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Hunt, Arlene - 'The Chosen'
Trade Paperback: 352 pages (Oct. 2011) Publisher: Portnoy Publishing ISBN: 0956981305

This seventh novel from this very innovative Irish writer is set in the town of Rockville in the area between North Carolina and Tennessee. It tells the story of how Jessie Conway, a teacher at a local high school gets involved in shoot-out with some gun toting students who start killing some of her pupils. As a result of this Columbine-style massacre Jessie is suffering severe post-traumatic stress syndrome and the events attract the attention of the local media of course. A tabloid reporter does some background checks on Jessie and finds some skeletons in her closet, which is reported locally and on TV. This proves very damaging for the relationship between her husband Mike and her. Mike had not heard any of the previous history of his wife and he is very upset that he has had to learn from a third party in such a public way and was not told by Jessie herself. Jessie is absolutely astounded that these facts have been unearthed and becomes quite introverted and subdued as a result.

A deranged hunter named Caleb Switch is very attracted by all of this publicity, as the kind of game he hunts are women... He kidnaps Jessie and the story becomes even more exciting as it rushes onto its very dramatic conclusion.

Once started I just could not put this one down. The tensions between Jessie and her husband and also between Caleb and Jessie are fully explored in this very original story which was a real page turner for me. I was reminded of the novels of fellow Irish author Adrian McGinty, by the kind of setting and storyline that the author has followed. I will certainly look out for her name in the future as she has a real gift for describing very believable low-life characters and the Carolina/Tennessee countryside. If you want an exciting read that, once started, you won't be able to put down, then you should seriously consider buying THE CHOSEN.

Terry Halligan, England
January 2012

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 31/12/2011 19:41