Stag Hunt, by Anthony McGowan

Matthew is invited to a country house for the stag weekend of a friend, but when he gets there he finds that he's the only one of the group that wasn't at the same public school. We know that one of the group was abused by the rest while at school, and that he's now out for revenge on the abusers. But we don't know which one it was, and Matthew, of course, knows nothing of their shared secret.

Not sure why, but I really enjoyed listening to this one. The plot wasn't particularly special, but what I think made it interesting was the little side stories that peppered the book. It was partly written in the first person by Matthew, and so we get to hear from him about the skeleton in his cupboard, and how he falls for Souffie (sp?), one of the girls who's working at the house; there are also sections in the third person, where we hear stories of the other characters.

As an example, throughout the book runs the sub-plot of Matthew's involvement with Souffie, who is a little bit of a mysterious character. And at one stage they argue about the best way to stack a dishwasher (she says you should sort the cutlery as you put it in, so that unloading it will be quicker; he points out that you still have to spend time sorting it, so why should it make a difference?). None of this turns out to have any bearing whatsoever on the murder plot, but it's sufficiently odd to make you think that perhaps it might do.

In the last half hour - when we got the inevitable denouement as the murderer explains to Matthew what's been going on - it becomes clear that there's nothing significant about Sophie or any of the other stories we've heard (at least so far as the murder stuff was concerned), and so it was a little bit of a let down. But it was intriguing to see how things would turn out.


Completed : 13-Nov-2004 (audiobook)

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