“Remove all of the distractions, and here, in the silence and the solitude, the demons they have kept at bay catch up with them.”

Lucy Foley, The Hunting Party

I have read ‘The Guest List’ by Lucy Foley, and it did intrigue and engage me from the beginning to the very end. So, I guess this familiarity with the author is what made me pick this book up. Also, the suspense and mystery that the author builds around her novels are very impressive. It keeps building throughout the chapters that we come across, and it is only at the very end that secrets start spilling everywhere, and hard, and harsh truths are revealed, and the climax that results because of all of this is fascinating and gripping.

With The Hunting Party, immediately after opening it, I realized instantly that the author has her preferences when it comes to the setting of the plot narrative. It is always some remote faraway place where the human world can have very little contact. And that is exactly what I love about thriller novels because if the setting is not eerie enough from the start, then it will take time for me to get cozy with the novel.

But this one hit me from the start itself with the sentence “I found a body.” How intriguing! And the dreary environment with the snow blizzard and darkness all around is enough to get me hooked entirely.

At the beginning, we see a group of friends on their way for their Annual New Year getaway. How exciting! This is something that my friends and I have been dreaming about – to travel and get out of our busy schedules occasionally to relax and have fun. Here, we follow a group of university friends catching up on life with their friends after graduating from the one and only Oxford University.

Everything starts on a fun-filled note, and everyone seems to be having fun, but it is not all as it seems. They are each harboring their dislike for their so-called friends. But is it enough motive to kill one of their own? You would have thought they would have all matured by now, but no, if only, their sins had gotten worse with each step that they took in this journey of life.

I can only imagine why they became friends in the first place. They hated each other but kept the friend group alive. Why put oneself through that misery? Because it is better than being alone, it seems.

All these main characters have their flaws. There is not one that I would say is my favorite. There is something about the way they have been written that makes them seem so hateful and spiteful. Maybe this is what the author wants the readers to see. Is it metaphorical in the sense that all human beings have their flaws and hateful nature, though we seem to be pleasant and happy on the surface? I believe strongly so.

One thing that I noticed about the way the author structures her characters and the plot narrative is that it is full of suspense and mystery, maybe a little too much too at times. We come across characters who seem to be all close and friendly on the surface but deep down they have their monsters and demons that they are trying to hide from and have been constantly suppressing until we reach the climax of the novel where everything is unleashed out.

I also enjoy the different chapters given for different characters. We get to see everything unravel from the point of view of all the characters even those who seem to be mute spectators in front of the majority but reading their chapters will give you a different worldview of what their mind is made up of and a lot more in between. Everyone that is presented to us has something that they are hiding within themselves and reading about their mind and how they behave when no one is watching is one of the highlights of the story.

We get an insider view into each one of them and we can analyze the story a little better because of the secrets that we already have in hand, something which the other characters do not.

There is also this sinister feeling that hangs around the air from the beginning itself. The secret is right under our noses, but it is not until the end that you feel the dots starting to connect. It is here that you realize all the clues and hints that the author has provided for the readers from the beginning.

But I have to admit, the novel The Hunting Party certainly has its flaws. There are times when I feel like the story lacks something and how everything is thrown all around, not knowing when the dots will connect and even if they will connect. But the ending proves us wrong; everything is required to make the novel what it is – the long, unnecessary chapters covering of the murder mystery for too long – because the author has impressively woven all of it, making us readers think that the ending would not have been possible without the boring part of it.

To conclude, The Hunting Party does have its defects, but I still enjoyed the major part of it. I have always loved a good thriller novel, and though this one does not come top of the list, it is still great entertainment, and I finished it within a few sittings itself.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of The Hunting Party right away!