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Blood-drenched action thriller not for the faint-hearted
on May 16, 2009
Cast: occult practitioner, undercover agent, remorseless assassin w/ many names; a sisterhood w/ an inner circle indulging in sexual perversions; secret counterterrorist department; SAS squad; pumpkin head bureaucrats; a retired man-in-black; & others.
Ingredients: (black) magic; gory details of human anatomy affected by ambush/close combat; heavy-handed interrogations; special ops; mind control; conjuration of and conversation w/ the dead; witty dialogues; sarcastic/cynical self-reflection/justification: "I get the crap kicked out of me on a regular basis doing this job, and when those times come the opiate family are as welcome as a rich uncle who's about to kick the bucket" (p. 125).
Most interesting are the hints the protagonist, Jack, drops here and there about his motivation/rationalization to be in the employment of the 'Broom Cupboard,' as the clandestine outfit is dubbed among field officers (p.17). Perhaps a secretive unit inside the Special Branch?
"It's called the Defence of the Realm...It's about making sure little Johnny down the road can sleep safely without monsters coming out of his closet and eating him. It's about letting people follow their spiritual paths without someone else hijacking their souls...The alternatives are chaos and witch-hunters" (p. 42).
As for its history going back for centuries: "[T]he reason the Service was formed...:someone had to stop all those idiots from turning Britain into a council estate for every dodgy denizen of Hell and Faerie" (p. 63).
"People like me are in the business of keeping all this supernatural nonsense quiet...We don't want you to start messing around with this stuff, because if you've got everyone rolling round with this kind of capability you'll have anarchy in ten minutes flat...Keeping a lid on the world so it doesn't get out of hand" (pp. 158-9).
One deficiency of the novel is that the plot unfolds from Jack's perspective alone, so the characterization of his enemies, enacted by ex-wiccans turned manipulated saboteurs hell bent (pun intended) on the unrealistic eventuality of conspiring against the government, remains superficial. It's no-brainer that, more often than not, the chief culprits can be found positioned well within the gates, behind the the crumbling facade of "law & order."
In brief, "Hunter's Moon" makes a quick read, provided you can stomach the amount of brutal force and lurid debauchery on display.