Source: Review copy
Publication: 24 November 2022 from Harper Collins
THERE ARE TWO FUNDAMENTAL RULES OF SURVIVAL.
#1: NEVER BE WITHOUT A MEANS OF ESCAPE.
Allison Parker is on the run with her teenage daughter, Hannah, and Colter Shaw has been hired by her eccentric boss, entrepreneur Marty Harmon, to find and protect her. Though he’s an expert at tracking missing persons―even those who don’t wish to be found―Shaw has met his match in Allison, who brings all her skills as a brilliant engineer designing revolutionary technology to the game of evading detection.
#2: NEVER BE WITHOUT ACCESS TO A WEAPON.
The reason for Allison’s panicked flight is soon apparent. She’s being stalked by her ex-husband, Jon Merritt. Newly released from prison and fueled by blinding rage, Jon is a man whose former profession as a police detective makes him uniquely suited for the hunt. And he’s not alone. Two hitmen are also hot on her heels―an eerie pair of thugs who take delight not only in murder but in the sport of devising clever ways to make bodies disappear forever. Even if Shaw manages to catch up with Allison and her daughter, his troubles will just be beginning.
SHAW IS ABOUT TO DISCOVER RULE #3:
NEVER BELIEVE ANYTHING.
I am enjoying Deaver’s Colter Shaw series. It is straightforward thriller material with a fascinating protagonist in this son of a survivalist, brought up to regard everything and everyone with suspicion and to prepare for absolutely any eventuality.
Shaw works as a hunter for hire of missing people. Those desperate people who have lost a loved one and advertise a reward for information leading to recovery are his bread and butter, though Colter Shaw doesn’t just provide the information, he goes and gets them, irrespective of the danger.
He is peripatetic; living in a Winnebago to the back of which his motorbike is attached.
In this 4th episode, Shaw is in the mid-west, in a town called Ferrington. Ferrington is an old industrial town in decline and suffering from a toxic riverbed. Shaw has been hired by a progressive nuclear energy company whose CEO, Marty Harmon is helping the town by supplying clean water and bringing jobs. His company, Welbourne and Sons has developed a revolutionary new device that could be life saving for many third world countries, but the technology has been stolen and Shaw is hired to recover it.
Shaw is barely on the case before the company’s engineer and architect of the reactor, Alison Parker, goes missing. Shaw is tasked by Harmon to find her and safely bring her and her daughter, Hannah, home. Alison is running from her husband, an abuser who has just been released from prison after serving time for wife beating. But Merrit is no ordinary abuser; he is an ex-cop with many friends still in the force and his tentacles reach far.
Colter Shaw works with Welbourne’s capable Head of Security, Sonja Nilsson to find Alison and Hannah. Their search takes them into prime Shaw territory; lost in the midst of a large forest where it is not only Jon Merrit who is on their trail but also two malevolent killers are working in concert to hunt down Alison and her daughter and kill them.
Hunting Time is a gripping and hugely enjoyable novel. There’s something really engaging about Shaw’s survivalist skills and his endless rules of survival that always come in handy whatever the situation. This is a protagonist who has heft and that lends the usual crime thriller an extra dimension and the many twists and misdirection add hugely to the enjoyment.
Verdict: Hunting Time is a thrilling twisty enjoyable addition to the Colter Shaw series. It is a fast moving, tense and action packed read with plenty to get your teeth into and some surprisingly tender moments.
Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His books are sold in 150 countries and have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has sold 50 million books worldwide.