Emma books a short break for her and all her friends over New Years. It is something they do every year and this is first year Emma, being the newcomer, got to plan it. She is hoping everything goes to plan and by New Years Day she will have cemented her place in the long running circle of friends. But like many best laid plans something happens that pretty much ruins her chances and seriously damages the dynamic of the group, that being that one of the group is murdered.
I had heard many good reviews on this and really wanted to check it out so when it dropped to £3.00 on offer in Sainsbury's I snatched it up! Crime/thriller stories are my favourite genre so for me the concept of multiple narratives in this enclosed setting really took off well as I hadn't encountered it before. The changing narratives between our main characters was a refreshing way to read, with every new character a new perspective of the current event/memory brought more information through to deepen the mystery. The different characters did have similar tones in the writing that meant I had to flick back a few pages to get a reminder whose perspective I was reading from. The only character that stood out above the others was Miranda, and this was only because she was so largely unlikable. None of the characters struck me as actually likeable, I didn't connect with them and so felt a bit disconnected from the story.
Sly hints here and there revealed the end of the story about halfway through for me. I actually preferred this reveal to a sudden shock, we reached the conclusion before the characters and can see anticipate the end we already know occurs. The timeline of the story does reveal a murder within the first few pages and so we just want to connect the dots along the way, not necessarily discover the information at the same time as the characters. There was a side-story that was revealed alongside the main twist, the sudden danger and realisation was beautifully written and the result was a quick-paced few chapters until that part of the reveal.
I did thoroughly enjoy my time with The Hunting Party, it was a little slow at parts but the story-line was impressively laid out. The twists in the book were well disguised but clear enough to allow the reader to reach the conclusion on their own without it being spelt out. Characterisation is always difficult when there are several apples in the same basket, none of the characters I think were intended to be likeable but they were too far gone for me to connect with them - perhaps a sign of a good writer, that the character fits their bad qualities so well that the reader cannot come to like them.
Would I read it again? Sure, there are parts of this book that I feel I would pick up something new each time I read it. The characters are interconnected in all these different ways that meant there are potentially more points to grasp if read again. This makes the prospect of a re-read high as it could be one of those books I read again and again, potentially finding new connections to the characters as I pick up new parts to their lives.