Book Review

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

The Hunting Party
Author: Lucy Foley
Pages: 406
Format: Paperback
Genre: Mystery & Thriller Fiction
Publishing Company: Harper Collins UK
Release Date: January 24th 2019

Goodreads Synopsis

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?

My Review

“I suppose we all carry around different versions of ourselves”

It’s been a while since I’ve read any mystery/thrillers, but this was the perfect one to make me fall in love with the genre all over again! I was hooked from start to finish and found it very difficult to put down.

I’m starting to really love dual POV stories. The Hunting Party revolves around a group of friends that go way back to their days of the University of Oxford. With there being a lot of characters, we get to hear the chilling mystery be told from multiple points of views.

The Story

“Remove all of the distractions, and here, in the silence and the solitude, the demons they have kept at bay catch up with them.”

The reader is kept in the dark more than the characters for the majority of the book. Even after a missing guest is revealed, no information is given to us or any idea of who may have done it. Some people may find this frustrating, but for me it only made me read on quicker.

The story swaps between the past and present quite often. I thought that some of the chapters set in the past didn’t have much to offer to the story as the group reminisced about their University days a lot throughout the rest of the book.

There is a lot of drama, suspense and pointing of fingers at who might have done it. It is very character driven, but a very enjoyable read if you’re up for guessing who a murder is out of a group if friends.

The Characters

“Some people, given just the right amount of pressure, taken out of their usual, comfortable environments, don’t need much encouragement at all to become monsters.”

I don’t know if Foley has purposefully made the characters unlikable, but this is what makes the story so enjoyable for me. Each of the guests and workers has the motive to be a good suspect or even a victim. There is a lot of character development throughout, which I love. Some characters that I didn’t like towards the beginning I ended up loving and vice versa.

Doug and Heather, the workers at the lodge, are very different from the Oxford group. They yearn for the isolation of the Scottish highlands, whereas the others crave power within the social group. I love the diverse set of characters as it is very entertaining to read about the drama and mystery that goes on.

Overall Thoughts

“There are people who hold out for love, capital letters LOVE, and don’t stop until they’ve found it. There are those who give up because they don’t find it.”

Overall, I really loved the book. It was very difficult to put down yet I still had the willpower to read slowly and take in the story! It isn’t confusing and I found it really easy to follow.

The writing totally consumed me. It was beautiful reading the description of the Scottish highlands and with it brought a chilling atmosphere. The twists are in all the right places and by leaving out key pieces of information, it stirs you away from the real killer.

The only thing that disappointed me was the ending. It seems very rushed like everything has to be revealed all at once. But other than that it’s an amazing book that really keeps you invested from start to finish! I would definitely recommend The Hunting Party to anyone who loves mystery and thrillers.

Rating: 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Manchester blogger with a passion for reading, writing and travelling. I always have a book or a cup of tea in my hand.


10 October 2020 at 6:19 pm

Wonderful review, Ellie! So glad you enjoyed. I read The Guest List by this author in the summer and it seems to follow quite a similar premise. I quite liked it but there were elements I didn’t like so much. Hope you discover more great thrillers!

11 October 2020 at 9:53 pm

I have this one from a friend, and I really hope to read it soon. I’m glad to hear you loved it. I read her newest book, The Guest List, and LOVED that one.


13 October 2020 at 1:25 pm

I don’t do a lot of thrillers because I’m a big scaredy-cat, but I do love the way multiple POVs help a story like this develop. Glad you enjoyed it…and I’m big into mood reading so it sounds perfect for this time of year (if I were a braver person, haha).

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