⭐Jayatissa, Amanda. You’re Invited. August. 384p. Berkley.
Murder at the wedding of one of Sri Lanka’s one percent? I initially imagined this to be a cozy affair, with lots of chatter about couture, gossip about affairs, and the body of one of the bridesmaids—the one no one likes—being discovered in the shrubbery, poisoned. Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, no extravagance is spared or undocumented—Vuitton is the bag of choice—but this crime novel is far darker, far more terrifying than I had ever imagined. It’s super-perfect Kaavi’s wedding—she of the billionaire family, the foundation devoted to girl empowerment, the perfect blow-out—and she’s invited her former best friend, Amaya, to the wedding. Not only were the two besties all throughout childhood, they were college roommates in the U.S., until an epic falling out involving Amaya’s boyfriend—whom Kaavi is now set to marry. Though they haven’t spoken in five years, Amaya flies to Colombo with one goal: stop the wedding, by any means necessary. Jealous much? Oh, if only it was mere jealousy in this nothing-is-what-it-seems narrative. Perfectly paced, rich in Sri Lankan culture, witty in its descriptions, and well aware of gender and class disparities, Jayatissa’s creation is that rare bird: the perfect thriller. By the author of My Sweet Girl, this book will appeal to fans of Julie Clark, Samantha Downing, and Lucy Clarke.—Brian Kenney