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THE SEEKERS by Joshua Armstrong

THE SEEKERS

A Bounty Hunter’s Story

By Joshua Armstrong (Author) , Anthony Bruno (Author)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-06-19343-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

The street-savvy founder of the Seekers (a group of bounty hunters who see their mission as not just finding men who have skipped bail but saving their souls as well) briskly recounts his own life and the work of his unique organization.

When Armstrong, a self-educated African-American from Elizabeth, New Jersey, captures a fugitive at home, he leaves a copy of a 17th-century prayer behind to comfort the man's family, and when new members join the Seekers, they must take up both rigorous physical training and the reading of ancient Egyptian philosophy. Armstrong's memoirs, written with the assistance of crime writer Bruno (The Iceman, 1993, etc.), are fast-paced and packed with gritty detail about what bounty hunters do and how they do it in an ugly, dirty, drug-ridden, and dangerous world. Armstrong left New Jersey after high school, became a fisherman in Alaska, and, in the off-season, learned first-hand how not to catch a fugitive and then picked up the basics of the trade. Influenced by New Age bookstore owner Kanya McGee, he became interested in self-improvement through meditation and the study of Eastern philosophy, taking as his goal to become "a stellar man in a world that desperately needs stellar men." When he returned to New Jersey in the 1980s, he developed the idea of a bounty hunting operation that would "combine compassion and street smarts." While there's ample technical data about the surveillance and protective equipment and the arms that the Seekers carry with them, it is their mode of operation that fascinates. The cases described emphasize intelligence gathering, planning, patience, cool nerves, and teamwork rather than gunslinging; in fact, only once has Armstrong fired his gun during an arrest. His Seekers now hunt fugitives only to fund Earth Church, a center for spiritual, mental, and physical growth.

Although the Armstrong character—a macho man with a laudable mission—occasionally calls to mind a comic-book superhero, Million Man March supporters should find this agreeable reading.