Review: The Search Party by Hannah Richell

The Search Party had me hooked from the first page. Although on the surface it appeared to be a by the numbers thriller--friends reunite in an isolated place, old tensions flare up and someone goes missing--the author's clever, suspenseful storytelling and complex characters transform this story into something unique. Max and Anna have relocated from London to Cornwall with their adopted son Kip, where they are in the midst of creating a new and exciting glamping business. Before they open to the general public though they decide to invite some of their old university friends and their families for a weekend away. It is clear from the storytelling, which opens at the end of the weekend, that something has gone terribly wrong--it's just that we, as the readers, don't know what yet. The storytelling weaves between the end of the weekend and the beginning. Tensions soon begin to rise between the old friends, and much of it seems to somehow involve Dom, whose day job is as a judge on a reality TV series and whose brutal, uncompromising persona is most definitely not just for the cameras. Meanwhile, Kip has problems of his own and the sudden proximity to other kids, and to adults, who don't always understand him, leads to further tension. 

As I said, this one had me hooked from the first page. Many of my sympathies laid with Kip, while I found Dom to be an extremely well crafted depiction of a selfish, narcissistic bully. Other characters and situations offered plenty of surprises and there were some red herrings along the way. What I loved about this one is the way that the tension and pacing were almost flawless. The author did leave me guessing and I was not let down by the end. 

A twisty thriller with near perfect tension. Highly recommended.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my ARC. 

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