The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Image of the front cover of the kindle ebook version of The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. The cover shows the book title and the author's name alongside the silhouette of a stag's head. To the left is a title that reads 'Review The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley'

The Hunting Party is set in the Scottish wilderness. A group of thirty somethings have booked the entire lodge for their annual New Year's Eve getaway. There's the 'perfect couple' with their new baby, the 'university sweethearts' that have been together since forever and the 'new couple' that are eager to please. Then there's the eternally single one. Factor in a perky hostess and a surly groundskeeper an you've got everything you need for a classic 'whodunnit'

I grew up watching Midsummer Murders, Poirot and Johnathan Creek so I'm well versed in murder mysteries and crime thrillers. I recently read The Guest List by Lucy Foley and felt it didn't quite hit the mark in comparison to the T M Logan novels I'd been reading previously but it's not fair to judge an author solely on one novel so I took on The Hunting Party in a bid to find out whether Lucy Foley was the crime writer for me.

In short answer is no, Lucy Foley novels aren't really for me. The long answer is a little more complex.

I didn't in any way hate this book but neither did I love it. It is very similar to The Guest List. Both books are set in remote locations, both involve a group of people meeting up after a long time apart and both involve a murder but the reader doesn't find out who the victim is until towards the end of the book. I appreciate that not revealing the victim until late in the novel helps to build suspense but in this particular novel I found it quite annoying possibly because I found the characters mostly detestable, unrelatable and annoying. 

The book is told through alternating points of view and alternating timelines. Each chapter is written from a different characters perspective and either refers to the current timeline or recounts moments from the past. I understand that this technique is about knitting together the history of the whole group and setting up the possible motives for murder but it got a little tedious listening to the characters histories as there wasn't much action or jeopardy so it felt a bit like it dragged.

Like all murder mysteries this novel has a few red herrings. There are characters and storylines added that aim to throw you off the scent but they felt a little artificial and far fetched. It felt like certain characters were added purely to be used as red herrings and therefore they didn't seem to 'fit' in with the story.

In general the book read like a cliched Scooby Doo novel and whilst it was vaguely enjoyable, the ending, though not predictable was a little abstract and not the most logical or believable. It has all the ingredients of  a classic 'whodunnit' but it just fell short of the mark for me. 

 Thanks For Reading 

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