Hodder & Stoughton
Don’t look back or you might find the devil on your heels.
Joe Hunter’s devil is Luke Rickard, a killer who has stolen his identity and committed a vicious double murder. His motive? Revenge. His method? A blade. His mission? Kill anyone Hunter holds dear.
It’s a deadly duel of wits that takes Hunter from the streets of Miami to the squalid barrios of Columbis to the jungle hideaway of a drug baron. And brings him face to face with his past.
Revenge is a dish best served cold and Joe must keep a cool head or Rikard will cut and run.
Matt Hilton has been good at coming up with nasty bastards of villains (this is the fourth Joe Hunter book I’ve read, the fifth of Matt Hiltons books in total). However, this one is special. He’s a nasty, vicious bastard. In many ways, a dark mirror to the Hunter character (sometimes irritatingly whiter than white Hunter character). With Cut and Run, Matt Hilton has raised both his and Joe Hunter’s game. This is the book of the series (so far) for me. The best written, planned and completed book. Characters, plot, development, all are a cut above. A real hang on every word, just read another chapter, pages seem to turn themselves thrilling thriller.
There were only a couple of niggles. All this “I don’t make war on women.” Why not? There are no doubt many women out there ready to sand up for their rights to be nasty as well! It’s a modern world we live in. Unfortunately, Hunter doesn’t live in it yet. His is an old-fashioned, in a bad way, world view. He doesn’t hate women of course, just that he constantly states views that show where he positions women in his world. They are defenceless, shy creatures, who need to be protected – whether they want protecting or not, because he knows that they do really. Men can be good or evil. Women can’t. It’s not possible. Women need protecting at all costs from the world of men. Yeah, I thought of that religion a few times. The pivotal scenes from his time with the special forces in Columbia are meant to show what a good guy he is, how – no matter what we might have done – he is on a higher moral plane and this of things a whole lot better than we do. I can’t imagine Mitch Rapp having a conscience attack with his finger on the trigger. It doesn’t make Hunter seem better, makes him seem weak and indecisive. Not to be totally trusted to carry out a mission of that nature, I’d have said.
I know why it’s put in, as you do. To make Hunter’s motives sound honourable and real and him sympathetic, to us. Further hammer home, if we were in doubt, that Hunter is the good guy and why. As there is hardly any of the “oh, by the way incase you can’t remember three pages back where I explained that I only kill really really bad guys who even the most liberal of Swedish Judges would have sent down for life as soon as look at them,” stuff. Thankfully. Doubt in the character can be shown in other ways, but constant repetition of how lawful he is, while doing away with the need for judge or jury, is irritating, when you just want him to murder the bastard and get on with the next one!
Putting all that nonsense aside, Cut and Run is an absolute eye-magnet, three days into can’t-put-it-down country, full of nerve-wracking, nail-biting tension from pretty much start to finish. The action is at times shocking, intense and relentless and keeps on coming. Which is why I said relentless. The best so far. Until the next one.
You can buy Cut and Run from The Book Depository
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