Today I’d like to share my first review of the year, for “The Hunting Party”, by Lucy Foley.
About the book:
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 thirty-something 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?
Nine friends (and a baby) travel to the remote Scottish Highlands to a Lodge to celebrate New Year’s Eve. But before even the first chapter is over, we know one of the nine won’t make it home.
The story is told in a Now and Then structure. The sections telling Now are dated the 2nd January 2019, and narrated by the Lodge staff’s points of view. The Then sections tell the story starting 3 days earlier, when the guests arrive. These sections are narrated by the guests themselves, including flashbacks to their university days.
What I particularly enjoyed was the fact that the identity of the person who had been murdered was held back until almost the end of the book. It had me at the edge of my seat, racing through.
None of the guests are particularly likeable, but during the plot you also find out some of the Lodge staff’s back stories. There was enough about the staff to make me like them.
This has been described by many as a modern take on Agatha Christie. I completely agree – I loved this book. This is the author’s debut, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she writes next!
Overall I gave it 5*.