The Hunting Party
by Lucy Foley
Publication Date : February 12, 2019
Pages : 336
Synopsis From Publisher :
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?
The old saying goes “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” However what happens when you are unable to tell the difference between your friends and enemies? When you realize your loyalty and trust has been misplaced? When you find yourself in complete isolation with people you have known for years, but who are now displaying a different side of their personality? In The Hunting Party, we meet eleven long time friends who have found themselves in this exact situation. Full of twists, turns, and drama, The Hunting Party is the perfect winter read for those who love classic locked door mysteries.
On a large estate in the Scottish Highlands, eleven friends have escaped they’re busy lives in London to bring in the New Year together. For these long time friends New Year’s getaways are a long standing tradition. They use this time to reconnect and reminisce about their college days. On the surface all is as it should be, but under the surface old insecurities and unresolved issues are brewing. As the friends and the estate staff prepare for a dangerous winter snow storm which could leave them stranded on the estate for longer than anticipated; another storm is touching down inside the estate.
I adore locked door mysteries; I love the limited suspect pool, the fear the characters have of being the next victim, and most of all I love being wrong about the identity of the murderer. I know it sounds odd, but being wrong is best part of a locked room mystery. Discovering the true culprit and rehashing all the clues I missed. Simply put, I love it!
The eleven friends have a very interesting dynamic. No matter how much they have changed, no matter what life events have taken place since they last met - their personalities regress back to their college days. Katie, an introvert in college, returns to her role in Miranda’s shadow. Even though Katie is now a successful and respected lawyer. Miranda still feels the need to be the life of the party despite her feelings of dissatisfaction with her life. Giles returns to his role of class clown. When I noticed these regressions while reading I began to question the sincerity of the friendships.
The Hunting Party is told from several point of views. When I initially began the book I was a little nervous I would not be able to keep track of eleven perspectives. I was worrying unnecessarily. Although there are multiple narrators, I was able to differentiate the characters fairly quickly.
In addition to the eleven friends, there are two other characters; Heather, the manager of the estate and Doug, the groundskeeper. Heather and Doug were my two favorites. They were the most sensible of all the characters. As outsiders of the group ( with a few secrets of their own) they were objective. Heather and Doug provide observations and insights into the true nature of their guests.
If I had to sum up the The Hunting Party in one word it would be fun. Foley’s writing is so atmospheric that readers will feel like they in the Scottish Highlands with the eleven friends watching the theatrics unfold. If the release of The Hunting Party is first sign of the revival of the locked door mystery, other authors who follow have large shoes to fill.
** Thanks to William Morrow for my free review copy of The Hunting Party**
Murder and Moore Rating :
5 out of 5 Stars