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Hilton, Matt - 'Dead Men's Dust'
Paperback: 448 pages (Oct. 2009) Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks ISBN: 0340978236

This is a story about finding a missing half-brother, with the twist that the half-brother connects with a serial killer on his escape route. The name of the searcher is, rather aptly, Joe Hunter, and he is a professionally trained soldier, from the special services. The half-brother, John, a dissolute gambler, who left his wife and kids to go to America and live with another woman has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Joe flies to the US, and teams up with one of his old friends, Rink (Jared Rington), another ex-army man, turned PI, and starts to search for Joe. He and Rink are well connected, and Joe's connections even go to the heart of the Secret Service, with a personal connection to Walter Hayes Conrad IV. Meanwhile, John, having stolen a car from the serial killer (Tubal 'Harvestman' Cain) is holed up in a hotel, waiting to sell the stolen goods that led to his disappearance. But Tubal is intent on finding him, and adding him to his list of victims, as payback. The hunt for John turns into a hunt for both John and the Harvestman.

This is a pretty straightforward thriller, in which the searchers have plenty of connections to help them track down their quarry, and know their way around guns. The temporary alliance of John with the Harvestman is somewhat bizarre, but just about works, especially once the background of the Harvestman is revealed. There is the inevitable high-octane thriller ending, with the expected outcome, but a few twists along the way that keep the interest. The story is a bit predictable in places, and women take a back seat as normal in this type of genre, but if you like plots with plenty of action, and confident heroes who always get their man, then this one is for you.

Michelle Peckham, England
January 2010

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 29/04/2010 18:51