Category Archives: The Hunting Party

Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Title: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


Everyone’s invited…everyone’s a suspect…

For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.

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?


The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley is an atmospheric mystery that is fast-paced and suspenseful.

Every New Year’s Eve, a group of college friends maintain their longstanding tradition to gather for the holiday. This year, relative newcomer Emma is in charge of planning their vacation at an isolated hunting lodge in the  Scottish Highlands. This year’s festivities are off to a bit of an uneven start with new parents Samira and Giles busy taking care of their six month old daughter.  Longstanding clashes between beautiful, de facto leader Miranda Adams and the other members of their group also take their toll.

Everything comes a head just after they ring in the New Year and one of their group disappears. Manager Heather and gamekeeper Doug’s frantic search the missing guest is hampered by the blinding snowstorm. They are dismayed to learn that help from nearby community will not arrive until the weather clears. Doug makes a stunning discovery that shocks the friends and leaves everyone wondering who among them might be a killer.

Emma became part of the friendship after she started dating Mark three years earlier. She has meticulously planned this year’s gathering and she is quite pleased with everyone’s reaction to Loch Corrin. Emma is unflappable as the tension grows between the members of the group but she manages to keep on track with the events she has organized.

Miranda is married to her college boyfriend Julien and by outward appearances, they are the perfect couple.  After graduation, the career she expected to begin never materialized and she is somewhat unsatisfied with her life. Her marriage to Julien is strained but she hopes the break from “real” life will give them the chance to reconnect.

Katie is Miranda’s best friend from childhood and she is the only one in the group who is single. She is a lawyer who works long hours at her firm so she does not have much free time to date. In recent months, she has shrugged off Miranda’s attempts to get together and her friend is a little hurt when Katie is less than eager to spend time with her at the lodge.

Despite their long acquaintance, not all of the group are besties. Everyone is aware that Mark has pined after Miranda since college and tempers flare between them during the trip. Mark is also derisive towards Nick and his boyfriend Bo.  Nick’s relationship with Miranda is quite cool and her propensity to speak before she thinks further alienates Nick and Bo.  With their relationships unexpectedly fracturing during their trip, will their friendships survive this trip?

Heather and Doug both have their reasons for accepting their positions at Loch Corrin. They go their separate ways in between bookings and they do not know each other very well.  Doug is taciturn and suffers from PTSD due to his military service. Heather is hiding away from her friends and family due to a devastating loss. However, they pull together to try to locate their missing guest but Heather grows suspicious of Doug when she uncovers troubling information about his past.

Alternating between four distinct perspectives,  The Hunting Party is a spine-tingling mystery that is quite captivating.  The isolated setting and increasing  animosity between the friends ratchets the tension to a fever pitch. Well placed plot twists and worsening weather conditions keep the pages turning at a blistering pace.  Lucy Foley cleverly keeps the dead person’s and the killer’s identity tightly under wraps until the novel’s breathtaking conclusion. An well-plotted mystery that I absolutely loved and highly recommend to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Lucy Foley, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Hunting Party, William Morrow