Book review: The Search Party by Simon Lelic

I was instantly drawn to this book by its premise – a group of teenagers going out to look for their missing friend and making a chilling discovery.

When 16 year-old Sadie Saunders goes missing, her five friends set out to the woods to find her. But they’re not just friends – they’re suspects. And not everyone will make it home alive.

THE CHALK MAN meets THE HUNTING PARTY in this gripping story; witness four suspects as, alongside DI Fleet, you attempt to discover the truth about what happened to Sadie…

My review

I love the black and yellow cover which immediately makes me think of The Hunting Party and this story’s told in the same way, with multiple narrators. Each of the teenagers falls under suspicion and it soon turns out they all have something to hide. As the tension builds with a Blair Witch vibe they turn on each other and revelations tumble out. Meanwhile, the detective has secrets of his own which make it hard to stifle his prejudices.

I love stories with small casts and locked-room situations so really enjoyed this one and believed in the characters. I thought I knew where the story was heading but the twist at the end took me by surprise which is always a bonus.

The Search Party is a brilliant read – chilling and atmospheric – and one which I’ll be recommending to many people.

It’s published by Viking in August.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy.

ISBN 9780241422687


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