*I received a free ARC of this novel, with thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: EVERYONE’S INVITED.
EVERYONE’S A SUSPECT.
Bristling with tension, bitter rivalries, and toxic friendships, get ready for the most hotly-anticipated thriller of 2019.
In a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year.
The beautiful one
The golden couple
The volatile one
The new parents
The quiet one
The city boy
Not an accident – a murder among friends.
The Hunting Party is a murder mystery thriller, but also an exploration of friendships and how they can change with time and experience.
The plot is told from the perspectives of different guests and staff members at an isolated retreat over a New Year’s break and the reader is told from the very start that one of the guests has been killed, but the author withholds the what, why and who. We then go back a few days to try to piece together the clues to guess not just who the murderer is and their motive, but also who the victim is!
The clues are there to pick up on, but I confess to being bamboozled by some of the twists, as every character has their deep, dark secrets and the difficulty is deciding which ones are relevant to the crime.
I was reminded of an Agatha Christie story in terms of the claustrophobic setting and limited suspect pool, crossed with a more in-depth character and psychological exploration such as you might find in modern women’s fiction. And of course there was a touch of Peter’s Friends as the group of old friends and new partners gathered to ring in the New Year with some old issues. However, The Hunting Party is much darker: more murder, less comedy!
The characters are listed in the blurb by 2D stereotypes, but actually most of them get more development and complexity than those dismissive snippets reflect. The idea of stereotyping and labelling our friends and loved ones is a running theme throughout the book however, and brings home that old saying about how little we know each other (and sometimes ourselves).
This is definitely a recommended read for fans of murder-thrillers and the clever ellipsis of the victim adds a fresh twist to the mystery.
I open the door of the Lodge, let him in. He brings with him a rush of freezing air, a spill of snow.
‘What’s happened?’ I ask him.
There is a moment – a long pause – in which he tries to catch his breath. But his eyes tell the story before he can, a mute communication of horror.
Finally, he speaks. ‘I’ve found the missing guest.’
‘Well, that’s great,’ I say. ‘Where–‘
He shakes his head, and I feel the question expire on my lips.
‘I found a body.’
– Lucy Foley, The Hunting Party
The Hunting Party is available on Amazon now!