16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing.
Five friends set out into the woods to find her.
But they’re not just friends…
You see, this was never a search party.
It’s a witch hunt.
And not everyone will make it home alive…
What I Thought:
If you’ve not read anything by Simon Lelic, then you’re really missing a trick. I think The Search Party is the third book of his that I’ve read and, as with the others, this book is really excellent.
Straight off the bat, there is a mysterious and dramatic prologue with someone calling for help – is this the missing girl? It starts to build a level of tension that never really lets up, even in the passages where no ‘action’ is taking place. I put action in inverted commas as there is always something simmering under the surface in the most mundane of scenes, so definitely pay attention to everything!
Robin Fleet was an interesting character as a jaded police detective (my favourite kind) who seems ripe for a series of books of his own. His connection to the location is slowly revealed as the book goes along, and it becomes clear that there are ghosts here that he needs to lay to rest.
The search party themselves are not all they seem. half-truths and old resentments bubble to the surface as they go further into the woods in search of Sadie, but who exactly is in control of the situation, and are their motives as pure as they seem? Their interactions with each other are written really well and they don’t fall into the trap of sounding like an adult writing what they think a teenager speaks like!
I liked the format of the book, where you hear directly from the members of the search party – we really don’t know who to believe, and then they contradict each other as they are interviewed. It’s a clever way of referring to the days in the woods while keeping you fully invested – I feel like a narrator would pull you too far outside the story.
As I said, the tension absolutely sizzles in this book, until everything is laid bare and Simon Lelic is really clever in conclusion he provides – you might guess if you pay really close attention, but you’d have to be Poirot!
Another fantastic book from this author – you can be certain if you pick up one of his books that it will be very much worth your time.
The Search Party is published by Penguin.
This post is part of a blog tour to celebrate the publication of The Search party – for more reviews and exclusive content, why not take a look at some of the other participating blogs, below?
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.