All of them are friends. One of them is a killer. 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. They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world. Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead. 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 one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it. Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?
I was gushing over this book the moment I finished it. A perfect who-done-it!
I wasn’t sure how I would find not only the alternating timeline but also the alternate perspectives. But it worked.
The events that unfold are told from the perspective of the employees of the lodge and the group of old friends guesting during the new year celebrations. Each character was so individual that I never felt confused about what voice was speaking. As you progress through the book, you get to see that things are not all they seem. There were many points in this book where your opinion on these characters are completely upturned, begging the question of who can be trusted. Some of the events that unfold in this book have a huge shock-factor effect leaving you dumb-founded and unsure of what to expect next. There were also moments that left me infuriated with the character and showing how humanity can have a very dark side. It felt like everything that could go wrong, did! I only wished that some of the characters stories were given more time to be expanded on.
There are so many twists and turns that keeps you guessing. Once you think you’ve cracked the mystery, by the end of the next chapter your theory has been replaced with another one. Even after the main reveal, there was still more to discover. Her descriptive writing of being snowed-in at hunting lodge in the middle of nowhere made you feel isolated and as the book progressed, the tension and feeling of claustrophobia was impenetrable. Despite the horrors that unfold, I couldn’t help but desperately want a trip to the highlands myself in a lodge, with a book, sat by a grand, luxurious fireplace.
I was hooked from the very beginning to the bitter end. Lucy Foley has become one of my favourite authors. If you’re a fan of Ruth Ware, Lisa Jewell and Riley Sager, you’ll find this a great read!
Published – 24th January 2019
Publishing Company – Harper Collins
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