cover image The Hunting Party

The Hunting Party

Lucy Foley. Morrow, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-286890-9

Historical novelist Foley (The Invitation) makes an auspicious thriller debut. Nine close friends, four of them couples, gather for their extravagant annual New Year’s getaway—this time at Loch Corrin, a remote estate in the Scottish Highlands—a decade after most of them graduated from Oxford. Tensions, sexual and otherwise, first flare during the lengthy, alcohol-lubricated train trip from London on December 30, fanned by charismatic, capricious Miranda—the golden girl most men want to be with and more than a few women long to become. At the Loch Corrin station, they’re met by Doug, the estate’s odd, though hunky, gamekeeper; at Loch Corrin, they encounter unexpected additional guests: a pair of strange Icelandic backpackers. Things start to go seriously wrong with the arrival of a blizzard that will soon cut off the 50,000-acre spread from the outside world. And then one of them disappears. Foley spins her story skillfully through multiple narrators, and if she’s less sure-handed with character, this still makes for a cracklingly suspenseful story for a long winter’s night. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (Feb.)