The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
|The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A cracking good thriller which had me hooked from beginning to end. I'm hoping that there'll be more crime thrillers from Lucy Foley.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: January 2019|
|Publisher: Harper Collins|
|External links: Author's website|
To begin with we don't know a great deal. We know that there's a body and before too long we know that Doug, the gamekeeper, doesn't think it was an accident. You get the feeling that Doug knows about these things. Three days earlier there had been nine travellers on the train: however you cut that one, the seating is going to be awkward. Someone is going to be left on their own. The highland lodge is stunning though, but these people who don't usually get outside the M25 find it difficult to realise exactly what isolated really means. In this case it means that it's an hour's drive to the road and that's when the weather's good. But this new year, the weather definitely isn't good. This is serious snow.
The nucleus of the group met at Oxford and each new year they try to do something together along with added partners and babies. You wouldn't need the knowledge of a dead body to guess that there's going to be trouble: a sea of alcohol, big egos and old grievances with no escape don't usually make for a peaceful break. Emma's the one who organised the holiday and she's keen that everyone is well fed and that the drink flows freely. Part of this is that Emma's a bit needy, but she's also the newest member of the group and she's conscious of being the one who wasn't there in the early days at Oxford. She's also in awe of Miranda.
Well, most people are in awe of Miranda, although it's sometimes difficult to understand why. She can be unpleasant, well, cruel would be more accurate, and she's never really achieved much. She doesn't have staying power and gets bored very easily. She's beautiful though, and she knows it. She's in Scotland with her husband, Julien and he'd probably be enjoying the party more if he didn't have a secret on his mind. Bankers have to be very careful about what information they share with other people.
Katie's the outsider, although Miranda counts her as her closest friend. You're never quite certain why Katie has gone to the lodge as she doesn't seem to be enjoying herself and she's reluctant to join in the boisterous fun. She's not the only one: Samira's there with her young baby. She used to be one of the wildest of the group, but these days she's more inclined to insist that she and her husband have their meals in the chalet rather than leave the baby on his own.
It's quite a long time before we find out the identity of the victim - despite the fact that the story moves back and forth between the time before the death and the period afterwards. This adds to the tension as you're not only trying to work out the name of the murderer, but to identify the victim too. Characterisation is superb: I was still worrying about some of them days after I'd finished reading and that's always the sign of a good book.
This is Lucy Foley's first foray into crime from her previous home in historical fiction. It's a definite success and I hope to read more from her. I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox.
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You can read more book reviews or buy The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley at Amazon.com.
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