The Hunting Party Author:Lucy Foley Everyone's invited. Everyone's a suspect. 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&rsqu... more »o;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?« less
Lots of characters doing lots of drinking, lots of "I was so drunk....". And not just regular old drunk. Drunk on 'Dom', that very expensive champagne we all guzzle down with our dear old friends. Despite an interesting story, this 'plot device' gets old. The lesson learned with this book, Don't drink so damn much.
Set around New Year's Eve, The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley was a nice contrast to the Christmas books I've been reading.
Ten years ago several Oxford students celebrated New Year's Eve together, and they've continued the annual tradition even as their group expanded through marriage, relationships, and children. This year they're gathering in a remote hunting lodge in the Scottish highlands to reconnect, eat good food, and drink to excess. Before their time together is complete, one of them is dead, and another may be the murderer.
I enjoy novels where the "big event" is disclosed fairly early and the rest of the story gradually fills in the details of the characters and events leading up to it, and that's the case here. Readers know a body has been found, but the gender isn't disclosed so we have to piece together clues to figure out who met their demise. I also like a fairly large cast of characters who have 'messy' relationships with each other, and a group of college chums is perfect fodder for this "trope." Many secrets are disclosed on this getaway.
I enjoyed this via audiobook with full cast narration by Imogen Church, Gary Furlong, Elle Newlands, Moira Quirk, and Morag Sims. Their lovely voices with rich accents put me firmly in the setting and helped me follow the characters.
I checked this out on audio from the library because I heard it compared to Agatha Christie's work. I was disappointed by the fact that you do not know who was murdered for quite a long time. After lots of red herrings and reveals, the ending was kind of simple.
It's a classic "English country house" murder mystery, although with more of a psychological suspense feel; there's no detective working to unravel the various alibis. Despite the jacket copy I wouldn't call it a thriller, the pacing is too deliberate for that. I found the first-person present-tense POV, shifting every chapter, mixed with one third-person POV, rather irritating. But we can tell from that structure who's important in the story and who can be disregarded. Foley gives only two sympathetic characters (IMO) which also helped me guess the murderer. It mostly unfolded the way I expected, but there were a few surprises, and although I didn't find it "un-put-down-able", it kept my interest.