It’s always a pleasure to read a new book in Val Penny’s Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series so I jumped at the chance to read this one and am excited to share my publication day review with you today.
“You never forget. Certainly, Hunter never did. The sight, the stench, the dirt, the blood and the panic. You just never forget your first corpse.”
From the first page, it’s clear that this story is going to take us deep into DI Hunter Wilson’s psyche – and what a fascinating place it is! A crime in the present day triggers a memory that’s haunted Hunter for thirty years since childhood, revealing a more troubled, reflective side to his nature than we’ve seen before. I’m always intrigued by how characters are shaped by past events into becoming the people they are today. This one has clearly had a long term effect on Hunter but was also a driving force in his decision to become a detective.
When Bear and Tim are out training in the Hermitage, they find a corpse but when Hunter arrives the body’s disappeared. Convinced there’s a connection between with this murder and the body he and his brother found three decades ago, Hunter makes use of modern DNA testing to prove it.
If you’ve read the earlier books you’ll be familiar with most of the characters, including Tim’s father Sir Peter Myerscough who’s now been released from jail. He also recalls the earlier case but will Hunter be prepared to accept help from his nemesis in order to catch a killer?
As always, there is plenty of humour and family drama, but I really enjoyed the addition of Hunter’s first person narrative in this book, taking us into his thoughts and showing us his nightmares that he relives over and over.
The story also brings to the fore the topical issues of racism and LGBQT crime, holding a mirror up to some of society’s most appalling views. Hunter’s strong sense of justice means that, while fighting his own demons, he must do all he can to keep Edinburgh safe.
Hunter’s Secret is a riveting ride and an absolute treat for fans of the series. It’s published by Darkstroke Books and is available here
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 an 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 form the bestselling series The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries which is set in Edinburgh. Her first non-fiction book Let’s Get Published is also available now.