As I read and write and think a lot about detective and crime fiction, I’m starting to put together quick, bite-size reviews of the books in these genres. Sadly, capacity is too limited to cover all the films and TV series I watch too, but these might be added in the future.
The ‘see also’ section below gives you a hint of the story, its themes, and its style, and is spoiler-free, but reviews themselves aren’t guaranteed to be thus!
If you’re interested in reading my academic work about detective and crime fiction (free PDFs available), check it out here.
These lists capture other detective/crime stories and characters that I thought of as I was reading this piece. I won’t explain why, to avoid spoilers, but they’re associations and not ‘if you liked this, then you’ll love…’ recommendations!
- Matt Wesolowski’s ‘Six Stories’ series (reviews coming soon)
- Sarah J. Naughton’s The Mothers
- Alex Michaelides’ The Maidens (I’ve reviewed this briefly on GoodReads)
Review (4 out of 5)
I actually read this after I read The Guest List (2020), and I was struck by some of the characters’ similarity, e.g. both novels have a pair of unusually troubled characters, one male and one female, staying at the remote accommodation and responsible for managing the events and operations there. But, fortunately, Foley varies the plots sufficiently that it works! I found it more interesting to explore the nascent relationship between those two figures, as represented in The Hunting Party, than the married couple of The Guest List, as I think it added something to the depth of the plotting.
Aside from the similarities in some of the character types, the pace and structure of both Guest List and Hunting Party are also similar, but they work effectively for the genre. Foley isn’t doing anything particularly ground-breaking here in either novel, but they’re accomplished mystery/crime stories.
I thought the location of this story worked in a more convincing way to the one in The Guest List. The B-plot/red herring (depending on your POV) was interesting and played well with the setting without taking up too much narrative space. Some of the more minor twists weren’t very surprising, but I was caught by the reveal of the killer, perhaps because I had knowledge of the ending of The Guest List and so mentally had it as a template!