Alright, here you go. This is the second book review for this week. Tea post coming to you soon.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
Synopsis From The Book
During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirty something 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.
Mystery | A – E |Death, Hunting, Affairs, Drug use, Excessive Drinking | Finding one’s self, Masks and Truths.
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
On to the books I had no business buying at B&N before isolation began, but I did because the sales woman was way too kind. My mom told me not to, and I said, I would try it because its nothing I would normally but. The premise is interesting. Its the standard mystery, and I guess its a good change of pace, hopefully to get me to the end of the month.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
So, yeah that happened. Was it horrid? No. Did I hate just about every one of them? Pretty much.
Told in two parts. The frame story and the main story. The frame is told through Heather’s perspective. It begins with her finding out that one of the guests at the lodge she runs is dead, and the body has been found by Doug, the game keeper. The police can’t get there because of the weather, but because of another case, big name investigators are in town. Doug shows her the body and it is clear that it was murder. They try to figure out who and Heather realizes one of their guns is missing, and that she never saw the third worker leave for family holiday. She finds him, Iain, and finds out he was involved in a drug ring involving two Icelandic guests. However he did not kill the woman, another woman did. Heather hurries back to the group just in time to stop the Murderess from killing another guest.
Emma and Mark. Miranda and Julien. Nick and Bo. Samira, Giles, and Priya their baby. Katie. These are the ten guests who have come to the lodge (outside the Icelandic couple) for the weekend of New Years. Mark, Miranda, Julien, Samira, Giles, Nick, Bo, and Katie have known each other since they went to Oxford. Miranda and Katie have known each other since they were children, in fact, and Emma is the new girl who started dating Mark. Their relationships are complicated and each of them aren’t entirely what they seem.
Miranda is the beautiful socialite that all men fall for, but she can’t get her life together and has no career. Katie is the quiet shadow, who is a massive lawyer. Mark is a washed up Jock who loves Miranda so much that he found a girl that looked like her, Emma. Emma tires to mousey up to Miranda. Julien is a beautiful man, who did insider trading, and is not particularly the best guy in the world. Nick and Bo are pretty cool, but not much is known about them or Giles. Samira was a party girl who has her life all together. All of them, but Miranda, seem to have bee successful in their lives post grad. Miranda is their center.
They arrive, after Katie is separated from the group on the train. They talk, have dinner together, but their is clear tension. The next day they hunt together, and on the night of New Years they party really hard, drugs and all. Miranda passes out and when she wakes up she finds out why Katie and Julien have been so distant from her. They are having an affair. Distraught Miranda turns to Doug, who rejects her, and then to Emma. It turns out that Emma was Miranda’s stalker for multiple years, and only stopped once she got closer to Miranda via Mark. Emma kills Miranda in a massive fight and then steals a gun which she uses to try to kill Katie, when Heather saves her.
Everyone moves on in their life, with Emma taking the stand and only being sentence to four years. Katie, who was pregnant in the whole ordeal, knows she does not want to see Julien again, because she doesn’t particularly like him now that her rose stained glass about him has broken.
What I Liked:
Emma; She was a very complicated character, and seeing how obsessed she was, was planted from the beginning. It was interesting to see how she evolved.
Mark; What a horrible man. He is the epitome of the jock character. It was interesting to see how that played out in their group.
Miranda; She was a beautifully complicated character, and also terribly horrible. She was a true washed up person, who was trying not to be. She didn’t know so much, but what happened to her was not deserved. I truly did think she did want to be happy, even if she were a superficial person.
Julien; Another superficial person, who was beautiful but impossible to trust. He cheated and was extremely untrustworthy, in his own way. He was a sad sort of man that you wanted to feel bad for, then you remembered he was corrupt and blamed Katie for his cheating, and I could care less.
Nick and Bo and Samira and Giles and Priya and Iain; We didn’t get much on any of them, but they were as developed as they could be for characters that existed in this novel, that was so Miranda, Emma, and Katie focused.
Katie; I have no idea why she kept being friends with these people. She was so different, however knowing that she was a louder-head strong lawyer, made me feel as if it really just was for the nostalgia. She was never invisible, just different, and that was okay.
Doug; He almost killed someone in the past, on purpose. Was a Marine too, and thus he had PTSD. He was my favorite character in the book, because of how much introspection he had on who he wanted to be and how he was trying to rectify his past mistakes.
Heather; Got very little on her for a Main Character. We know that the man she loved died from asphyxiation, however otherwise not much more. She was a good insert character.
Mystery; I knew it was Miranda that would die, but how it panned out did surprise me. It was written well that if I were looking for it, I would have known from the first page with Emma, but I was not looking to Emma, and didn’t until the end.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
Mystery as a Genre in general; I realized, reading this, that I really do hate mystery. Who did it? I don’t care. The journey is more important to me, much as The Book Thief taught me.
“And the ones like me, the mousy nobodies, we don’t always turn out to be heroes of the tale. Sometimes we have our own dark secrets.” – pg 14
“Similar to the sort of tricks your mind plays on you if you’ve just watched a horror film, Suddenly you’ll see sinister shadows in every corner. Only this is a hundred times worse. Because some of those shadows might be real.” – pg 91
“Both of us running from death, and in so doing fleeing from everyone else. Now it is time to get on with the difficult business of living.” – pg 323