Books & Literature

Book Review: The Search Party, by Hannah Richell

CRIME: Five old friends reunite for an idyllic glamping holiday on the rugged Cornwall coast, but tensions rise when a storm leaves them stranded and someone goes missing.

Satisfyingly suspenseful and twisty.

Feature image credit: Simon & Schuster

Max and Annie have made the sea-change, escaping their busy lives in London to a remote part of the Cornish coast where they have set up a glamping ground. Prior to officially opening, they invite their oldest friends to a weekend at the site. This group includes Dominic, a celebrity judge on a TV talent show, his new wife Tanya, hippies Jim and Suze, and new mother Kira with her younger partner Fred. Along with the adults is a hoard of children including Max and Annie’s 12-year old adopted son Kip who suffers from selective mutism, Dominic’s eye-rolling teenage daughter Scarlet, and Dominic and Tanya’s six-year old, Phoebe.

Tracing the events from Friday evening to the next Monday afternoon, The Search Party, as the title suggests, involves a missing child, but also long-held grudges, brewing resentments, questionable paternities, and of course, a nasty storm which cuts out power.

Richell knows how to construct a suspenseful, fast-paced narrative, populated by interesting characters, and believable scenarios. Particularly well-done is her examination of parenting, including attitudes to other people’s children, defensiveness of one’s own, and the general terror that being a parent brings. She also understands the dynamics of a friendship group formed in youth, and maintained partly through habit.

The Search Party delivers a satisfying, gripping, and twisty, thriller. Structured around individual chapters from each character’s point-of-view, it also allows for a pleasing dive into human frailties, and the vicissitudes of social groups.

Tightly written, intelligent, and delivering the suspense readers want from this genre, The Search Party is another winner from this best-selling author.

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Twitter: @TraceyKorsten

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Simon & Schuster
Released: January 2024
RRP: $32.99

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