#BookReview: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley @fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK #TheHuntingParty

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“In a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year.

The beautiful one
The golden couple
The volatile one
The new parents
The quiet one
The city boy
The outsider

The victim.

Not an accident – a murder among friends.”

There are some books you see and you know you HAVE to read them. It may be a striking cover, it may be an intriguing blurb or it may just be a feeling in your gut that you’re going to miss out on something GREAT if you don’t read a particular book. I can safely say it was all of the above for me when it came to The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher but that has in no way influenced my review.

I am a massive fan of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and I had everything crossed that this book was going to have echoes of Christie’s brilliant novel about it. It certainly does but with a wonderfully modern twist to the tale and it stands, two feet firmly on the ground, on its own merit. I love the idea of a group of people completely stranded in a vast inhospitable landscape. People you *think* you know but one of them is a murderer. Who is it? How well do you really know these people? And could you be their next victim…?

University friends Miranda, Katie, Julien, Nick, Giles, Samira and Mark plus the addition of a couple of partners, Bo and Emma, head north from London to the Scottish Highlands for New Year. It’s going to be the holiday of a lifetime, all meticulously planned by prim and proper Emma. However, over the years those strong bonds formed at Oxford have started to break a little. Everyone is busy with their careers or children so it’s tough to find the time to spend together. There’s no escape this New Year though as they’ll be living in each other pockets, miles from anywhere. Just how long will the friends be able to stand each other. How long can they keep the secrets they hide?

The characters and the setting absolutely make this book. The isolation of the Scottish Highlands, teamed with Foley’s very intriguing cast of characters kept me turning the pages at a rate of knots. I can’t say I particularly liked any of them but that never really matters to me. In fact, the more secretive and the more despicable a character is the more I enjoy the book! I wanted to know more, so much so that I read this book in a matter of days rather than the two weeks it’s been taking to finish a novel of late.

The story is told from several viewpoints; those of Miranda the beautiful ‘it’ girl who craves the attention of everyone around her.  Emma, Mark’s girlfriend who is chief organiser of the holiday and a late addition to the group.  Katie, Miranda’s not-quite-so-glamorous BFF.  Heather, the host at the house who has secrets of her own and Doug, the aloof gamekeeper.  Despite using several different voices to tell the story I didn’t find it confusing as all of the narrators stand apart from one another.  They are all very different distinct characters.

What I loved was that the reader discovers there has been a murder fairly early on. Foley, however, manages to keep who the victim is a secret until very near the end of the story. You can’t help speculating though. I make a couple of guesses as I progressed through the book. I won’t mention that there were times when I really hoped it was a certain dastardly character though 😉.  I can’t really put into words how compelling The Hunting Party is so I suggest you get a copy yourself and experience this brilliant book first-hand.

Would I recommend this book?  Absolutely.  Without a moment’s hesitation.  It’s creepy and claustrophobic with a brilliant ending.  It’s a perfect example of the books I love to read.  A great page-turner of a book with intriguing characters, a fabulous remote setting and shedloads of suspicion and suspense.  More please! Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review The Hunting Party.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley was published in the UK by HarperCollins on 24th January 2019 and is available in hardback, ebook and audio formats with the paperback to follow later this year (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |

about-the-author3

lucy foly.jpgLucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party is her debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination.

Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.

Author Links:FacebookTwitter | Instagram |

#BookReview: Sleep No More by P.D. James @FaberBooks #SixMurderousTales #ShortStories

sleep no more.jpg“The acknowledged ‘Queen of Crime’, P. D. James, was a past master of the short story, weaving together motifs of the Golden Age of crime-writing with deep psychological insight to create gripping, suspenseful tales. The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories contained four of these perfectly formed stories, and this companion volume contains a further six, published here together for the first time.

As the six murderous tales unfold, the dark motive of revenge is revealed at the heart of each. Bullying schoolmasters receive their comeuppance, unhappy marriages and childhoods are avenged, a murder in the small hours of Christmas Day puts an end to the vicious new lord of the manor, and, from the safety of his nursing home, an octogenarian exerts exquisite retribution.

The punishments inflicted on the guilty are fittingly severe, but here they are meted out by the unseen forces of natural justice rather than the institutions of the law. Once again, P. D. James shows her expert control of the short-story form, conjuring motives and scenarios with complete conviction, and each with a satisfying twist in the tail.”

It is my great pleasure to share my review of Sleep No More by the late Queen of crime fiction, P.D. James with you today.  This wonderful collection of six murderous tales is published by Faber & Faber today!  Don’t you just love that as a tagline, ‘six murderous tales’!  And that’s exactly what the reader gets, the demise of some very deserving victims and the ingenious souls who plot their downfall.

I’ve always found it hard to review short story collections (easy to read, harder to review!).  Do you review each story individually?  Do you write a piece covering the entire work and how well the stories gel, how the book starts and whether it finishes on a high note?  Well, I for one, never know the right way of doing these things so on this occasion I have chosen to write a general review of how I found this wonderful collection of crime.

I haven’t read The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories for which this new release is a companion read.  I will be making sure I get hold of a copy soon though, one for the Christmas wishlist maybe?  All of these six stories stand on their own merit, and they stand proud.  P.D. James was a master of suspense which she proves on each and every page of this novel.

The Yo-Yo is a great opening story which has a wonderfully atmospheric feel to it.  Despite being a regular reader of all things blood and gore I found myself shocked that such a young child was involved in such a dark and dangerous situation.

My favourite story was The Murder of Santa Claus which invites the reader to an old mansion for Christmas day.  One of the party goers is given a gift he would not choose for himself, a bullet to the chest.  This intriguing tale has all the classic threads of a whodunit mystery and it was delightful reading.

The Girl Who Loved Graveyards also scored high for me.  A creepy, gothic tale which appealed to my darker side.

All stories within this volume are riveting reads which crime fiction fans will devour.  Mr Millcroft’s Birthday, the very last story in the book, was the only one I was a little disappointed with (only a smidge, mind you!).  It’s a subtle story with the possible hint of a dastardly murder which fell a little flat for me.

Would I recommend this book?  I would.  This short book would make a great gift for the crime fiction fan in your life.  I find short story collections to be quite refreshing, a short sharp read you can pick and choose from as you wish.  And as short story collections go, you can’t get much better than P.D. James.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of Sleep No More.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.  My thanks to Sophie at Faber & Faber for sending me a copy of the book.

Sleep No More by P.D. James is published in the UK by Faber & Faber on 5th October 2017 and is available in hardcover and eBook formats (with the paperback to follow later this month) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

about the author3

pd james.jpgP.D. (Phyllis Dorothy) James was the author of over twenty books, most of which have been filmed and broadcast on television in the United States and other countries. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Department of Great Britain’s Home Office. She served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. In 2000 she celebrated her eightieth birthday and published her autobiography, Time to Be in Earnest. The recipient of many prizes and honors, she was created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. She lived in London and Oxford.

Awards: 
International Crime Writing Hall of Fame, 2008
Grand Master Award from Mystery Writers of America, 1999
Diamond Dagger from British Crime Writers’ Association, 1987.