Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dead Men's Harvest - a review

A blurb on the cover of Matt Hilton's Dead Men's Harvest tells it all: "If you like Jack Reacher, you'll love Joe Hunter." Reacher can be counted on for a high body count, but Hunter's toll would keep an undertaker busy for a couple of months.

Unlike Lee Child's protagonist, Joe Hunter is no lone wolf. He has his own team of associates who can be just as deadly. Interestingly, Matt Hilton, like Child, is a Brit who writes action adventure that takes place in the U.S. Hilton still lives in England. His character is English, an ex-military man who was an anti-terrorism agent with the CIA.

In Dead Men's Harvest, Joe Hunter is called on to take out a psychopath who calls himself Tubal Cain, a man he thought he had killed in the first book of the series (this is number 6). It's non-stop action all the way to the ultimate face-off at the end.

The complex plot involves a wealthy businessman who is a drug kingpin. He hires Tubal Cain to find and kill Joe Hunter's half-brother, reported to be in the federal witness protection program to provide key testimony that would wreck the criminal mastermind's business. Hunter's old CIA handler sends him after Cain to save the case for the government.

The book is filled with interesting characters, both good guys and bad. It includes the sister of a woman Hunter loved who was killed earlier. The sister becomes his new love interest. He works to save her, as well as his sister-in-law who is abducted from her home in England.

Joe Hunter's actions are over-the-top at times, though probably not as much as Jack Reacher's. He's been trained to kill bad guys but has qualms about those who are little more than bystanders. If you like lots of action and nasty characters getting their comeuppance, get a copy of Dead Men's Harvest.

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