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Book DetailsISBN: 9781760527082
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Book Review: Hunter by Jack Heath - Reviewed by CloggieA (19 Jan 2019)
5 stars “’I cut off X’s head with a breadknife,’ I say. ‘The FBI just found it in my freezer. Half of the police force is looking for you, the other half is looking for me.’”
Hunter is the second book in the Timothy Blake series by award-winning Australian author, Jack Heath. When his unconventional arrangement with the last FBI field office director ended, cannibal Timothy Blake took up a new position as body disposal expert for Houston crime boss, Charlie Warner. Warner’s activities ensure a steady supply of bodies, so Blake doesn’t go hungry. Is this a match made in heaven (well, except for “Two dead bodies concealed in my house. No, wait. Three. I’m losing count”)? Not quite. It seems Warner won’t hesitate to add him to the body count if Blake exceeds the allowable quota of three mistakes. He’s already made two.
That second mistake involves helping his former FBI minder, Agent Reese Thistle with a puzzling case. Timothy Blake finds it hard to resist a body, but “I take cases not because the bad guy gets punished, but because I get so wrapped up in the puzzles that my hunger disappears.” Blake promises Warner he won’t help in any case that involves her, but then the borders begin to blur when he helps himself to a bonus body in the woods. The body Agent Thistle is looking for.
As with Hangman, Heath gives the reader another compulsive read, this one featuring date rape, blackmail, kidnapping and at least ten deaths, most of them violent. As well as his usual activities, Blake visits a rubbish dump and a courtroom, debates the merits of a sex-doll brothel, buries a body, solves a cryptographic code, swallows a mobile phone, tries to quit his job and vows to stop eating people.
Blake’s inner monologue and his unsaid asides are often laugh-out-loud (if darkly) comical: “She stands up as we enter. She wouldn’t make much of a meal. She’s four foot five at the most, even in her polished heels” and “I reuse a lot, but I don’t recycle. One of my bad habits. After you’ve eaten a few people, none of your other flaws seem important enough to fix” are just a two of many that will mean certain readers should avoid devouring this novel in the quiet carriage of public transport.
Heath devises another plot with twists and surprises and non-stop action to keep the pages turning right up to the utterly perfect last line. Again, each chapter begins with a riddle, clues to which often follow in the story. There are certainly spoilers for Hangman in this sequel, so it’s important to read this series in order. Fingers will be crossed that Heath is working on Timothy Blake #3. Truly clever and blackly funny, this sequel does not disappoint. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.
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