The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

The Hunting Party

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?

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The Hunting Party gave me some serious Agatha Christie/Ruth Ware vibes. I love stories where a group of friends go off together and one is found dead and you know it had to be one of the other friends. Who was it? The Hunting Party was different because the identity of the victim was withheld as well, so you were trying to guess both identities.

What I didn’t love about The Hunting Party was that you were only getting a subset of the friends perspective. There were 9 friends, but you only heard from 3 – Miranda, Katie and Emma. When reading I thought the two identities (killer and victim) had to be from the three, because how much would it suck if it was about a person that we had heard just one story about.

I loved the drama and how everyone had their secrets. I also really enjoyed that we didn’t have to wait for 100 pages for the secrets to be revealed. An extra bonus for having the setting being in the remote Scottish Highlands. It added some creepiness to the story.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. A great concept, but fell a bit flat for me. It was a bit predictable and the characters ended up being very unlikable.

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