give motivations to much of the behavior exhibited.
This story gets pretty dark, even more than I expected. But there’s also a bit of a satire aspect to it; almost like the authors were having a bit of fun torturing many of the ridiculously-behaved people.
While pretty brutal at times, I did find myself enjoying The Club more than I expected. It’s a classic mystery in many ways and does keep you guessing until the end. This is ideal book for those who enjoy locked-room mystery/type setting as well as those who like satires on celebrities.
For book clubs, check out my discussion questions here.