Chris Sheen enjoys nothing more than the outdoors. An extreme athlete, he gets his kicks from running, biking and hiking. Triathlons and Iron-man races are his only addiction and the feel of the wind on his face, as he takes his daily run, is as much part of his life as breathing. Luckily his wife and two daughters give him the time and space to enjoy his pursuits, and working from home makes things even easier. One morning he returns from a twelve mile run and the house is all quiet. Too quiet. It’s a school day, so his family should be buzzing around, eating breakfast and making lots of noise. When he realises that they are gone, and finds some blood in the shower, he knows something terrible has happened. Pretty soon it becomes apparent that his family’s survival depends on him. In order to find them, he must partake in the most important race of his life, a deadly game of cat and mouse that leaves him stranded in the Welsh countryside with little more than a pair of trainers and a few energy bars. Can he run fast enough, long enough or even figure out who has his family? Will he survive the treacherous mountain terrain with a group of armed hunters hot in pursuit? The Hunt is on…
This is a novel of speed and adrenaline. Chris is the unwitting pawn in this deadly game of life and death. A group of wealthy customers have paid for the chance to hunt and kill a human being, and Chris is their target. The Hunt is a well organised unit, consisting of highly trained, unidentified members who have no moral code and will stop at nothing to get to their prey. However, one of their previous victims, Rose, managed to escape and has been watching them from a distance. She has revenge on her mind and has no problem using Chris to facilitate it. The novel focuses on Chris, but there are flashbacks to Rose and her traumatic experiences with The Hunt. She is determined to seek vengeance and has trained long and hard to do it right.
This is page after page of thrills. Capture, hunt, kill is the mantra of The Hunt. Fear, exhaustion, blood, sweat and tears are what that entails. Broken bones, gunshot wounds and subjection to extreme elements are the reality. The author has taken his love of outdoor pursuits and twisted them into a narrative that is explosive. The attention to detail is meticulous and the atmosphere is shadowy, damp and chilling, all at once.
“Chris had to tap into the endurance he had built over the years. He knew that he had a strong engine and a fit body, but as always he had to adapt. While his physical self drove forward, he had to remember at every moment that he and his family were in terrible danger. Endurance sport had a huge mental factor. Physical fitness was never enough, and now that had been complicated eben more. But he could do it. Anything was possible, and he had to believe that now. Drive on, keep moving forward, keep planning and save his family.”
This is not my normal type of read, being a bit ‘manly’ for me, similar to ‘man movies’ like Taken and Die Hard, but I did race through it (excuse the pun). The writing is sharp, snappy and to the point. The author gets straight into the story, from page one, and doesn’t slow down the tempo enough to even warrant popping a bookmark in, and taking break.
It’s fast, furious and fantastical.
For anyone who enjoys endurance sports, this is the book for you. Tim Lebbon brings his sporting knowledge to the table and injects the adrenaline directly into the reader’s veins. A must-read for lovers of ‘man movies’ and should be handed out at boarding gates to all holiday makers this summer. The overall experience is like jumping off a cliff, while hoping someone is there to catch you…