Don’t you just love a good old fashion “who done it?”
My friends are forever irritated by my desperate complaining to take part in a murder mystery dinner, which I’ll finally be achieving soon thanks to my 30th birthday, but it’s just such a fun concept!
The Hunting Party, at a glance, seemed to have everything I wanted out of a good murder mystery: A group of semi-estranged old friends, a secluded cabin miles away from civilization, and a staff of caretakers with checkered pasts.
Oh, and duh! A dead body!
But I ended up having a lot more feelings about this book than I expected.
All of them are friends. One of them is a murderer.
A group of old college friends, along with a couple new-ish significant others, escape to a secluded hunting lodge on the Loch for their New Years Eve celebration.
However, what starts off as innocent fun soon becomes more sinister as the weight of decades old secrets and resentments become too much for the group to bear.
Snowed in with no where to run… Can the killer be identified before it’s too late?
This book is heavily based on the characters. Their history, secrets, relationships with one another, and current thoughts and actions are the fuel to this big ugly fire, which is entirely told in first person narrations.
I fancied this approach to telling the story because I was very entertained by how the reader gets to pop into each character’s head and obtain different outlooks on the same situation.
Also, this group is a straight up click. It’s almost gross. They have such a weird and complicated history that no new person, such as a partner or new friend, could ever fully fit in. There is always a strange tension boiling underneath the surface when they’re all together, because they’re all big secret keeping jerks!
As much as I enjoyed this, it also made me sort of hate all of them! But I guess that was okay, because they all hated each other too. 🙂 And it is their hateful confessions and antics that make you keep guessing the entire time! Who’s dead? Who’s the killer? It could be any of their weird asses!
Oh boy, what fun!
The main problem for me was that there were too many characters. As much as I appreciated their existence, (because of all that drama, girl,) it was also frustrating because they were all introduced at the same time. Keeping them straight was very difficult for the first quarter of the book.
In fact, I had such a hard time that I literally had to take notes on who each character was and their connection to the others. I know that sounds excessive, but otherwise I would’ve never gotten through it. (Admittedly, I am especially bad with names.)
However, with that being said, I loved the character development. (And it’s a good thing since that was 90% of the story.) Everyone is very well written and mostly serves a purpose. One character in particular was written so well that I was strangely bothered by her… I mean, she really had me seething!
The end, the actual who who friggin’ done it, seemed to be a little too little too late. The twist itself was actually pretty good! But the climax and ending seemed extremely rushed and short, which felt like a small payoff after such a long build.
I felt robbed.
You have this slow build filled with obsessions, love affairs, jealousy, stalkers, etc., but when we finally find out who died, who was killed, and why, there was barely anything left to the book!
And even worse, it wasn’t wrapped up very well. It left a lot of questions about what happened after the vacation, which is extremely irritating to me.
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Overall I am glad I read this book because it was entertaining. However, if you don’t care about drama between old friends and the guessing game of who might be dead and why, skip it.
Did you read The Hunting Party? I’d love to hear your thoughts!