Book Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)
Publisher: HarperCollins UK (January 24, 2019); William Morrow US (February 12, 2019)

Talk about a good read for a winter's night! I'm a sucker for the Christiesque set up in The Hunting Party (I grinned at the "little grey cells" mention). A group of college friends sequester themselves away at a remote resort for several days leading into New Year's Eve and right from the opening, the reader knows one of them hasn't made it to the second day of the year. Add in an epic snowstorm, long-held resentments to one friend's long reign of cruelty, two resort staff members with their own secrets and struggles and just to keep things interesting, a serial killer on the loose in the adjacent area and two random guests who even with all this strangeness, seem out of place and you have all the makings for a gripping read.

I won't spoil but I will say I was impressed with the way Foley kept the tension of who was killed. It's a challenge when the story begins with a dead body but this held my interest and wouldn't let me go. My sleep suffered because I couldn't put it down and I loved it. There are five POVs that relayed the story in the days leading up to the murder and the day the body was discovered. Heather and Doug are the resort manager and caretaker of the resort. Miranda, Emma and Katie are three of the women in the friends' group. Samira, Giles, Julien, Matt, Nick nor Bo (the rest of the group) are given POV chapters and are more service pieces in the overall story but that isn't a criticism.

I had some suspicions realized and this kept me guessing on other threads and one or two things I never saw coming to the conclusions they did. And there are some good statements here on grief, healing, forgiveness, outgrowing people and doing wrong to those who've done you wrong and all its attendant perils. Life pro tip: only travel with people you well and truly like. This is about the third book I've read this year that had a friend not make it back from the circle of friends trip. I'm perversely attracted to stories where people choose to spend their free time with people they actually can't stand (that they're not related to, work with nor are monetarily beholden to). It's no wonder these stories always have some grisly end. Also, like Ruth Ware's In A Dark, Dark Wood, if you find yourself invited into the wilds to stay in an ultra-modern structure made of glass and steel, best to decline the invitation because something bad certainly will go down. Well done all around.

It's out in the UK, January 2019 and in the US, February 2019. Definitely recommended.

Many thanks to the publisher. I'm just sorry I've finished it so quickly but it was a great couple of reading days.

Summary: All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.
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?

No comments