“During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirty something 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.
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, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead … and another of them did it.” – Amazon
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley reminds me of the Christopher Pike books I read as a teen, but with a grown-up feel. This is a great thing since Pike was one of my favorite authors when I was younger and I’ll still reread one of his books every so often.
Foley did a fantastic job giving the reader a feeling of isolation in the Scottish Highlands. And I could feel the loneliness of the two characters that live and work at the lodge. Even though they have each other, they keep themselves apart because of demons in their past that they still have to reconcile with.
I do feel that Foley could have cut down some of the atmospheric scenes of the stark countryside. I found myself skimming after a while because I wanted to get back to the vain guests and find out all their dirty little secrets, as well as the murderer.
All of the guests are very well off and seem narcissistic to one degree or another. I know some readers will really be put off by this, but for me it made it more fun when they got their comeuppance. Even though I didn’t feel much for the guests because I have never been as wealthy as them or have had rich people problems, I did feel for the lodge’s caretakers so that had me more invested in the book.
There were smaller secrets revealed throughout the book, which kept me turning the pages. And then the big reveal at the end was a fun twist that I thought was going to go another way. Foley did a great job dropping some clues about part of it, but the other part completely threw me for a loop, which is something I always enjoy.
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