Delighted to be one of the blogs opening up the tour today for the first in a brand new crime series set in Edinburgh, Hunter’s Chase by Val Penny. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on to the tour.
“Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.
DI Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city and he needs to find the source but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taught crime thriller.”
I haven’t read a good, straight forward police procedural for a while so I was delighted to be invited to take part in the blog tour for this book, the first in a new series called The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries and I was not at all disappointed. This book was in the best traditions of crime novels set in Scotland – ‘tartan noir’ I have seen to referred to (I think the phrase was coined by James Ellroy originally but please correct me if I’m wrong), which I absolutely love and am going to shamelessly steal for future reference. It is hard to believe it is a debut, such is its accomplishment.
The central figure is DI Hunter Wilson, a roguish police officer who I am sure will worm his way into the hearts of readers in a similar way to Rebus, Hamish Macbeth or Jimmy Perez. He has a cheeky charm that I really warmed to, as well as being a confident and authoritative detective. He believes his life is about to me made trickier by the addition to his team of a new detective, Tim Myerscough, who is not only young but also the son of Hunter’s old enemy and former chief constable. However, Tim is his own man and also extremely likeable and, over the course of a complicated investigation into a series of deaths, the two men get to understand each other better.
I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between the two detectives play out, along with all the other members of the Lothian and Borders Police Force detective team. There were a lot of interesting characters and the author took time to make them fully fleshed out people with complete lives outside of their police work which I really liked, and I loved the way this shed light on how this informed their roles in the police work and how they approached it.
The crimes themselves were sufficiently twisty and devious to make it fun to try and work out what was going on and who was to blame and it kept the pages turning with ease until the big reveal at the end. There was also enough emotional content to make us actually care about the characters involved and have us rooting for the police to solve the murders, it is very well done.
There were some areas where there was a lot of repetition of information that I felt could have been cut without affecting the success of the story, indeed it would have improved it and there were also parts that amounted to a bit of spoon feeding of information that again could have done with a bit of editing. However, these did not substantially detract from the pleasant pacing of the novel or my enjoyment of it and this is a debut so I am sure there minor niggles will be ironed out with experience.
This book is a really well-crafted crime novel with likeable characters and an engaging plot that will carry you through effortlessly and hold your interest to the last page. It is compelling, without being too dark for those who like their crime novels on the lighter side of gritty, without it becoming too cosy. It found it perfectly pitched and I really look forward to reading the next in the series.
Hunter’s Chase is out now and you can buy a copy here. The second book in the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, Hunter’s Revenge will be published on 9 September and you can pre-order it here. I will be reviewing this on the blog on 10 September, so check back then.
If you would like to follow the tour and see what my fellow bloggers make of the book, here are the details:
About the Author
Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her first crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ set in Edinburgh, Scotland was published by Crooked Cat Books on 02.02.2018. The sequel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’ will be published on 09.09.2018.
Connect with Val:
Facebook: Valerie Penny
Goodreads: Val Penny