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Hour of the Hunter (Walker Family Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – June 29, 2010

143 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Drawing on Native American life and lore as it describes the hunt for the killer of a Papago Indian girl, Jance's contemporary novel delivers suspense through rich layers of flashbacks and gritty characterization.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A hodgepodge hardcover debut in which two Native American medicine men, an Arizona lawman, a young widow and her son, and a Papago basket-weaver/wise woman are inexorably drawn into confrontation with the evil ohb, a university professor-turned- serial-killer, who upended their lives six years before when he tortured and murdered the basket-weaver's granddaughter and then stage-managed a suicide/frame-up for his distraught accomplice Garrison Ladd. Now he's stalking Ladd's widow Diana and son Davy, but his old MO (biting off nipples) used on a new victim has set the sheriff's department on his trail, while his malevolent spirit has energized the Papagos. There will be another murder, an attempted murder, dreams, emanations, and a near-fatal dog- poisoning before everyone converges on the Ladd house for a gruesome resolution. Disconcerting time shifts and a plethora of Papago parables (can anyone outdo Tony Hillerman?) fail to disguise the fact that this is nothing more than potboiler melodrama, with the hapless reader bombarded first by the lurid, then by the mystical. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Walker Family Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061945382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061945380
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.A. Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Tastes on August 28, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This isn't a review of the book per se, but a warning to other Kindle owners as to what to expect from this freebie. You are about to get what you paid for. Harper Collins should be ashamed at themselves for rushing to market a very poorly scanned edition of one of Jance's older works in order to plug her newest book. It's what literary marketing has become, and it won't change until we readers start complaining. While it's hard to complain about something given for free, I feel a small entitlement since I've been a faithful Jance fan for 20 years. I've paid my dues with many full priced books.

That Harper Collins would allow this to be published without having even an intern proof the OCR for miss-reads is a sad commentary on the greed of the publishing world. Let me say this as clearly as possible: this book is painful to read.

One of the joys of reading a good book is being transported via the author's skill to another place and immersing yourself in the world they've created. I find it virtually impossible to do that when the gibberish typos keep drawing me back to the real world. Don't misunderstand- I will put up with the OCR mistakes in many other free ebooks when they are classics that have been scanned and formatted by volunteers. For a world-wide leader in publishing to do so is beyond excuse.

Additionally, Amazon should be ashamed for using the e-publishing date instead of the original 1991 publication date.

When all is said and done, this is a good book marred by sloppy publishing. It's not Jance's best, but it is still a worthwhile read if you are willing to deal with the jarring typos.

**9/22/10- As I discussed in the comments which follow, Ms.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Arlinora on August 25, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I haven't finished the book, but wanted to go ahead and write part of a review. It took me a little bit to get into it, because it's set in 1975, and has frequent flashbacks to explain how the characters got to the current point in their lives. It also has stories/legends from the local tribes. I'm assuming they are real, since this book is set partly on the reservation. Because of all the flashbacks, it took a while for it to really gel for me, but now I'm really enjoying it. Some of the unwritten social commentary is especially telling, looking back at how differently society treated women in the 1970s, as well as American Indians. Having lived in the Southwest, I can tell you that some things haven't changed.

The main problem with the book is not the author's, but the publisher's. I'm at 70% finished and I am running into a lot of typos, including misspellings and lost punctuation marks. It's like who ever published the digital version got 2/3 of the way through and decided to hell with the rest of it. In fact, some of the misspellings look like what you get from a bad OCR (scan) job, which, since the original was published in 1991, is entirely possible.

That said, it's still a good book. I've always enjoyed Tony Hillerman's novels, and this gives you a more feminine perspective.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Until the end of chapter 20, I planned to give this book four or five stars. I enjoyed the native legends. I cared about the two heroines, Rita (formerly Dancing Quail) and Diana Ladd, not to mention Diana's young son, David. The flashbacks to the characters' pasts were absorbing. However, I hated what happened to Diana in the climax. Ms. Jance gave us plenty of warning that her villain was a homicidal sociopath. That was enough for me. I didn't need for Diana to suffer as she did. True, what she went through was probably no worse [and didn't last as long] than what the heroine went through in *The Hellfire Club*, but that was by Peter Straub. When I read his books (or those by Stephen King or Barbara Hambly, etc.), I know what I'm getting into. I'd read only three other Jance books before this one, and they certainly didn't lead me to expect that the climax would be so brutal. What made that climax even more offensive to me was that Diana, up until then, wa! ! s portrayed as a reasonably smart and strong woman preparing for the probablity the psycho would be after her. Suddenly she jettisons most of her brains and common sense so the psycho's tricks work. I don't accept the period the book is set in as an excuse for her [initially] poor showing. Years before Diana was even born, my Granny took a frying pan to the head of a big drunk who was trying to beat her up and knocked him out cold. I admit that the book improved once Diana got her smarts back. I liked the end. I'm sure I would have enjoyed this book more if I'd known what I was letting myself in for. Well, you've been warned. Enjoy. Tip for readers: "Tucson" is pronouced "too-sahn", not "tuck-sahn." Ann E. Nichols
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Deeann Bradley on February 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Protagonist Diane Ladd may not be strong woman Joanna Brady, but J.A. Jance's native American lore and unveiling the evilness stalking Ladd was page-turning. Although another reviewer berates Ladd's stupidity during the climax of the story, a parent might understand her actions. Or any reader who has experienced unexplainable violence. The fluidness of Joanna Brady series is missing, so thus the 4 stars. But I liked the break from Brady and J.P. Beaumont series, and look forward to reading Kiss of the Bees.
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