Author: Jack Heath
Published: March 2019
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
RRP: $29.99 AUD
Trigger Warnings: Cannibalism
I received a copy of Hunter from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Timothy Blake, ex-consultant for the FBI, now works in body-disposal for a local crime lord. One night he stumbles across a body he wasn’t supposed to find and is forced to hide it. When the FBI calls Blake in to investigate a missing university professor, Blake recognises him as the dead man in his freezer.
Then another man goes missing. And another.
There’s a serial killer in Houston, Texas, and Blake is running out of time to solve the case. His investigation takes him to a sex doll factory, a sprawling landfill in Louisiana and a secret cabin in the woods.
As they hunt the killer together, FBI agent Reese Thistle starts to warm to Blake – but she also gets closer and closer to discovering his terrible secret.
Can Blake uncover the killer, without being exposed himself?
A confounding, intriguing and wildly suspenseful thriller from the bestselling and acclaimed author of Hangman.
Let’s get something straight: Hunter (and Hangman) are not for the feint of heart, but they are damn good thrillers that will have you turning pages.
Last year I read and reviewed Hangman, the first book in Jack Heath’s Timothy Blake series and was so pleasantly surprised by it’s ability to take murder, mystery and gore so in it’s stride that, even though I was taken aback a lot of the time, I never wanted to stop reading it (and it takes a lot for me to feel uncomfortable with a book’s content).
Hunter is exactly the same.
We return to Blake’s world, only now he’s moved away from FBI consultation and is working with a local crime lord whom he has little affection for, but tolerates because she provides him with bodies. However, when he finds a dead body in the woods, Blake can resist taking it with him, which becomes problematic when he’s recruited again by the FBI to aid in the investigation of a missing university professor only to discover the missing man is in his freezer.
The story goes from there, and once more we begin to unravel more of the story behind Blake and who he is. What I can appreciate about Blake’s character is that he knows exactly who and what he is – he knows what he’s doing is wrong but he also doesn’t know how to curb his behaviours, despite trying – and he’s a delightfully complex anti-hero who the reader can be empathetic towards, even when he’s doing really horrible things. I also really love how Heath never tries to explain why Blake is the way he is; the focus is purely on Blake’s ongoing efforts to be a better person, which again, aids in the reader being far more supportive of his character as a whole.
Hunter is a complex story, with multiple murder storylines weaving themselves around Blake and his FBI partner, Reese Thistle, while the two of them try to unravel what’s going on. Add to that the work of the crime lord Blake works for underpinning a lot of Blake’s actions, and you have a rich, detailed thriller that keeps you turning pages, wanting to know what’s going to happen next.
It’s creepy and engaging and thrilling in equal measures and I know I will be continuing to read the Timothy Blake books as Heath writes them.