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The Hunting Party: A Novel Kindle Edition
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From the Back Cover
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 30, 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: admiration of 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 one of them did it.
Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
“Lucy Foley proves that the traditional country-house murder formula…can still work brilliantly.… Superb." (The Times (London))
“My favorite kind of whodunit, kept me guessing all the way through, and reminiscent of Agatha Christie at her best -- with an extra dose of acid.” (Alex Michaelides, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Silent Patient)
“A ripping, riveting murder mystery—wily as Agatha Christie, charged with real menace, real depth. Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware.” (A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window)
“Fans of Ruth Ware will likely rip through The Hunting Party at warp speed.” (Popsugar)
“Like a deliciously drawn out game of Clue, this novel brings together a group of Oxford friends at a remote Scottish highlands estate for the Christmas holidays....Foley paints such a vivid hunting-lodge-and-lochs setting that you’ll immediately be booking your own highland fling, clandestine killers or no.” (National Geographic)
“Everyone is a suspect in Lucy Foley’s clever murder mystery that harkens back to Agatha Christie and the Orient Express. Friends, lovers, strangers and murder at a secluded hunting lodge make for an absolutely delicious read!” (Wendy Walker, author of the national bestseller All Is Not Forgotten)
“An addictive murder mystery full of suspense, secrets and surprises. I loved it!” (Alice Feeney, New York Times bestselling author of Sometimes I Lie)
“Psychological suspense that rivets. Imaginatively conceived and deftly executed.” (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)
“An auspicious thriller debut...a cracklingly suspenseful story for a long winter’s night.” (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- File Size : 3476 KB
- Publication Date : February 12, 2019
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : William Morrow; Reprint Edition (February 12, 2019)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07B7LLJLZ
- Print Length : 349 pages
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,348 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The age-old trope of a small group gathered in an inaccessible place where a murder takes place is still worth
reading, but not as presented here.
By the time I slogged through the descriptions of each character (and their complicated histories), the book
was half completed....the murder was predictable and the ending quick and tidy.
I was sorry I actually bought this and would recommend getting it for free at the library, if
you have the patience and interest in a really cliched pastiche of a good, old-fashioned English
country house murder mystery.
and it’s a one-star.
Lord, help me!
First and foremost: I disliked all of the characters (with the exception of Doug, the gamekeeper, and Heather, the lodge keeper.
The guests, however, were of a different sort.
Privileged, pretty, successful, whiny thirty-somethings.
It made for a truly unenjoyable reading experience.
I'm all for unlikeable characters, but these were the worst, because there was no one to root for.
I didn't care who dies.
I didn't care who did it.
Biggest complaint: I wasn’t a fan of all the character POVs (and by extension: the writing itself). Each character sounded like they were reading from a script, or like they were talking to me directly, trying to convince me of something—as though they’ve been tasked with describing their lives and that of their “friends” to an audience/reader—it felt totally inorganic and took me out of the story entirely. And I’ve said it before, so I’ll say it again: multiple POVs, when done right, are a worthy addition to any whodunnit/mystery novel. For example- the recent 'In the Dark' by Loreth Anne White utilized multiple character points of view to great effect. But here, each POV felt forced—like the author herself is telling us who these characters are in their inner dialogues, instead of the characters themselves. Does that make sense? It doesn’t feel like it’s the characters describing each other, most of it literally being: “she’s the wild one” “he’s the offensive one” “she’s the quiet one...and here’s why that is”.
*I’ve confirmed that the characters are speaking directly to the us. 176 pages in, one of the characters says, “...in case you were wondering” and then “You’re just going to have to take my word for it.” Like, what?!?!? We’re given no indication that “you” is anyone other than us, the reader. Why why why was it written like this?? I absolutely hated it!!!
And for the entirety of the book, it’s only 5 POVs out of the full 11+ characters (and that’s not even including the Icelandic couple and Iain). I just find that dumb, really. Either it should’ve been all of them (which would’ve made sense, but, frankly, have been too many), or two (Heather or Doug’s for the present, and one of the guests for the days before). That’s it. I don’t know why the author chose solely Katie, Emma, and Miranda. As for Doug and Heather... I swear, every single one of their chapters had the lines, “But I don’t really know him/her at all”. Like, I get it, you both have dark, haunted pasts that remain a mystery to everyone. It didn’t heighten the overlaying mystery at all... it was just annoying! Most of the other characters are just... there-- (Nick & Bo, Samira & Giles, Mark, Julien... and the dang baby I just completely forgot about). They had no real characterizations whatsoever outside of more convoluted motives (except the baby, of course). I just saw no purpose in having them even there at all.
