Thank you to TLC Book Tours and William Morrow books for sending me a free copy of The Hunting Party in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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.
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, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.
The Hunting Party is a classic mystery with very vintage vibes that has a lot going for it. First of all, the set up is perfect: Long-time friends meeting up for New Year’s Eve at a secluded lodge in the forest, with a heavy winter storm headed their way. With a setup like that, how could this book go wrong!? Throughout the novel, there are flashbacks to different friends in the group and their times together. These brief windows into the guests lives help the reader see the holes in their relationships, making a crime much more believable.
A clever turn for this mystery is the crime itself: the victim isn’t revealed until much later in the book. So you know someone gets murdered, but you don’t know who, not even male or female. So the reader is left to guess not only whodunit but who-was-it? I thought that aspect put a unique spin on the plot.
The Hunting Party is a slow burning thriller, more character driven than plot driven. With that being said, this one did move a little too slowly for my own personal preferences, but if you enjoy that slow tension and buildup, then this one is for you. I enjoyed the overall concept and execution of this mystery and rate it a solid three stars.
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