I haven’t read a Lescroart for a long time, though I was avid for a while. No record, in fact, that I’ve picked one of his SF-based novels since I started WW in 2006. The other day, I saw an ad for The Hunter and knew it was time to return. I heard the guy speak once at Squaw Valley (He lives in Davis) and was bothered by the fact that he deprecated his works as [my paraphrase) action-driven, glossy-cover airplane books. Or something to that effect. I think they’re considerably more.
Like many writers, Lescroart has developed a stable of characters. His are private investigators, attorneys, cops, and their families. Each book uses one or more as a protagonist, and they often interrelate during the course of the novel. Regular readers get to follow the characters as their lives develop–marriage, divorce, cop-to-lawyer career advancement. And it’s not just the bald facts that matter. These are real people whom he develops in ways that make you understand and care. I put him right up there with the best suspense writers of our era.
The Hunt Club features a private eye whom I don’t remember from past books, but who must have appeared–Wyatt Hunt, who has named his title PI firm after himself and is doing quite well. He starts getting untraceable text messages. The first says how did your mother die? We discover that he was adopted at age 6, that his adoptive parents know nothing about his birth parents–all that was purposely kept secret back then–and that neither does anyone else. He’d never been curious enough to try to trace his parents before, but this gets him going. Being a PI and all, he knows how to carry out an investigation, and of course that investigation uncovers far more than he or anyone else could have imagined.
Not to give away anything, but if the name Jim Jones or Peoples’ Temple means something to you, you can guess there are still plenty of secrets–and stolen cash–out there whose exposure could cause a world of hurt to the malefactors. The Hunter keeps you turning pages, and it keeps you emotionally involved with Hunt, his amour, and all the people he cares about and who care about him. Reading The Hunter was like running into an old friend, one you’re glad to see again.