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by Matt Hilton
Hodder & Stoughton, September 2010
352 pages
12.99 GBP
ISBN: 0340978309

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

This is the fourth book in Matt Hilton's series featuring Joe Hunter. Some call him a vigilante, although Hunter prefers to see himself as someone who helps solve other people's problems.

Luke Rickard has stolen Joe Hunter's identity, in more ways than one, and is committing a series of vicious murders, where all the evidence points to Hunter himself. He is also targeting those close to Hunter, and has kidnapped Imogen Ballard, the sister of a dead woman Hunter once thought he might have been falling in love with. Hunter has to engage in a desperate hunt to free her from her captor while, at the same time, trying to stay one jump ahead of the police who believe he is responsible for the murders. It seems likely that the events of Hunter's own past are catching up with him as the trail appears to lead back to the killing of a Columbian drug baron that he was involved with several years previously.

As I've said in other reviews, I do like Hilton's books, but I am starting to find them somewhat formulaic. In each one, Hunter faces a larger than life villain who's mad, bad or usually both, with the addition of some sort of trademark quirk, in this case the use of a lethally sharp ceramic blade as his weapon of choice. In his various battles, Hunter is backed up by his friends from previous books, Jared 'Rink' Rington and Harvey, a likeable pair of sidekicks. The book also follows the by now well-worn path of alternating Hunter's own narrative with ones from the point of view of his antagonist, creating the usual series of internal cliff-hangers, which, quite frankly, I could have happily lived without. That said, I did still find the book enjoyable. The action flows well, the villain manages to stay just on the right side of caricature, although Hilton treads a very fine line in this regard and, if he doesn't vary his approach in subsequent books, I think this is a line he may well end up crossing.

Linda Wilson is a writer, and retired solicitor, with an interest in archaeology and cave art, who now divides her time between England and France.

Reviewed by Linda Wilson, September 2010

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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