After thoroughly enjoying Hunter’s Chase, the first book in the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series by Val Penny (check out my review of that book here), I am delighted to be taking part today in the blog tour for the second book in the series, Hunter’s Revenge. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for having me back and to the author and publisher for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly.
“Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is revenged.
DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold. Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George’s home so intense? Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify the killer and identify George’s killer. Hunter also finds a new supply of cocaine from Peru flooding HMP Edinburgh and the city. The courier leads Hunter to the criminal gang but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough and local gangster Ian Thomson to make his case. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taught crime thriller. “
This book started out really promisingly with the dramatic murder of a senior member of the Pathology department, so the murder is one that the police take personally and are determined to solve, so the whole team throw all of their efforts at it.
Everyone is back from the first book and, although it isn’t necessary to enjoy the book, I think the reader would benefit from having read the first book and having the back stories of the main characters so they can fully immerse themselves in the story. Val does include a lot of the characters’ personal live and activities outside of work in the stories as part of the plot so understanding who they are, who they have relationships with and why they are in the places they are in helps to unravel everything. I enjoy this aspect of the books, as it makes the police very human, but it is done to an unusual degree in these books so it can take some getting used to for fans of other authors who include less personal lives for their police officers.
There are also lots of links back to the plot from the first book, so having read that will make sense of why Tim’s father is in prison, along with some other important characters in the book, and why certain civilians are so closely connected with the police. Some of this could be a bit confusing to a reader coming to this book cold, although there is a certain amount of explanation to help you along.
Another of the great strengths of the book are the beautiful descriptions of Edinburgh that are included. There is a particular part where DI Hunter is walking through the city and describing his route, which I really enjoyed. As someone who is inordinately fond of Edinburgh, I think Val really does a wonderful job of making the city almost like another character in the books and really making it an integral part of the plot.
As the book went on, the plot got very convoluted and required a lot of explanation. This is a book that relies less on really dramatic events, and more on deduction, interviews and police discussing the case to move the plot along. It is not particularly gritty, and some of the interactions between the police are actually very light and amusing. There were also a couple of points where things that happened to move the plot along felt a bit too coincidental and convenient to me. None of this is necessarily a negative, just something for readers to be aware of when they pick up the book, as I think the cover could make the book seem a lot darker than the plot actually is.
A couple of small criticisms I did have were, a times the dialogue was a little unconvincing and sounded more like the author was using it to get necessary details in, rather than have people talking in a way that is natural. This was not a persistent problem, just in a couple of places but it did grate a little. The other issue was, at the end when all the suspects were in custody and the interviews were being conducted to conclude the plot, I just got lost and I am not sure I even got the sense of how the police had drawn the conclusion that the ultimate murderer was guilty. It was just a tiny bit too complicated.
This aside, I did enjoy the book, it was a good read and there is plenty to enjoy, especially learning more about the characters and how their stories are developing and how things have moved on from the first book. From the clues dropped here, it looks like there are some big changes afoot for the force in the next book and look forward to seeing what is in store for them going forward.
Hunter’s Revenge is out now and you can get your copy here.
To get a different perspective on the book, follow the tour below:
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