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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hunter's Moon. David Devereux. Gollancz (2007)

This is very fast paced, gripping and very English thriller. The narrator gives his name as Jack, he is an agent for a very secret British security department that deals with supernatural threats. A group called The Enlightened Sisterhood were plotting something serious and Jack is sent to investigate it and if required deal with it by eliminating the Sisterhood. Jack is paired with a female agent who has infiltrated the Sisterhood and with some assistance from Jack joins the inner circle. The plot moves at high speed, the reveals are well paced and the action is really well staged. The climax is savage and satisfying.

David Devereux manages to weave the magical aspects of this story into the action in a seamless fashion, they are just one of the tools of the trade, used well or badly depending on the person involved. Jack is a great character, he is a very competent professional, dealing with dangerous problems and people with force and ultra dry black humour. The use of magic is never a means to avoid logic, it is used to increase the tension and the depth of the threat.

Happily David Devereux has conjured up a superb set of villains to oppose Jack, thoroughly competent and effective, they are a force to be reckoned with. The way that the leaders of the group control their followers is brutal and very credible, it reveals the personalities involved as much as providing dramatic force. The tone of the book is restrained, there is dirty work to be done and it will be completed, the calm and determined professional brutality is very English. Gripping and tense, a superb thriller.

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