Title: The Hunted
Author: Gabriel Bergmoser
Published: July 31st 2020
Publisher: Harper Collins Books Australia
Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
Rating: 3 stars
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide – an electrifying, heartpounding, truly unputdownable thriller.
‘A truly terrifying, breathlessly exciting novel. It gut punches you in the first few pages and doesn’t let you recover until the final, thrilling climax. An extraordinary book.’ M W Craven
‘An original and high-octane read, it makes Deliverance look like Picnic at Hanging Rock.’ The Times/Sunday Times Crime Club
Frank is a service station owner on a little-used highway who just wants a quiet life. His granddaughter has been sent to stay with him to fix her attitude, but they don’t talk a lot.
When a badly injured young woman arrives at Frank’s service station with several cars in pursuit, Frank and a handful of unsuspecting customers are thrust into a life-or-death standoff.
But who are this group of men and women who will go to any lengths for revenge? And what do they want? Other than no survivors …?
A ferociously fast-paced, filmic, visceral, tense and utterly electric novel, unlike anything you’ve read before. Set on a lonely, deserted highway, deep in the Australian badlands, The Hunted is white-knuckle suspense matched to the fast-paced adrenaline of a Jack Reacher novel and the creeping menace of Wake in Fright. This is unmissable reading.
If action is your preferred genre, The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser delivers in bucket loads. A relentless, conspiring, tense and speculative thriller, The Hunted takes the reader deep into the Australian outback, where danger and violence lurk all around.
Frank is a service station manager from a back of beyond Australian highway town, who finds his quiet life shattered by the arrival of his teenage granddaughter. In an effort to overcome the family problems she is facing, Frank’s granddaughter Allie hopes that her stay will bring her closer to her grandfather who has been largely estranged from the family. Both Allie and Frank’s lives change in an instant when a stranger drops into the service station displaying significant physical injuries. This is closely followed by the arrival of several unknown figures, which are on the lookout for this stranger. With Frank, his granddaughter and a number of local customers inexplicably thrown into the chaos of this injured woman’s arrival, it is clear that only danger lies ahead. What do these people want, why is the strange woman injured and are their lives at stake?
There seems to be a number of up and coming writers with a script writing background that have released successful novels of late. The Hunted is already being developed into a film adaptation, with the author attached to the screenplay. It comes as no surprise as The Hunted is a visual showpiece, full of cinematic experiences and frames. I actually think I would enjoy this one much more as a film, rather than a book. There was just so much action, violence and horror that I couldn’t take it any more. The Hunted was a white knuckle suspense style read.
I did take quite a liking to the antagonist of this tale, Frank. I also thought the introduction of Frank’s granddaughter to the mix was a good challenge for this lone soul. I enjoyed the character journey that both grandfather and granddaughter take as the book progresses. Bergmoser also includes some other character arcs within his novel, but these stories didn’t quite capture me as much as Frank and Allie’s relationship. There are good guys and really bad guys in this novel. A word of advice, do not get attached to any of them! Bergmoser doesn’t hold back in disposing of his characters.
The starring feature of The Hunted has to be the dense Australian setting. Bergmoser plays up the isolated, dry and expansive Australian landscape as much as he can. There are some striking descriptions of the setting, which I found to be alluring and haunting. It certainly adds to the overall mood of this novel. However, the outback setting also allows for some sinister, violent and often gruesome acts of inhumanity to occur.
The Hunted is a slender book, that I was able to consume in just a few hours. Bergmoser’s novel is structured via a then and now style of narration that worked to draw out the suspense and intrigue of this tale. With a third person viewpoint directing proceedings, the reader feels like a scared onlooker for the duration of this book’s journey. I recently watched a documentary on the Peter Falconio outback murder mystery and there were definitely shades of this perplexing crime in The Hunted. For me personally, The Hunted contained just a little too much on the action front for my tastes, it felt a little like an Aussie Lee Child or David Baldacci offering. I would have liked more focus on the plot. However, if you are a fan of aggressive novels, with lots of visuals, The Hunted will more than likely draw appeal.
The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser was published on 31st July 2020 by Harper Collins Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Hunted, Gabriel Bergmoser, visit here.
*Thanks extended to Harper Collins Books Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.