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Hilton, Matt - 'Judgement and Wrath'
Paperback: 384 pages (Mar. 2010) Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks ISBN: 0340978260

This is the second outing for Joe Hunter and his sidekick Jared Rington (Rink), who are professional investigators/trouble shooters with a special forces (army) background. He's asked to get in touch with a young 17 year-old girl, Marianne, living with a rich older man (Bradley Jorgenson) by Marianne's father, who claims that Bradley is being violent towards his daughter, but either she won't leave him, or Bradley won't let her. He wants Joe to talk to her and help her leave. Bradley is part of a very rich family that have made most of their money through making and shipping arms. Joe rents a condo next door to Bradley's in an exclusive part of Miami to see if he can talk to Marianne, but unknown to him, someone has been hired to kill Bradley and Marianne that night. The killer in question is a bizarre serial killer called Dantalion, who has called himself after a powerful duke of hell. He has a book of numbers detailing all the people he has killed, starting with his mother.

Joe foils the assassination attempt, and having saved Marianne and Bradley's life, then ends up protecting them against the killer after they have retreated back to the apparently secure family estate. Much violence, chasing, guns etc ensues until of course there is the usual climactic ending, and pretty much the expected conclusion, but with one or two twists.

There are a few small plot holes and absurdities but Joe Hunter is such an enthusiast, a talent with guns, and a relentless pursuer, he successfully draws you in, like an enthusiastic child determined to get you to come out and play. It's hard to resist his almost childish enthusiasm to kill the bad guy and do what's right. And of course, the serial killer really is a very bad guy indeed, and just as relentless and talented as Joe, providing a real challenge. Even though I might not necessarily choose to read this type of book normally, I did feel rather bereft at the end of it, and almost missed Joe's company! This book is a good follow up to the first book, DEAD MEN'S DUST, and pretty much the same in format, so if you like books with plenty of action and lots of gun talk, this is a great one.

Michelle Peckham, England
April 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 18:56