The Hunting Party & The Guest List by Lucy Foley, two cheeky ‘whodunnit’ thrillers that will have you turning pages to find out which of these supposed ‘friends’ killed one of the party!
The Hunting Party Plot
During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething 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.
What’s it like to read?
The story is written with alternating POV chapters, but from multiple characters, not just one or two. This can make it a little hard to follow, but ultimately gives you so many pieces of the puzzle you’re continuously trying to piece them together.
It’s a classic ‘whodunnit’ kind of story, but with a group of friends as the main protagonists it’s a tricky guess as who the culprit really is. Who would kill a friend? And which friend ends up dead? As the plot thickens you start to find out more and more about the characters lives, and some of their stories start to get pretty suspicious.
Once I got used to the number of POVs that were used to tell the story, I actually loved this book – hard to get into but worth the wait for the surprises along the way!
The Guest List Plot
The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?
What’s it like to read?
As the guests and happy couple prepare the big day, we’re teased via alternating POV chapters, plus chapters about an ominous event that takes places on the night of the wedding, as a storm rages around the marquee.
A body is found, but who is it? What’s happened? And which of these deadly secrets had led to MURDER?! Similar to THP we don’t know has done the murder, nor who has been killed…
I enjoyed reading this one a lot, as I knew how much I loved the Hunting Party! I was excited to race through the story and find out which of the group was going to be murdered. Similar, to THP it was hard to get into at first, but once you do it’s well worth to for the ‘whodunnit’ and ‘wtf happened here’ thrill.
Have you read either of these? What are your favourite thrillers?