The Hunt by Tim Lebbon
Avon (July 2015)
400 pages, paperback $6.68
Reviewed by David Simms
The transition from writing horror to thrillers sounds like it should be an easy move, yet very few authors have mastered the art of actually “thrilling” the reader from the first page to the last without letting up. Tim Lebbon pretty much pulled off the task in his first attempt in a definite departure from horror and fantasy. That might be due in part to Lebbon’s training in endurance sports, entering triathlons, Iron Man, and Outlaw competitions. The man knows how to sustain pace and suspense.
The Silence alluded to this move last year as the creature horror that packed action and tension into a ballsy frightfest.
The Hunt improved upon that effort tenfold.
Chris Sheen returns home from a great run, breaking his own record. Yet when he walks through the door, he finds his wife and two daughters missing. A man warns him not to call the police; if he does, they’ll be butchered.
Rose has been training to avenge the murders of her husband and children, as she is the lone survivor of the hunt. Her mission options: escape the hunters and live but her family dies, or sacrifice herself to keep them alive.
The Hunt is run by the shadow group “Trail,” who have many names, live invisibly in society, and are free from persecution as they provide the ultimate game for the super-rich, famous, and thrill-seeking. She attempts to track down and eliminate the group while Chris fights to avoid the hunters and stay alive long enough to save his family. Both work with separate motivations as they run, hike, and climb through Snowdonia.
To say The Hunt is fast-paced is akin to stating a Ferrari can break the speed limit. Lebbon’s writing has always been lean and tight; here, it moves and twists through a violent, exciting story with rarely a wasted word.
Avon has already signed him for a second thriller. Here’s to hoping there’s many more