The Hunting Party, Lucy Foley’s bestselling crime thriller, is about a group of friends, now in their 30s, who have rented an exclusive but isolated hunting lodge in the Scottish Highlands to celebrate the new year. This is an annual event for the group, some now married with children, eight of whom first met as students at Oxford University
The novel, described as an ‘Agatha Christie-inspired thriller’, is full of suspense, danger and menace. Set over 48 hours, It is told in flashbacks from the perspectives of several characters. It soon becomes obvious to the reader that all is not well and that there are underlying tensions, resentments and jealousy. Not long after the celebrations begin, with a lot of alcohol consumed, one of the group goes missing in a blizzard and the snow is so deep that no one can reach the lodge or leave. A body is found on 2 January in freezing conditions but the author keeps the identity of the victim secret until the end of her story.
Privileged and self centred, the friends are not likeable characters so it is difficult to empathise with them - although we are intrigued. This also applies to the lodge manager, Heather, and the weird gamekeeper, Doug, but we are drawn into the tale through all the red herrings and psychological twists that are so skilfully narrated.
This is such a gripping read for Christmas and the new year! I’m looking forward to Lucy Foley’s next crime thriller, The Guest List, to be released on 20 February 2020.
This review was written by Roz Masters and first appeared in the Dec19Jan20 edition of OVL Magazine.