The Hunt by Tim J. Lebbon
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Publisher: Harper Collins UK Avon (June 18, 2015)
Rose is the one that got away. She was the prey in a human trophy hunt organised by an elite secret organisation for super-rich clients seeking a unique thrill. She paid a terrible price. Every moment since she has been planning her revenge ...And now her day has come. Chris returns from his morning run to find his wife and children missing and a stranger in his kitchen. He's told to run. If he's caught and killed, his family go free. If he escapes, they die. Rose is the only one who can help him, but Rose only has her sights on one conclusion. For her, Chris is bait. But The Trail have not forgotten the woman who tried to outwit them. The Trail want Rose. The hunters want Chris's corpse. Rose wants revenge, and Christ just wants his family back. The hunt is on ...
'A great thriller ...breathless all the way.' LEE CHILD
I took Tim J. Lebbon's The Hunt on a canal boat family holiday for a bit of a read at bedtime after a hard days work on the river banks.
I had good intentions of thoroughly pulling my weight along with the rest of the family; hubby, daughter (age 14), son (16) & Buffer the dog (age 2). However I failed at the outset, I was glued to the book from the first page. I could not be prised away from it. Poor old hubby was left to skipper the boat the whole time as I was engrossed in The Hunt. It was that good, truly I do not exaggerate. I ignored the desperate pleas of 'everyone quick, I need help' shouts as we neared locks and any other hazardous encounter. Did they not understand that Chris and Rose were all I cared about ?
Due to circumstances beyond my control, my family needing sustenance and vital fluids, I had to do the right thing and provide for them. So I pulled out the ration packs and advised them to boil the bags in water before consuming to ensure they were ready to continue their marathon steering of the boat and leave me to resume my endurance of The Hunt.
Finally after being held captive for two days, The Hunt came to its explosive finale and I was free to rejoin my family and enjoy our holiday.
Told from the viewpoints of Chris, Gemma his daughter and Rose, The Hunt was a pure 'edge of your seat', 'roller coaster ride'. I loved that it was set predominanly in the rugged wilds of Snowdonia in Wales, and had a totally believable female 'kick ass' protagonist.
This doesn't mean that it was without its flaws, chiefly the lack of real depth of character development of Chris' family, but this was such a minor issue and was outweighed by the more fuller bodied characterisations of Chris and Rose, and Rose's relationship with Holt, that I forgave them.
The character depiction of Rose is outstanding. Rose is the force to be reckoned with and will take no prisoners whilst implementing her murderous plan of action to wreak vengeance on The Trail. She is strong, she has to be. She has prepared herself mentally and physically for a long time and will let nothing get in her way to achieve her goal. Totally unpredictable, she is surviving on pure hatred and driven in her sole purpose of avenging the slaughter of her family.
We really get to know Rose through flashbacks and feel her agonising despair at the discovery of her family's fate after she managed to escape being hunted. It is Chris who questions the necessity for such extreme violence making him the weaker of the two in their race to ... what, survive ? ... and what will be the consequences ... to lose his family ?
Rose is someone you'd feel desperately for but because she has lost everything meaningful to her she has absolutely nothing to lose making her unpredictable and highly dangerous. As much as I was on her side and wanted her to kill the members of The Trail I did have some concerns whether she could be trusted to help Chris outrun the hunters and escape The Trail. Also what if she did kill The Trail members who had come to be her driving force for living. What would be left for her to live for ?
At times I felt there were similarities to Richard Bachman's The Running Man, and Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. The Hunt was far superior to the former and definitely The Hunger Games for Gown ups!
Never a dull moment, I was exhausted just reading it.
The Hunt is Tim J. Lebbon's first thriller, please don't let it be the last !
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of The Hunt by Tim J. Lebbon was provided by Harper Collins UK Avon via Netgalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review.