‘The Search Party’ is the latest book by Simon Lelic.
16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing.Five friends set out into the woods to find her. But they’re not just friends. They’re suspects. You see, this was never a search party. It’s a witch hunt. And not everyone will make it home alive.
I really enjoyed ‘The Search Party’ a fast paced whodunnit since from the narrative of the detective investigator investigating a young girl’s disappearance as well as her 5 closest friends, who are all suspects in the case.
The story revolves around the 5 friends going out on their own search party in the woods for their friend and then them telling their perspective to the police being interviewed. It’s during these moments, that you really see the different personalities come to light and shows the friction between the friends. The five friends are Mason; Sadie’s boyfriend, Luke; Sadie’s twin brother, Cora, Abi and Fash. It’s during this time whilst searching the tensions rise, opinions are voiced and the friends turn on each other especially when their phones are stolen and they feel that they are unable to trust each other.
The detective in charge, DI Fleet is under a lot of pressure to solve the mystery, as the search for Sadie is turning out to be one of the biggest and most expensive searches of all time. Even though, all fingers are being pointed at Mason, but he doesn’t believe it’s as clear cut as that and is determined to find the culprit. Fleet comes with his own baggage, having returned to his hometown for the first time in 17 years after the death of his sister and is working through a separation with his wife.
The book is a gripping and tense story and for me, read like a Young Adult novel. The troubled group of teenage friends all going through the hardship of losing a friend whilst battling with peer pressure, abuse and the pressure of social media. The multiple narratives gave an interesting slant to the story, with perspectives from Fleet including police procedures and the tension between the teenagers kept the reader on edge, as all of the supposed friends had issues with Sadie.
Atmospheric from the first page, ‘The Search Party’ is a well written and cleverly crafted thriller. With unreliable characters and everyone with a motive, this book is a compelling story with an ending that will take your breath away.
You can buy ‘The Search Party’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.