Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Red Hunter

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger
Touchstone: 4/25/17
eBook review copy; 368 pages
ISBN-13: 9781501101670

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger is a very highly recommended thriller that begs the question "What is the difference between justice and revenge?" Two women have been through two violent events and unexpectedly have something in common.

Claudia Bishop was violently attacked and raped in her own apartment. Her daughter Raven was born 9 months later and, eventually, her marriage fell apart. Claudia loves Raven, and her ex-husband, Ayers, considers Raven his daughter, but they don't know if her conception was a result of the rape or not. Claudia has been honest about the violent attack, her anxiety, and her strides toward healing on her blog. Claudia and Raven take a huge step when they move out to a house in the country that she inherited. Her father owned it as an investment and rented it out for years. Claudia is going to blog about their restoration of the old farmhouse as part of her healing and creating a new life for herself through the rape and divorce.

Zoey Drake survived a horrific home invasion that left both of her parents dead. She was supposed to be a victim too, she and her mother were both tortured by the killers, but she miraculously survived. A decade after the attack, Zoey is a strong, tough woman who has been training in the martial arts for years, fueled by the inner rage she feels. She is looking for revenge. She is the watcher, the Red Hunter, and it's time for the men who murdered her parents and tried to kill her to pay for the pain they caused.

Neither Claudia nor Zoey know each other, but the house ties them together. It is where Zoey's parents were murdered. It is also the fuel for rumors flying that there is a million dollars hide somewhere in the house and that is why Zoey's parents were murdered. Zoey has found one of the men, now an old man, and she has eliminated him. Now she is searching for the others. When handyman Josh Beckham is hired by Claudia to assist in some repairs, it sets into motion a collision between the past and present that will bring both women back to the house. 

The two narratives of this complex thriller/mystery are intricate and complex. Unger keeps the plot and the action fast-paced through both storylines until they converge with an explosion of action. The reveals of additional information are also perfectly planned. All the characters in this novel are complex and their stories are equally intriguing. The question of how to handle a violent attack should resonate with many. Like Claudia, do you try to overcome the anxiety and more on to create a positive life while facing full-on what happened to you? Or do you take Zoey's tactical plan and train for years until you know you can defend yourself and extract revenge on those who hurt you and those you loved?

There are other interesting plot points to this complicated novel too. Would you want to know if you are your parent's biological child or the result of a rape? How do you handle a violent traumatic event in your life? What is your responsibility to a sibling?  Lisa Unger has written a tense page-turner here that should engross most readers.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Touchstone.

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