A peaceful Christmas getaway turns deadly in this locked-room murder mystery from the author of The Guest List.
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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
January 2, 2019
I see a man coming through the falling snow. From a distance, through the curtain of white, he looks hardly human, like a shadow figure.
As he nears me I see that it is Doug, the gamekeeper.
He is hurrying toward the Lodge, I realize, trying to run. But the fallen, falling snow hampers him. He stumbles with each step. Something bad. I know this without being able to see his face.
As he comes closer I see that his features are frozen with shock. I know this look. I have seen it before. This is the expression of someone who has witnessed something horrific, beyond the bounds of normal human experience.
I open the door of the Lodge, let him in. He brings with him a rush of freezing air, a spill of snow.
“What’s happened?” I ask him.
There is a moment—a long pause—in which he tries to catch his breath. But his eyes tell the story before he can, a mute communication of horror.
Finally, he speaks. “I’ve found the missing guest.”
“Well, that’s great,” I say. “Where—”
He shakes his head, and I feel the question expire on my lips.
“I found a body.”
Why I love it
Rachel Howzell Hall
Author, And Now She's Gone
Everyone’s having a better life than me. We’ve all experienced FOMO—fear of missing out. Social media makes it worse because now, at any moment, we can see beautiful people doing wonderful things in gorgeous settings. Ugh. Something tugs at us as we scroll past these posts—envy, anger, exhaustion. Admit it: You want to be with those beautiful people. Well in The Hunting Party, Lucy Foley shows us what we’re missing—and how it might not be as perfect as it seems.
The book follows a group of best friends. There’s gorgeous Miranda and her equally hot husband Julien. There’s wonky lawyer Kate. Exhausted new parents Samira and Giles brought their baby along, while creepy Mark arrives with his wannabe-in-the-mix girlfriend, Emma. They’re all celebrating New Year’s Eve in the snowy highlands of Scotland at an exclusive hunting lodge managed by Heather and Doug, two people faced with their own emotional baggage. Did I tell you there’s also a serial killer loose in the highlands? And that cell-phone reception is spotty? Booze. Guns. What could go wrong?
Well I’ll tell you: Someone ends up dead. And who done it? Could’ve been anyone.
I loved how Foley stripped away each character to reveal underlying truths: (1) We aren’t who our friends think we are; (2) Just because we were pals back in the day doesn’t mean we have anything in common now; (3) One should never consume too much Champagne with rifles close at hand; and (4) Just as I suspected, snow stops being pretty once you’re trapped with killers. The Hunting Party was a thrilling read that kept me breathless—I hope you find the same.
Member ratings (10,606)
I’d give this book a good 4/5! It kept me interested the whole time and I liked how it jumped around in time. I just wish we got to see more of the “after” then just the epilouge. Overall, good thrill
Valley Park, MO
Lucy Foley has yet to fail me. She weaves the story in a way that you don’t even know who you’re supposed to like or side with, and she had holding my breath for the last hundred pages! A masterpiece.
Shingle Springs , CA
This is the second book I’ve read by Lucy Foley and I must say that I really dig her writing story. Like the first book, I could not pin point the killer. Great character building snd it pulls you in.
La Verne, CA
Lucy Foley has done it again. She is becoming one of my favorite authors. I couldn’t put this book down for the life of me. Lucy has a gift for the element of surprise and the killer was certainly one
I love how it went back & forth from before the murder to after giving you bits on both sides to try to piece it together. I enjoyed all of the characters & plot twists as everyone’s secrets revealed.