The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

The Hunting Party has a tight plot with not a minute wasted on miscellaneous matters. It is within the space of three days surrounding the New Year when the story unfolds from two opposite ends, heading towards the denouement with great precision and control. The idea of relaying the events from before and after the murder alongside each other is original and skilfully executed. It is not only the events that are developed and layered in this unorthodox fashion, but also the characters. Every new chapter adds a new dimension, a new discovery and takes the reader that one small step closer to the finale.
The atmosphere is equally well constructed. As a reader you feel as if you are being guided out of a thick wintry fog following those faint flickering lights of the narrative that become stronger and expose more ground ahead.
For me, the weakest aspect of the book is the characterisation. The story is told from the perspective of a few main characters, most of whom speak in the first person. The personas and their secrets are different, but I found their voices indistinct. Perhaps not enough effort went into rendering them distinguishable with a few language quirks for example. Perhaps, they are so uniform because the authorial intent was to show their commonality: of background, education, class, mentality. Be it as it may, I found those characters bland and they did not win my affection or interest.
Overall, a gripping thriller delivered with a secure hand.

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