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Hilton, Matt - 'Slash and Burn'
Hardback: 368 pages (Apr. 2010) Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton ISBN: 0340978279

This is the third book featuring Joe Hunter: a man who certainly lives up to his name. In this action packed story, he is approached by Kate Piers, who is looking for her sister Imogen. Imogen is missing, and Kate is worried she might have been killed, although she's not explaining why. Joe feels it is his duty to help Kate, as she was the sister on one of his buddies when he was in the Special Forces, a man who had saved Joe's life. Unlike Joe's usual clients, Kate is a very attractive woman, and he finds it a bit harder to concentrate on the job to begin with, but not for long.

Only 12 pages in, and Kate and Joe have arrived at Imogen's house in the woods, and the scene of the first gun battle. It's lucky that Kate is a cop on holiday, and knows how to handle a gun, although this is the first time she has had to use one in earnest. Gradually, the reason why Imogen has disappeared is revealed, and one by one, Joe despatches the hard men who want to get hold of her, in a variety of creative ways. Then later on, his buddies Harvey and Rink come to help him out as usual, and they kill a few more. The body count rises, and Joe's apparent invincibility, and meticulous planning sees off the final last few baddies. But just as you think it's all over, there is just one more nail-biting climax.

I have to say, this is not normally the sort of book I would pick to read. But, there is an almost elegant simplicity to Joe's character, and a determination and single-mindedness, which makes him very likeable, despite the large amount of violence, and the high body count. The story isn't very sophisticated, and the thugs are just that, thugs, who just deserve what's coming to them. There is a huge amount of loyalty between Joe, Rink and Harvey, that is very well drawn, and the action is well described. So, if you are looking for an entertaining, easy to read, all-action book, this will definitely fit the bill.

Michelle Peckham, England
May 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 16/05/2010 14:34