Lucy Foley is an author that checks out very well at my library and her books receive good reviews, but I’ve never had the chance to read one of her books, so I was excited when a book club I was leading chose “The Hunting Party” as their latest pick to discuss. The premise to this book was simple: 9 friends gather on New Year’s for their annual vacation and by the end of the weekend, one of them winds up dead. Who among them is the killer? This is a classic locked room mystery that doesn’t change the genre in anyway, but I liked it and there were enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. This was an enjoyable read that I think most mystery fans will like.
This was a very readable mystery that I had trouble putting down once I got into the nitty gritty of the story. It’s told by several narrators, with some time jumps, but the story takes place over the span of two days so it wasn’t overly confusing once I got to know the characters more. I liked Foley’s choice to keep the reader guessing as to who was murdered until closer to the end because it added to the tension that was slowly developing between the friends at the lodge. And these friends…oh boy. There is not one sympathetic person among them. You get the sense that these people would not be friends if they met today but they still meet up every year out of a sense of obligation more than anything. They are all horrible and I would have been okay with any of them being the murder victim. There is nothing new here in terms of the mystery and there are several tropes used to varying levels of success, such as red herrings, but I still enjoyed trying to figure out the who-dun-it aspect of the story. Even though I figured out some of the twists very early on, there were some things that surprised me. Foley gives you clues throughout the book to solve the mystery in the form of flashbacks, which was a clever choice. My biggest issue with the book was the end when the killer is revealed; I thought it was too rushed.
This wasn’t the best mystery I’ve ever read but it had enough twists to keep me guessing. I liked the time jump format and think the locked room setting worked well. Pick this one up if you’re looking for a fun, quick mystery.
Favorite Quote: “I suppose we all carry around different versions of ourselves.”
Author: Lucy Foley
Published: December 3rd, 2018
Rating: 3.5 Stars