Caught in a web of lies: The Guest, by Emma Cline, reviewed

This deeply unpleasant novel kept me reading all night. Alex, 22, preys on rich men as an upmarket prostitute, formerly in New York and now in resorts such as the Hamptons. She is a thief and addict, sneaking her boyfriend’s sleeping pills, his valuable watch, a former room-mate’s medication, random jewellery and any available alcohol, while lying to herself and others. Moving among the rich, she pretends to be one of them. Writing about them in their holiday homes, Emma Cline is skilful and observant: The women had a funny, girlish air: their tiny steps, their uncertain smiles, satin bows in their ponytails, though most of them were probably over