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“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is an enabler.”
Taking in the story of Hunter it occurred to me that it is, perhaps by design, an almost perfect inversion of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Where Hugo exposes a bygone criminal justice system that victimized the “guilty”, all out of proportion to their crimes, Bidinotto exposes a contemporary system that actually enables fearsome criminals, and has become part of the violent crime problem in a different way.
Bidinotto is famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) for exposing the Willie Horton case that defined the failed Presidential candidacy of Michael Dukakis in 1988. Here he is, decades later, distilling the same outrage into an effective work of fiction, his first. He’s a long time admirer (devotee?) of Ayn Rand, and the influence shows, a particular scene late in the book evokes the hijacked radio address at the climax of Atlas Shrugged, though Bidinotto’s version is blessedly shorter. Above all the influence shows in the clarity of the prose, and the fact that while Hunter has the elements of a thriller, it’s ultimately a morality tale.
The narrator does a fine job, though I have a minor quibble. For most of the book, there’s little question who “the killer” is. This isn’t an Agatha Christie mystery, building to a big reveal at the end. However, early on, the grammar used to refer to the killer is strictly pronouns, I believe the author doesn’t want you to have ID’d which character it is, yet. The narrator, however, uses the same distinct timbre he used for the killer for another major character, so even if Bidinotto had employed all of Agatha Christie’s gifts for misdirection, you’d have to know who it is. It's certainly a characterful narration however, all the way down to the stubborn feline.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
This is a compelling and somewhat disturbing story of vigilantism, murder, flawed legal system, naivety and love. The story highlights the gaps and faults in the criminal justice system and shows how well meaning, naive people can sometimes be misled into provide support in the wrong places. It has a good mix of mystery, intrigue, suspense and romance. The characters were appealing and I particularly liked how the development of the romance between the protagonists caused their characters to grow and change. The plot has numerous twists and enough complexity to keep you entertained but not confused. Though it is a work of fiction, the authors background shines through in this novel, it is well written, thought provoking and very enjoyable. The narration fit the book well and he managed to do both male and female voices convincingly. I received this audiobook from the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review
8 of 8 people found this review helpful