The first time we meet Nathaniel Hunter, the world's greatest tracker, he and his giant black wolf, Ghost, arrive at the scene of a massive search for a lost boy. "With primordial strength--an almost frightening animal strength brought to life with a single word--the enormous wolf turned, massive muscles bunching and hardening beneath the heavy black coat. The huge head, as broad as an anvil, went to the ground as it padded toward the treeline." No wonder Sylvester Stallone has bought James Byron Huggins's latest thriller for the movies! What a role--and the part of Hunter isn't bad, either...
Hunter, a historic-looking mountain man who dresses in stylish leather garments designed by himself, finds the boy quickly and is ready to set off for Manchuria in search of a rare Siberian tiger when an even more dangerous target surfaces in the wilds of Alaska. An illicit medical experiment has gone wrong, and the attempt to combine the recovered DNA of one of our more violent and predatory predecessors with that of modern man has resulted in a creature whose amazing powers of brain and muscle are matched only by its survival instincts.
As readers of his previous thrillers (Cain and Leviathan) already know, Huggins can make the most outlandish material instantly credible by creating scenes of great power and imagination. He also knows more about weapons and ways of killing people and animals than anyone. There's nothing cozy or literary about his work, but the action is nonstop and fully absorbing. --Dick Adler
From Publishers Weekly
Huggins's latest thriller (after the biblical Cain), about the clinical combination of modern man with the recovered DNA of a super-predatory but mercifully extinct proto-human, avoids falling into mere mindless action fiction by its unusually deft characterization. In the near future, illegal medical experiments in Alaska have created this nearly indestructible creature of incredible cunning and savagery, who goes on a rampage through the ranks of the research stations. To cover their blunder, the government sends out an elite team of special-operations warriors, led by the title character, Nathaniel Hunter, a mountain man born out of time and the best tracker in the world. Meanwhile, U.S. marshals are on the trail of the secret and the cover-up, intervening in the action in an unexpected way. Huggins's pacing is nonstop; his visual imagination is so compelling that the book will work splendidly as a movie; and the action scenes are fine if the reader has the stomach for a high body count. The author's expertise on weapons and wilderness survival keeps the narrative interest high, as do the well-fleshed characters such as Hunter; Bobbi Jo, the female sniper; and Takakura, a Japanese equally at home with modern weapons as with his ancestral katana. Huggins also chillingly gets inside the head of the savage, highly intelligent beast. This is a feast for gun nuts and pure entertainment for the more dedicated thriller reader. (Jan.) FYI: Hunter has been optioned for film by Sylvester Stallone.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.