The Hunter: my review

The Hunter

Author: John Lescroat


Text messaging is an easy way to communicate with a friend, colleague or parent. Some texts can be quite enlightening while others like the one Wyatt Hunt received can set off a chain of events that would rock this private investigator’s world causing him to search for answers to his past. While having dinner with his best friend homicide detective Devon Juhle, Wyatt fails to acknowledge the ping on his phone signaling a message. Never noticing the five simple words that would change his life forever. But, first let’s add more players as he meets with the women of the Mission Club to help them vet out a new applicant for membership. Upon investigation he uncovers information about her that leads the committee to decline her application. But, when Wyatt finally reboots his phone after the meeting the message he reads would resound in his mind and memories for a long time. “How did your mother die?” Five simple words yet frightening. But, first he has to find out that sent this message, from where it originated and why.


Before becoming an investigator Wyatt spent many years working with Child Protective Services. Author John Lescroat’s research is extensive in this area and the author explains in detail the adoptive process, the red tape involved and the reasons why certain information remains sealed. But, the only way Wyatt might get some answers and start his search is by asking his adoptive parents some pointed questions. As they limited information they have comes to light he learns more about Catholic Charities and the fact that the records he might be seeking have been sent to the California State Department of Social Services Adoption Support Unit and probably filed away somewhere.


Meeting Father Bernard was his first step into solving this intricate mystery and learning more about his birth parents. Learning that the police arrested his father twice for the murder and the history behind his mother’s friendships and past was bone chilling to say the least. But, a letter in his father’s handwriting causes him to doubt his guilt and Wyatt and his team of investigators decide to search for the answers. But, he’s not alone in this as his best friend Devon puts his job on the line, gives him access to the files that he needs and one contact at CPS and another at the phone company help him learn more. Callie Lucente was his link to the texter’s location and Bettina Keck to the files. But, the trail or road has just begun and he meets with the former District Attorney, a next-door neighbor, the priest again and the former Public Defender. No one seems to know very much, the information is not forthcoming and from the conversations related by the author in some respects he seems to be getting stonewalled.


Learning the reason that he and several other small children were left alone leads the author to relate more about his mother, her friend Evie who influenced her into doing this and the rationale behind parents who have commitment and abandon their children. But, when Wyatt delves in deeper along with Devon what happens next will surprise not only them but the reader too as the head of homicide warns Devon about using his time on this cold case and requests from the higher ups for him to close the investigation. But, with each text and more contact with this unknown person the information that comes to light drives Wyatt even further.


Learning about Evie See Christ and her relationship with his mother leads him to learn about the Jonestown Massacre, the reasons behind it and the author will now take Wyatt and many others from Indianapolis to the Jim Jones religious killing grounds of Jonestown to the mountains of Mexico and eventually endanger more people.


In the interim Wyatt and his receptionist get closer and upon talking to her in retrospect he realizes there might be a connection between one of the women from the Mission Club and Evie whose real last name his learns is Spencer. Going back to speak with Ferrill Moore the former prosecuting DA he hopes to refresh his memory, enlighten him about Evie’s death and why and hopefully learn more about his mother and asking him why set the police chief on this asking them to stop the investigation.


Meeting with the wife of an Inspector thought to have committed suicide he agrees that something else happened to Jim Burg. Focusing more on the link between Evie and his mother seems to be leading to Jonestown and more dead ends. The texter has stopped communicating for a while.


What happens next changes everything for Wyatt and his team as one of his investigators is brutally murdered while working on a case sending them back to square one to find out more about Evie, her connection to Ivan’s murder and his mother’s death.


Investigating the murder proves to be difficult for Devon and his partner as Abe Giltsky seems to wonder why they feel Ivan’s death is related to all the others including Wyatt’s mother. Meeting with Evie’s ex-husband does not really shed too much light on the situation and what happens next will definitely make things more difficult. Politics in police investigations seems to be an issue brought out in this book as well as the truths behind investigations when the police have a suspect and look no further.


Going to Indiana Wyatt hopes to finally put the pieces together but with all bureaucratic agencies you know that there are definite snags. Meeting with Margie’s mother on created more questions, some information about her growing up and joining the cult but then Lionel is killed thought to be the killer but the texter is back and the trail is still quite long before all is said and done and the killer or killers are revealed.


Meeting his father and his wife brought him a new family. Finding out what was plaguing his headaches even more telling. Author John Lescroat created a storyline that keeps the reader glued to the printed page, wondering who is trying to stop the investigation, which the texter is and how all of the pieces will finally fit together. Thinking that the killer might have taken his own life is short lived as more evidence comes to light and the texter reveals just one more piece of information. When the pieces finally fit and the killer is revealed more lives are in danger but the end result you don’t see coming. Money, greed, deceit, hate, fear and avarice are all part of the master plan that the killer had in mind. Who lives, who dies and who profits that still remains to be seen. When Tamara’s life is on the line will Wyatt get there in time? Will he find his mother’s killer, exonerate his father and learn what really happened to Burg? The only way you fill find out is if you read this outstanding novel by John Lescroat


Well-developed characters, fast paced, outstanding plot easy to follow and a dramatic and explosive ending that you won’t see coming. Let’s see what’s next in store for The Hunt Club and our hot investigator. Make sure you read those texts: You never know what they might say or how your life will change.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

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