“Thank you for introducing me to Tartan Noir.” – HUNTER’S REVENGE by Val Penny reviewed

The blurb:

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is a loyal friend and a fair leader. He is called to the scene of a murder in Edinburgh where the corpse has been fatally shot. He is dismayed to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold.Hunter must investigate Reinbold’s murky past in Germany to identify George’s killer.

At the same time, Hunter is tasked with looking into a previously undetected criminal gang supplying drugs from Peru.There seems to be no connection between the murder and the drug supply until Hunter unexpectedly secures help from inmates of the local jail.

Hunter’s investigations are hampered by distracted members of his team and unobservant witnesses.

Reinbold was not the quiet, old man Hunter believed him to be and his killer bore their grudge for a lifetime.

The review…

One of their own has been murdered on his doorstep, and now Edinburgh’s finest are out for blood.

George Reinbold (or Georg as he was known in his East German youth) was a gentle, private and respected man with a passion for first edition books. But, as it turns out, he has been carrying with him all these years a terrible secret, and has been living in fear behind bullet proof glass and bomb proof curtains.

Meanwhile…

A burnt-out car with the body of a young woman has been found near the airport, and it seems that a lot of crims have been looking for it. But why?

In DI Hunter Wilson’s second outing (his first being Hunter’s Chase), he is called upon to investigate this cold blooded killing of a friend and colleague and discover what’s so special about an apparently unremarkable, ten-year-old Volvo that was nicked from a local car showroom.

This was my first dip into the murky waters of author Val Penny’s world of crime, and it was a delight. Hunter isn’t cut from the usual noir cloth (i.e. gruff, bitter, alcoholic), being instead reasonably level-headed, assuredly moral and admirably socially active. However, he is also clever, thorough and dogged, which is bad news for the baddies.

Along for the ride are Hunter’s posse of trusted deputies, including his memorable sidekick DC Tim Myerscough, a well-bred copper with a butler. How often do you get to say that about a crime novel? These characters are all richly drawn with a believable and enjoyable interplay of professional and personal relationships.

As the investigation progresses, the suspicions of this righteous band bounce from one scrote to the next and to the next, as clues are uncovered and secrets revealed. It’s all deliciously compelling.

Another character that warrants mentioning is Edinburgh itself. Val is obviously in love with her adopted home and its DNA is imprinted on every page. For me, it’s always a good sign when you can’t imagine a story being set anywhere else.

Another big plus is that Val eschews the familiar Brit noir topes of geezer posturing and violence in favour of richly drawn characters, a tangled web of motives and a wicked smorgasbord of suspects. So, thank you Val for a superbly enjoyable book, and thank you also for introducing me to the subgenre Tartan Noir. I’ll certainly be back for more.

Author Val Penny

The author…

Val Penny has an Llb degree from the University of Edinburgh and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer but 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,nonfiction,and novels. Val 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 their cat.

Hunter’s Revenge by Val Penny is published by SpellBound Books and is out now. Order yours here…

Published by Richard E. Rock

Cat-loving, headbanging author of the dark and fantastical.

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