Something else that became excruciatingly tedious: Everyone reminiscing about the past... which I understand is the point of their whole trip, but if they’d been making these same trips every year for a decade, you’d think they’d stop being like, “Ooooh, remember when...” or “Don’t you recall that time...” or “Just like when we used to...” every page. It was an annoying way to dump all this expository background info on these characters by having them repeatedly wax nostalgic. It got old, fast.
From the beginning, we know that someone’s dead. And throughout the novel, we get a ridiculous list of potential suspects that are mentioned or alluded to (ex: unlawful poachers and a weird train station agent). Then, 71 pages into the story, someone is (maybe, possibly) lurking around in the woods, and right after it’s revealed (more like unnecessarily thrown-in) that a serial killer is roaming the highlands nearby. I thought these additions did a disservice to the story for two reasons: 1. They’re such blatant, clunky red herrings, and 2. It’s unrealistic the guests wouldn’t have heard about the serial killer. And THEN, not 30 pages later, something else from the past brings forth a new potential culprit. And THEN AGAIN, not long after, a dramatic, violent event from the past providing yet another potential motive/suspect. I found all these red herrings and misdirection completely unconvincing.
Could it be:
1. The shady station guard?
2. Evil poachers?
3. A disgruntled local?
4. The creepy Icelandic couple?
5. The Highland Ripper
6. This person from the past
7. That person from the past
8. Plenty more that aren’t worth mentioning...
Look, it’s all well and good to have a large suspect pool... but NOT when it’s inherently obvious who the real culprit is, because let's be honest: this book is woefully predictable. Red herrings are fun, but the above list are just so obvious it’s dumb.
Truth be told, 220 pages into this nearly 400 page book, and I started hard-skimming. I wanted it to be over so badly, it was almost unbearable. Then, we get to the end, and it’s so terribly pedestrian. It wasn’t clever, or twisted, or surprising. The only interesting thing that happened was unrelated to the murder. That’s it. I think the author wanted to believe this was more clever than it actually was, but, sadly—and much to my resounding disappointment—it wasn’t.
We are then thrust into bustling action, several days before this unnerving discovery. A group of friends from Oxford are getting together for their yearly New Year's Celebration ritual. This year, they are heading off for a remote hunting lodge in the Scottish Highlands, which in the case of inclement weather will be cut off from roads, transportation, shops, other people...pretty much any other form of civilization known to man. Even internet connection is spotty in this part of the world. The only outsiders are the lodge manager, the caretaker, and two other guests.
This close-knit group of friends has known each other forever, but from the beginning of the trip, something has seemed...off. The lodge manager notices it, and in the chapters, each narrated by different characters, we piece together long-simmering tensions in the group, uncover secrets and passions, and discover what led to murder.
Everything isn't what it seems in this fast-paced chiller.
The characters are complex, the narrative strands weave deftly together, and ending was a surprise, though the strands were there all along. Foley's writing is neat, descriptive enough, and gives a sense of the vast wilderness, but always keeps our focus on the action and plot. Never is there a descent into stereotypes or idiocy--everyone is real.
As the focus of the plot switches from the group of friends, to the search for a missing person, Foley never loses control of the characters. Intense and riveting. Great read.
Top reviews from other countries
However, I can't recall a time when I have read a book about a group of such horrible people. Not one of them seemed to have a single redeeming feature and, for such a supposedly close-knit group of friends, they seem inherently focused on constantly saying and doing vile things to each other. Why on earth would you choose to have any of these people in your life?
I suspect this might have been in some way intentional on the author's part to keep you guessing as to who the victim and perpetrator are as then everyone has some degree of motive but, in truth, the answers are glaringly obvious quite early on and it got to the point where I didn't really care anyway. I would have considered it a relief to have any one of them killed off, preferably more, by the time I'd read the first few chapters. The writing is repetitive and amateurish and, on more than one occasion, somewhat cringeworthy.
It takes some of the pleasure out of a novel when there is literally no character likeable enough to root for. Disappointing.
A group of ex Oxford students travel to a remote part of Scotland to celebrate New Year. A couple have a baby. Two are homosexual and the rest have ‘little quirks’ of character in order to make this diatribe interesting. Oh, and the resident lodge keepers/estate managers also have their baggage/problems.
The big mystery is the dead body found at the bed of a bridge and who the killer was. i e Cleudo.
The characters are awful; a sad reflection of what Oxford students actually are. All characters are shallow and exceptionally boring. There’s not one redeeming characteristic between them.
There’s no suspense, thrill or anything else that would allow me to recommend this.