Set in a luxury hunting lodge in the remote Scottish highlands, this book follows nine university friends, back together for their annual New Year celebrations. But as the snow falls around them, isolating the lodge from civilisation, tensions rise and old friendships fracture and, on New Year’s morning, a body is found lying in the snow.
I was utterly gripped by this book! From the start I found the characters utterly fascinating – there’s something so gloriously dysfunctional about them all. With a few exceptions, these are the sort of people I would utterly detest in real life. Yet Foley has done a fabulous job of getting beneath the surface glitz and showing the hidden fractures and vulnerabilities that lie behind each person’s facade. I genuinely came to sympathise with some of them and had a dark fascination with the rest.
To say too much about the plot would be to spoil the book but this really is a brilliantly plotted thriller. By using multiple voices and a dual timeline taking place both before and after the murder, Foley managed to keep me guessing right to the very end – even the identity of the victim isn’t revealed until the final few chapters! There’s a lot going on in the 400 pages but Foley keeps everything neat and I never felt like the plot was running away from me – quite a feat when there are so many characters and subplots.
Combining an Agatha Christie ‘country house murder’ vibe with a modern ‘rich people problems’ twist, The Hunting Party is a fantastic crime thriller packed with twists and turns and full of that elusive page-turning quality. A fantastic personal and book club read alike!
Amy Louise Blaney 5/5
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
HarperCollins 9780008297114 hbk Jan 2019