July 9

The Hunter – Chris Carter (Short Story)

It is hard to gauge from reading a short story if you are going to enjoy a full novel penned by the same author. In the case of Chris Carter’s The Hunter I also suspect that this particular short story was mainly written as a wee extra  treat for established fans rather than be intended as an introduction to his recurring hero, Robert Hunter.

However, as my introduction to Carter’s work I found this a very satisfying experience and I will certainly be moving on to read The Crucifix Killer (described as ‘the first full length thriller featuring Robert Hunter’ in the sneak preview that was attached to my kindle copy of The Hunter).

I am rapidly finding that following fellow bloggers on Twitter is throwing up too many recommended reads – my TBR pile has grown considerably in the last few months. Chris Carter is one such recommendation and The Hunter seemed a good jumping on point – how many spoilers could there possibly be in a book set before the first full novel? None! (I think).

The Hunter is a great take on the classic ‘Locked Room’ murder.  A young woman is found dead in her locked apartment – apparent suicide and the police wish the case closed as quickly as possible. Enter Robert Hunter and suddenly he is asking the questions that no-one else seemed to have considered. Nicely written with good characterisation which makes me want to see the characters expanded upon in subsequent tales.

Category: From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on The Hunter – Chris Carter (Short Story)
June 23

Forty Acres – Dwayne Alexander Smith

Forty Acres – Dwayne Alexander Smith

Martin Grey, a smart, talented. young lawyer working out of a storefront in Queens, is taken under the wing of a secretive group made up of America’s most powerful, wealthy, and esteemed black men. He’s dazzled by what they have accomplished, and they seem to think he has the potential to be one of them They invite him for a weekend away from it all – no wives, no cell phones, no talk of business. But what he discovers, far from home, is a disturbing alternative reality which challenges his deepest convictions…

A novel of rage and compassion, trust and betrayal, Forty Acres is the story of one man’s desperate attempt to escape the clutches of a terrifying new moral order.

 

Review copy kindly provided by Netgalley.

One of the joys of any new book is the pending adventure. Where will the story take me? Will I be gripped by adventure? Bored by excessive detail? Or be challenged with new ideas and concepts? Fortunately 40 Acres managed to grip, entertain and, at times, even made me seriously consider some of my personal perceptions.

At the heart of the story is a successful lawyer, Martin Grey, who gets the chance to join an elite band of successful black businessmen and entrepreneurs. The foundation behind their unity is shrouded in mystery which is slowly and (often) shockingly revealed to the reader, and Grey, as our perceptions of equality in the 21st Century is challenged by author Dwayne Alexander Smith.

Although I felt the book got off to a bit of a slow start, this was short lived and I quickly found that I wanted to learn more about Mr Gray and his new friends. The central character was nicely grounded and when faced with some of the extreme concepts and situations that confronted him as the story unfolded I found I was able to empathise with the dilemmas he faced – excellent writing by Smith who took some unpleasant concepts and almost gave them a rational spin at times. By the time I was deep into the book I was engrossed and could not wait to see how the story panned out.

A little bit of learning in this book for me too. The titular Forty Acres is a direct link to the freehold land given to former slaves by the American Government when they got their freedom. Had I known this before starting the story I may have been a bit more aware of where the story was leading so I was a little slow on the uptake! I don’t feel that being better informed than I would in any way spoil what was otherwise an excellent story.

For readers that enjoy an adventure story, but don’t want to suspend their belief and read about the all action hero, then I would have no qualms recommending that you Grab This Book.