The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
Publisher: William Morrow Books / Harpercollins
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Everyone’s invited…everyone’s a suspect…
For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.
All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.
During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.
They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.
Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.
The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.
Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.
Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?
Book Review: A group of friends gathered together on a New Year’s getaway to a remote location. With festivities in mind, the mood was set for an unforgettable reunion. Little did they know, that one of them was a dead person walking. I appreciated how this thriller started off with a murder. It set up the perfect atmosphere for a suspenseful plot, or so I hoped.
As I read, I slowly realized that the characters lacked substance. I couldn’t connect with any of them. I kind of preferred the estate’s staff, instead of the main personas. They seemed to secretly hate one another, and faked it for old time’s sake. Why torture each other with these yearly reunions then? I personally didn’t get it.
So, the aspect of the story was to find out who the killer was. You literally have to read 90% of the book, to finally find out the truth. I normally wouldn’t mind this outcome, but the interweaving of the past and present between most of the characters ended up bringing a tiresome quality to the narrative. At certain moments, I had to re-read parts of the chapters because I unfortunately found myself disengaged.
THE HUNTING PARTY by Lucy Foley started out promising, but regrettably fell short for me. With that being said, this could still be a likable thriller amongst readers. It does have great elements in it, just not enough for my taste. I must say though that Lucy’s writing ability was grand. Her word play and overall imagination was pleasurable and evident from the beginning. I’ll definitely give her future works a try!
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟
Thank you to William Morrow Books for my review copy!
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About the Author: Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party is her debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages.