A debut thriller about an action hero in search of his brother and some semblance of a plot.
Joe Hunter, ex-Special Forces agent and ex-cop, trained within an inch of his life, has survived a million rounds of hand-to-hand combat. He’s earned a doctorate in lethal. Now a private-security consultant, he regards himself as a problem solver, though others might call him a vigilante. Either way, he’s a hard man and not everyone likes him. At the moment Jennifer Tilfer, his sister-in-law, is prominent among his detractors because her husband, Joe’s younger half-brother, has decamped, and she holds Joe responsible. When John needed his help, he withheld it, she insists, causing her man to flee from the bottom-feeders who hold his markers. Not exactly, says Joe. He had indeed come up with the cash, but John, a ne’er-do-well with a big-time gambling problem, blew it all on one more last-ditch, get-even effort. Be that as it may, Joe’s imperative now is clearly inescapable. With his brother on the lam and his sister-in-law and her kids in the lurch, he has no choice but to locate John and set things right. From the North of England to Little Rock, Ark., and eventually to California, Joe follows feckless John, who’s immersed himself in the mother of all messes. Enter the Harvestman, a serial killer with more than 20 deaths, several of them gruesomely described, to his credit. Having incurred his displeasure, John is in serious danger of being harvested by the time the brothers reconnect. So what happens? Joe slays the bad guys and the Harvestman acts out his psychopathology. There’s not much else in the way of story until the obligatory climactic duel, in which the antagonists attempt to dismember each other.
Buckets of gore, not enough nuance to fill a thimble.