The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

A reunion of college friends, at a hunting lodge in the Scottish Highlands, goes horribly wrong when one of them goes missing. Stranded due to a snowstorm, the managers of the lodge and the remaining guests have little choice but to wait for the police to arrive and hope it’s not too late.

This is yet another mystery novel that paints each of its characters in deep hues of suspicion. Right from the beginning, you can make out the power equations within the group of friends, the bitterness that some of them harbour, the nostalgia, and the forces that have driven them apart over the years.

Image Courtesy – Goodreads

As such, when the narration travelled back and forth, I couldn’t help but pick apart the characters’ behaviours and thoughts to arrive at a possible motive.

The story is told to us in bits and pieces. On the one hand, it follows the storyline where the friends have just arrived at the lodge, and on the other, it picks up after one of them has gone missing.

While this is a classic approach to elevate the suspense in the book, it didn’t make a lot of difference to the storytelling because the latter is narrated from the POV of Doug, the gamekeeper, and Heather, the manager. I feel like it would’ve been more intriguing if there had been at least a few chapters from the POV of some of the friends.

I liked that the writing places sufficient emphasis on the surroundings, without making it overpower the plot.

Some of the themes explored in the book are stalking, infidelity, post-war trauma, toxic friendships, etc. Miranda’s character has been fashioned after the quintessential “queen bee”/ “popular girl” trope. She likes to be worshipped, is extremely self-obsessed, and indulges in all manner of power play.

Despite the author’s attempts to equip everyone’s secrets as a distraction, I immediately guessed who the culprit would be! It’s a little predictable when you analyse the barely hidden inclination of a few characters.

On the whole, it was a moderately enjoyable read. If you’re looking for something new, you may not like it all that much, but I’d wanted to read a typical mystery novel, where characters are trapped in a place. So, it kept me engrossed.

Published by Meera Nair

A 27 year-old freelance Content Writer, who spends all her free time ensconced in the pages of a book or writing to her heart's content about topics that excite the creative spirit in her.

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