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The Contractors (A Jon Cantrell Thriller) Paperback – February 4, 2014
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After a misguided episode of Texas-style justice, Jon Cantrell finds himself jobless. Coming from a long family background in law enforcement, Cantrell has hit an all-time low, and finds he has no option but to accept a job offer from the contracting company of Blue Dagger. He and his partner, Piper, work per diem tracking down teenage runaways and drug shipments.
Unfortunately, their current job goes horribly wrong: a drug shipment disappears and two men are dead. A competing contracting company accuses Cantrell and Piper, and the only person who can vindicate them is a star witness in a drug cartel trial. The law has a bounty on her head. The narcos want her dead. And Cantrell and Piper are caught in the middle.
In a desperate race to the other side of Texas with the witness, Cantrell and Piper are chased by corrupt law officials, drug-addled contractors, cartel sicarios, the FBI, even a state senator with his sights on the White House. And absolutely no one is to be trusted. No one.
The Contractors, apparently the beginning of a new series by Harry Hunsicker, is fast-paced and full of quirky characters. A former police captain runs illegal gambling houses but refuses to use a computer or even own a cell phone. Piper, an orphan and Cantrell's significant other in a strained relationship, sponsors children from foreign countries. Cantrell's sister has a strange and rare psychosexual disorder.Read more ›
I'm sure there are dozens of reviews that discuss the plot ad nauseam so I will address some other issues. Of utmost importance to me is the quality of writing. This book is excellently written. For me, the writing became invisible, in that I was not caught up in flowery phrases or descriptions. Almost all the writing moves the story forward. It's written for intelligent adults who understand a wide vocabulary, without being arrogant. The "right" words provide nuance and flavor to writing, and Mr. Hunsicker's writing is just right.
The main characters have tenuous connections and relationships and as the story proceeds these characters draw closer and closer to the point where their agendas collide. All the characters are flawed to one degree or another, making their choices and behaviors more or less understandable, if not necessarily acceptable. The idea of hired contractors working for the government and/or private corporations and having enormous government sanctioned power, is chilling to me, as they are not portrayed here as having the best interests of the citizens of the United States as their guidelines. This is reminiscent of the news stories of the last decade and the private contractors who provided services in the Middle East.Read more ›
Unfortunately, I could never seem to get into The Contractors. It felt like it went on forever (I didn’t realize going into it that it was 500 pages) and that is definitely not how a good thriller should feel. I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe why it didn’t speak to me. And, the best way I can put it is that it’s just random…in the sense that bizarre things kept happening that were ancillary to the story.
Strange characters appeared out of nowhere, caused a huge disturbance, and then vanished…never to be mentioned again. Central characters did things that made no sense, and no explanation ever cleared it up for me (for those that have read the book, Eva attacking “Goth Girl” in the gas station bathroom is an example of this). And, just plain “off the reservation” things happened that never fit organically into the story (ex: the appearance of Sadie) – even after I knew the ending. All these things just left me puzzled – and I questioned why Hunsicker chose to include them…and what exactly they were supposed to add.
It made me think of Top Chef (or any cooking competition show) when the judges dock contestants for adding elements that don’t fit well into the overall dish just for the sake of adding something.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ho Hum---Much too long. Much to repetitive, TOOOlong. Could have been edited much closer and cut down to 300 to 400 (absolute max) pages. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Jay Wallace
The book keeps moving at all times. Very enjoyable. Looking forward to see if Piper returns in the next bookPublished 2 months ago by aquarius
Actually a pretty good read. Better than I expected but still not a Vince Flynn novel.Published 3 months ago by Robert Lewis
This was the first of Harry Hunsicker's books I have read but I certainly will read more. The story line was good and just kept on going. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Is this what the USA is really like? Too far fetched and blood thirsty for my liking.Published 3 months ago by Tianui
This tome is labeled a thriller. Thrilling it isn’t. Wide-sweeping as the Texas prairie it certainly is. Read morePublished 3 months ago by carl brookins