All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Hunter by Jack Heath

on March 12, 2019

Hunter (Timothy Blake #2)
Jack Heath
Allen & Unwin
2019, 424p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

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

As is my way, I didn’t realise this was the second in a series when I picked it up. To be honest it didn’t really matter – this probably reads pretty fine for not having the background knowledge, it’s all explained pretty well. And I actually got the shock of exactly what Timothy does with dead bodies in his ‘disposal’ job for one of Houston’s most ruthless crime lords. This was clearly revealed in the first novel and the reader is supposed to go into this book already knowing what Timothy does…..but I didn’t know so yeah, that was pretty much a shock. It’s definitely unusual!

Timothy lives a very solitary life – the only time he seems to venture outside is when he gets called to come and pick up another body. All that changes when his former partner from the FBI gets in contact with him, asking for his help consulting on a case. This complicates Timothy’s life a lot – part of the reason he retreated from the FBI was to keep FBI agent Reed Thistle safe (from him). The two have known each other a long time, since they were both children in a flawed foster care system and Timothy is torn between his desire to keep Thistle safe and also his curiosity in solving the crime and his desire to spend more time with her. Even though he’s been warned off by his own crime boss (probably warranted, given the body that Thistle is searching for is actually in his freezer and there’s an entire FBI task force dedicated to the goings on of the crime lord) Timothy seems unable to let it go. Only the further into it he gets the more danger he’s in. Especially as things seem to be warming up between him and Thistle and she keeps coming to his house. One day, she’s going to look in the freezer. And then what is he going to do?

Timothy is unusual. Of course he’s unusual. And it’s not just because of what he’s doing with the bodies either. He’s weird in other ways. He’s incredibly socially introverted and he seems to really have trouble in day to day casual interactions. Look, part of that might be his paranoia about his ongoing activities and the fact that he’s frightened of being discovered so he keeps interactions to a minimum. But even in the course of his investigations working with Thistle as a consultant, he really struggles to interact with people. It’s not that he doesn’t get results – maybe putting people off is all a part of his strategy, because getting them awkwardly off side definitely seems to result in him picking up information that they might otherwise not have been able to. He also doesn’t really seem to care for rules or laws either (duh, I guess) and kind of does whatever he wants in the moment, not worrying about little things like warrants and proper procedure.

I enjoyed this a lot – I found it sufficiently creepy to make me glad I read it during the day time and not at night when I’m home alone. I really liked the development of the investigation and how they started off looking at one thing and then it completely morphed into something else. There’s also the complications with Timothy’s crime lord boss, who doesn’t really like being disobeyed and his growing relationship with Agent Thistle, which has a million and one complications.

Despite Timothy’s…..job, I found him kind of sympathetic. I actually felt quite sorry for him in a lot of ways and I liked him. He’s intelligent and amusing, although awkward and I like the way his mind works. I think it seemed like he’d had a pretty awful childhood. I’m not sure exactly why he does what he does, for that I probably need to go back and read the first book and fill in the gaps, but for the sake of being able to read this without feeling too confused, it was perfectly fine. It ended in the most interesting of ways – Timothy is in a world of trouble in probably two ways but it’s also possible he’s not the only one and maybe he’s the predator rather than the prey? It could go either way. I definitely do want to read the first book and I’m really quite interested to see where it goes after this too.

The only thing – can we get a solution for Timothy’s riddles? He makes a bit of pocket money on the side solving people’s riddles that they send him and there’s one at the beginning of each chapter. I’m a bit of a dope or something because there were a few in here that I had no idea what the answer was and I really would’ve liked to know. I don’t have a cryptic, analytical brain and I’d be staring at the page of each new chapter for five minutes wondering what the heck the answer was. In the end I had to stop reading them and finish the book first and then go back and read them all. I’ve no idea if they were relevant to what was actually happening or not or just completely random.


Book #41 of 2019


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