I’m very late to the party, if you’ll pardon the pun, as this book has been out for more than a year. Better late than never is very true in this case, although I’m very glad at wasn’t actually at this particular party. I have read and very much enjoyed Lucy Foley’s historical novels. (You can read my review of The Book of Lost and Found here.) The Hunting Party was her debut crime novel and her second crime novel, The Guest List, which sounds just as enthralling, will be published later this month. She has been described as Agatha Christie for the 21st century and I can quite see why!
If you have ever fancied spending a holiday with a group of friends in a remote Highland lodge, this could well put you off. Most of the group has been friends since their time at Oxford, so of course they all know each others secrets. Or do they? Are they perhaps just friends because they can’t afford not to be, because they know too much about each other? They certainly don’t actually seem to like each other very much!
I have to say that none of the characters are very pleasant, They all come across as quite arrogant and entitled. And they all seem to have something to hide which is perhaps what makes this book so completely addictive! What exactly are they hiding from each other? Gamekeeper Doug and estate manager Heather are more likeable but they too have difficult pasts they’d rather keep to themselves, and reasons why they are working somewhere so remote. I listened to this book on Audible and, just as the story is told from several of the guests’ points of view, so the audiobook is narrated by several different people: Cathleen McCarron, Laura Kirman, Clare Corbett, Ellie Heydon, Joshua Manning. This worked really well for me and brought the different characters and their personalities to life.
This book is so cleverly written. Although you know from the start that one of the guests is dead, you have no idea who has met their end. The story moves back and forward in time from after the body has been found, to the days leading up to the death. So as you read you are trying to guess who might be dead, how and why they have died and which of the guests or staff might be responsible. With the lodge not only being very isolated, but also completely cut off from the outside world by heavy snow, this is a real ‘locked room’ mystery.
I found The Hunting Party to be a very compelling story, despite not actually liking the various characters! I liked the way the author kept ending the narrators’ parts with cliffhangers which made me wonder just exactly what was going on. It definitely kept me guessing right to the end. A book which is full of tension and surprises, if you enjoy Agatha Christie style murder mystery novels then you should definitely give this a try.
My audiobook copy was purchased with my Audible subscription. The Hunting Party is available in all formats and at the time of writing the Kindle version is only 99p (please check before you buy though). You will find buying options for various retailers on the Harper Collins website here: The Hunting Party
From the back of the book
EVERYONE’S A SUSPECT.
AND EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT IT.
‘Ripping, riveting’ A. J. Finn
‘Clever, twisty and sleek’ Daily Mail
‘Unputdownable’ John Boyne
‘Foley is superb’ The Times
‘Chilling’ Adele Parks
‘Terrific, riveting’ Dinah Jefferies
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.
About the author
Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party is her debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination.
Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.
Say hello at http://www.facebook.com/LucyFoleyAuthor and follow Lucy on Twitter @LucyFoleyTweets and Instagram @LucyFoleyAuthor