THE HUNTING PARTY | Lucy Foley
01.24.2019 | Harper Collins
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
A group of thirty-something friends who met at Oxford have a tradition of meeting each year to celebrate New Year’s. This year the destination and planning fell on Emma, who is the newest member of the group. For this vacation she has selected a remote estate located in the isolated Scottish Highlands. It sounds like the perfect place for these old friends to catch up and celebrate together.
They arrive on December 30th, hours before a historic sized blizzard hits the area, effectively blocking anyone from coming or going to the estate. The friends are trapped and now one of them is dead. This wasn’t an accident. One of these friends is a murderer.
THE HUNTING PARTY is a modern day spin on a classic locked room mystery. Here we have a group of friends essentially trapped on an estate in the middle of a blizzard. One friend is dead and one friend is a murderer. Who can you trust?
Lucy Foley has broken this story into alternating narratives, as well as timeline shifts. Throughout the story we know what is happening in present day from the narrative of Heather, who is responsible for maintaining the estate. We are then taken back to the arrival of the friends through narratives from three of the female friends; Emma, Miranda, and Katie, as well as the groundskeeper, Doug. Each person has their own take on how the events of the days leading up to the murder unfolded. Each person saw a different side of the story.
It is up to the reader to determine two things: who is dead and who is a murderer. That’s right, you have no idea who dies until almost the end of the book. I loved that Foley kept the identity of the victim close to her chest. This hidden fact kept me guessing at who not only who was going to die, but how the secrets between the friends could lead someone to murder one of them. I should mention…if you love secrets and lies, this book is filled with them! This group of friends have changed over the years and they are far from honest with each other. As each new secret is revealed, that friend ends up on your suspects list, until basically everyone but the baby is on it!
I would categorize THE HUNTING PARTY as a slow-burn, methodical mystery. This book oozes in parallels to classic mystery novels and would be perfect for fans of Agatha Christie. The graphics and gore are kept to a minimum in this story, as they simply are not needed. Lucy Foley has created within the pages of THE HUNTING PARTY one of my favorite recent locked room mysteries with a setting absolutely perfect for those long winter nights!
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