Chris Bohjalian’s recently released 18th novel, The Guest Room, starts out with a bachelor party gone wrong, very wrong.
Older brother Richard agrees against his better judgment to host his younger brother, Philip’s party in his posh Westchester home. Richard’s wife and daughter are to be away for the weekend at grandma’s apartment in Manhattan. Richard had expected that there would be strippers involved but when two very (too) young Eastern European women show up with their burly Russian body guards, he fears there will be trouble.
Before the night ends both body guards are dead, killed by the girls (one or both?) and they manage to escape. Now Richard and his wife, Kristin, are left to deal with the nightmarish consequences of this party gone wrong. Their home is a murder scene and must be vacated while investigators try to determine what went down. Richard’s employers have put him on administrative leave and he doubts the security of his esteemed, well loved position in investment banking. His marriage is in serious jeopardy, his daughter doubts him. He even doubts himself. His perfect work is shattered. What is he to do?
Bohjalian has done his homework. The Guest Room is well researched and informative about the sex slavery and the Russian mob. The author not only explores Richard’s and his family’s lives in the aftermath but also gives insightful background of the call girls/sex slaves. These dual stories unfold smoothly through the novel. Bohjalian never disappoints. He has crafted a fast paced, well written, suspenseful 316 page “page turner” that is nearly impossible to put down. Pick it up.