Written by Robert Bidinotto — Mr Bidinotto’s background as a distinguished investigative journalist of the criminal justice system provides him with the experience and knowledge to craft a story that grows from the mistakes and injustices he has seen. He uses these experiences to construct a scenario and setting that both feels real and will elicit an emotional response from the reader.
Hunter is a story of a vigilante killer, a woman on the trail of an assassin, their love for each other, and the secrets that tie them together and threaten to keep them apart. It begins with espionage, treason and betrayal, and the story continues with the form and style one would expect from a tight, slick spy thriller. There are convincing details of weapons, combat, information gathering, information masking methods, and the technology that makes it all possible. While the author’s background is not in this area, the research done to provide a convincing image is obvious.
When the story shifts to the main action, the style remains. As do the convincing details. However, the reader is drawn even further into the story through the description of the justice system and the failings that Mr Binidotto has reported on previously. Here, the description is also interwoven with emotion and reaction, allowing the reader to not only form their own opinion about what is laid out, but to understand the consequences as they are levied on the characters.
The story revolves primarily around two characters, Dylan Hunter and Annie Woods. Dylan, a reporter with a mysterious background, and Annie, who keeps her work at the CIA a secret, both suffer from past wounds and an excess of secrets. Their personal relationship grows, while their other motives create tension in their relationship. This conflict both grows from and drives the actions they take. The strongest secondary characters, such as the smart, skilled, and violent criminal Adrian Wulfe, and Susanne Copeland, a victim of Mr Wulfe, provide the reader with a personification of the failings of the system and a face to the consequences, respectively.
There is tremendous detail in the novel, which at times can slow the action. However, the engaging characters and the weight of the challenges they face provide more than enough motivation to learn what the details are and find out what happens next. If you are a fan of slick espionage thrillers, and are looking to find something a little closer to home that carries a message with the story, this tale is for you.
CFL Rating: 4 stars