Author : Lucy Foley
Publication Date : 2019
Publisher(s) : Harper Collins
Plot Summary :
A group of old friends have come together to celebrate the New Year of 2019 in a remote Scottish hunting lodge . There are Giles & Samira – the new parents , Nick & Bo , Julien & Miranda – the ” Golden ” couple , Mark & Emma and finally , Katie – the singleton in the group . Then one of them is found dead . It does not look like an accident . . .
My thoughts about the book :
The Hunting Party is described as ‘ Gripping ‘ by Sophie Hannah . It also has other one – adjective praises by authors like A J Finn and Laura Marshall . I picked up this book on seeing these praises and am resolved in future not to pick up any book based on any author ‘ s recommendations alone . . . The most questionable adjective that can be given to this book is from Laura Marshal – ” Eerie ” .
The narrative covers the period from Dec 30 2018 to Jan 2 2019 . The story has 4 first person narratives from Miranda , Katie , Emma and Heather ( the Lodge manager ) and a third person narrative for Doug ( the Lodge gamekeeper ) . There were a few aspects of the writing which did not sit well with me . . .
Too many dandelions :
I seemed to trip upon the dandelions – sometimes a lone one and sometimes in clusters almost in every single chapter . I was trying to make allowance for one or two popping up occasionally , but the more often you encounter them , the less patience you have left to deal with them . When I trip upon a dandelion , my brain goes – ” Here comes the next one . . . Doesn’t it sound . . . “ . I get interested in the choice of words put together for the newly – minted simile / metaphor and for the next 5 minutes this one is going to have my attention .
” And there is a red bloom around her head where it has struck the rocks – a starburst , a supernova of red . . . “
The problem with the current crop of suspense / detective fiction writers is , they try to emulate the literary fiction in terms of language & narrative – with disastrous results . While experimenting with hyper-realistic narratives and flowery language , the current breed of crime fiction writers seem to forget that they are writing for the suspense genre where a good pace is the key to guarantee the reader a great reading experience [ ” the ending that leaves the reader breathless ” , ” the shocker that you can never see coming ” and other similar reactions . . . ]
Thankfully , the author stopped with the flowery language and did not go for the hyper – realistic narrative . Perhaps , none of the characters are portrayed with a depth that would require a hyper – realistic approach or any innovative narrative technique to actually peel off the layers off the character the reveal the real person .
The usage of ” millennial ” slang in the narratives :
While the narrators are millennial , trying to capture that in the slang is not a good idea . I never realized millennial conversations ( with those filler words ) , when put on paper looks so bad . . . There is the
liberal mindless usage of the f*** word , the afterthoughts without which some characters can’t seem to finish a sentence – all these were major put – offs . Here is one :
” ‘ But who wants Westminster – all those sweaty bodies pressed together – when you can have this ? ‘ Emma asks . ‘ This place ‘ , she spreads her arms wide , ‘ and best friends . ‘ She links her arm with mine , and smiles at me , a proper , warm smile . I want to hug her . Thank fuck for Emma . ”
The thing which amused me highly is this one :
There is a chapter which is narrated by the character when she is drunk . ” Being in a temporary state in which one’s physical and mental faculties are impaired by an excess of alcoholic drink ; intoxicated ” is the definition provided for the word drunk . And here , the narrator is perfectly aware of her surroundings . Here is a second one from the same narrator –
” It’s the way he says it : so quiet , under his breath , so that no one else can hear . I suddenly feel cold in a way that I don’t think has anything to do with the freezing air . I take a step back . . .”
For someone who says ” I feel numb . I’d forgotten I had so much wine before the champagne . My thoughts are jumbled , my mind fuggy . . . “ , she sure has a heightened awareness of self and her surroundings to be able to pin down even the smallest reaction she had to somebody ‘ s words . . .
Frankly , I was so disappointed with this one – I was looking for a solid closed circle mystery and the setting looked promising for a good mystery . Instead the average writing and a not-very-convincing solution to the question ” Who is the killer ? ” only made me wish that I hadn’t bothered with this one . . .
Rating : 2 . 75 / 5
Is there something in the post you disagree with ? Feel free to write about it as well in the comments section . . .
Until the next review then . . .
A final note :
This might be the last post for this year – unless I get a short read I need to rave about . . . Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in advance . . .