Publication: 20th August 2020 – Viking
16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing. One of the UK’s biggest missing persons searches is taking place. But Sadie’s friends don’t think the police are looking in the right place. Telling no one, they set out into the woods to find her. The trouble is, each of the five friends has a secret. Each of them is a suspect. And not everyone will make it home alive.
In his spine-chilling new thriller, Simon Lelic introduces Detective Inspector Fleet, back in the run-down town that he never planned to return to, where time is running out on what could be the biggest case of his career.
The Hunting Party meets The Chalk Man in Simon Lelic’s spine-chilling, twisty new thriller
Delighted to welcome you all on my stop for the blog tour of The Search Party, the new novel by Simon Lelic.
I LOVED this novel. I really did love it. I was so engrossed in the story, its characters, and the claustrophobic atmosphere that I stayed up late at night to finish reading, I simply couldn’t go to sleep without knowing how it ended. It’s a story of secrets, resentment, and betrayal that slowly all come to light.
At the center of the story is Sadie Saunders, a 16-year-old who went missing. The author describes the character of Sadie through the testimonies of her friends, so we have a mixed picture of this character: some friends loved her, some friends not so much. Despite their mixed feelings toward her, her friends want to find her and they organize their own search party. But something goes wrong and one of them ends up dead.
In the meantime, DI Robin Fleet, at the head of the massive search organized by the police, is back to the place he left when he was 17 years old. As public pressure and political plays pressure him in solving Sadie’s disappearance, he has to face a past that still haunts him.
The story is told from different perspectives. One of them is DI Fleet, whose personal life mixes with the professional one. He is smart, intuitive and very good at his job. He knows there is more to the story than the teenagers are saying and he’s not afraid to stand up to his boss to prove it. I also enjoyed his easy relationship with DC Nicky Collins and their friendly banter. The other points of views are the transcripts and the interviews from Sadie’s friends. Each of them is hiding something and they blame each other for what happened in the woods. I loved how the author perfectly captures their feelings, fears, and DI Fleet doubts. Who, among them, is telling the truth? And what really happened to Sadie?
If I had to describe The Search Party with three adjectives, I would use: UNPUTDOWNABLE, TWISTY, and ADDICTIVE. I would also add riveting, compelling, and haunting. Full of twists and shocking surprises, The Search Party is one of the best crime books that I read this year and I am really looking forward to read more of this series.
A huge thank you to Ellie and Viking for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a beautiful copy of this amazing novel.
Simon Lelic is the author of five previous novels: Rupture (winner of a Betty Trask Award and shortlisted for the John Creasy Debut Dagger), The Facility, The Child Who (longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012), The House and The Liar’s Room. He lives in Brighton, UK.