Author: Jack Heath
Published: March 4th 2019
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Timothy Blake returns, with an insatiable appetite, in the thrillingly addictive sequel to Hangman.
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.
In 2018, bestselling young adult author Jack Heath, released his first adult fiction novel, Hangman. Featuring Timothy Blake, an unusual but highly intelligent lead, this underdog character returns for another thrilling adventure. A whirlwind of high octane action and plenty of plot twists, this one will get your heart pounding!
Those who read the first novel of this series, Hangman, will know a little more about Timothy Blake. For newcomers like myself, the central character of Hunter, Timothy Blake, is an ex consultant of the FBI. His new role involves working as a ‘body disposal expert’ for a crime lord. It is a precarious and dangerous trade. When Blake finds a body that is not part of his job description he takes the opportunity to inflict his uncontrollable habit on the victim. Blake then realises he must do something with the body that he has now touched and he hides it on his own property. When the FBI enter the equation, Blake is torn between letting them know about the body he discovered , which is now in his freezer, or continuing to hide the evidence of his hobby. With more bodies and murders occurring, the matter becomes more pressing for Blake. There is mounting pressure on all involved to crack this case, including the FBI agent Blake has become close to. The situation becomes more dire for Blake as he must do all he can to solve a complex case, while at the same time protecting his own dark secrets.
A fellow blogger encouraged me to read Hunter by Jack Heath. I was intrigued by Heath’s approach, which this blogger described as ‘writing that likes to push the boundaries’. I got the feeling that Heath likes to put on a good show for his readers. After reading Hunter I feel that Jack Heath has created a very good balance between darkness and slightly offbeat, tongue-in-cheek style humour. For the most part I enjoyed and felt very entertained by this novel, which is my first experience of Jack Heath’s writing.
I was quite taken by the warning at the front that Hunter is not suitable for children and some adults. There is an accompanying alert that Hunter does contain themes of suicide, and violence of a sexual nature. As Heath is a popular novelist for young children and the young adult market, this precursor is probably a good warning to take on board. I have a pretty strong stomach, but the twist around the behaviour of Heath’s character Timothy Blake, did deliver quite the jaw drop. It took me a few moments to gain my composure after I read the big reveal about Blake. However, once I got my head around the whole concept, I raced through this novel. The latter stages of the book were particularly intriguing and well paced.
I went into this book a little blind, as I haven’t read Hangman the first book by Heath, which introduces Timothy Blake. As I am a time poor in the reading department, I didn’t get the chance to catch up on Hangman. I do want to read Hangman at some stage in the not too distant future. I did find that I was constantly theorising about Timothy. I really wanted to know more about his background, upbringing and possible social issues. He sure makes life interesting!
In terms of the story itself, the plot is quite convoluted and full of mind twists. The pace is set to a high bar and it didn’t really wane. There is a good combination of friendship, trust and connection between Blake and FBI agent Thistle, which was one of my favourite aspects of the book. What I also appreciated about Hunter was the themes, particularly the focus on sexual exploitation and women in this industry. It is a puzzling novel, defined by some top notch writing. I certainly had no idea where Blake was going to take me. As for the riddles at the opening of each chapter, I have to admit defeat, I was stumped! You are too clever for me Mr Heath!
Fans of high voltage crime thrillers, featuring a non conventional lead, do need to take the time to investigate Hunter by Jack Heath. A little off the beaten track, it is good to see a villain with a cause seize the day!
Hunter by Jack Heath was published on March 4th 2019 by Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Hunter, Jack Heath, visit here.
*I wish to thank Allen & Unwin for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
*Book #4 of the 2019 Aussie male author challenge.