Book review: Hunter’s Blood by Val Penny

I love a good crime story so was very excited to see that Val Penny had a new book out. Hunter’s Blood, the fourth title in the fabulous Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, has poor DI Hunter trying to solve not just one mystery but several.

Here’s the blurb :

DI Hunter Wilson never has just one problem to solve. He finds three elderly women he knows dead in mysterious circumstances. A little girl is lost on a cold winter night and then his team finds cocaine hidden around the farm where she is living. Hunter is worried that he cannot keep his family safe.

Why did the women die? What did the child witness?

Hunter must find the answers to these questions to ensure his family and his city are safe.

Although Hunter’s Blood could be read as a stand-alone, I think you’ll get most out of the book if you’ve read the previous ones or at least the first book in the series, Hunter’s Chase. The reason I say this is that the core cast of characters appears throughout the series and these characters develop as they go through their experiences. You’ll also have a clearer idea of who’s related to whom and how different people have been connected in the past, although explanations are given.

If you have read any of the other books it will feel like being reunited with old friends (and enemies) including the hapless and irrepressible cousins, Jamie and Frankie, Hunter’s son Cameron, and, on the other side of the prison walls, Arjun Mansoor.

My favourite character is Hunter himself – he’s smart, dedicated and determined but also has lots of empathy.

But while the story is character-driven, it’s by no means short on plot. It opens with a fatal road accident which we see from several viewpoints including one of the victims and from there the mysteries keep coming. I wondered how the author was going to be able to bring all these elements together but she does, with apparent ease.

This was a particularly chilling crime for DI Hunter Wilson to solve and involves some grisly details including mutilation and autopsies but as usual these are counterbalanced by warmth and humour elsewhere.

I found it an engrossing read and can’t wait to see what the author has up her sleeve for Hunter next.

Hunter’s Blood is published by Darkstroke, an imprint of Crooked Cat Books and is available in kindle and paperback versions.

About the author

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, Hunter’s Chase Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force and Hunter’s Blood are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fifth book in the series, Hunter’s Secret, follows shortly.

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