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The Hunt Club: A Novel Hardcover – January 20, 2006

3.5 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The heroes of Lescroart's popular Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series (The Second Chair; etc.) have reached the point where age and professional success keep them from the gritty street-level investigations that made their adventures so good. While promising that he hasn't abandoned the duo, Lescroart keeps the action high by inaugurating a new San Francisco series, starring private investigator Wyatt Hunt and homicide detective Devin Juhle. Longtime Lescroart fans can relax: these pals are at least as interesting and enterprising as Hardy/Glitsky. Hunt's eccentric pack of friends and associates (aka the loose organization known as the Hunt Club) are investigating the murder of a federal judge and his young girlfriend. What would normally be a job for the police becomes personal after Hunt's love interest, who has connections to the judge, goes missing. Both Hunt and Juhle have appropriately troubled pasts: Hunt was forced out of a career as a child protective services officer, and Juhle is trying to live down a shoot-out that killed his last partner. As a PI, Hunt is free to detect in unorthodox and entertaining ways, while Juhle brings to bear the technical and logistic resources of official law enforcement. Most readers will agree that it's a great combination, both on the job and on the page. (On sale Jan. 24)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Lescroart, the author of the New York Times best-selling series starring Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky, introduces a new series character here. Wyatt Hunt is an embittered ex-caseworker in San Francisco, dismissed from Child Protective Services in a dispute with his boss. He is now at the first stages of recovering from this blow, which threatens not his love of salary or sense of self but his mission to save the most vulnerable castoffs in the city. It's pretty standard in mysteries, and even cliched, to have somebody wrongly fired (usually from the police) sink into seclusion or the bottle and then move into private-eye work as a way back to life. This premise gives the character a depth of expertise to draw on and, theoretically, a sufficiently cynical outlook on life. Lescroart draws on this tradition by having his hero drawn out of his seclusion by a homicide inspector friend asking him to look into a murder. The murder is pretty juicy--a federal judge and his mistress are both found dead in his home. One of the suspects is a lawyer/TV crime commentator whom Hunt has a crush on and who suddenly disappears. Hunt works with a loose group of friends, all with different backgrounds and expertise, to solve the judge's murder and the lawyer's disappearance. Hunt is the narrator, much given to long-winded descriptions of his thought processes. This works great with Spenser, but it's boring with Hunt, who hasn't emerged enough from his self-pity to be a credible sleuth, although his child-services background gives him the ability to read motives in surprisingly insightful ways. Enjoyable plot but unconvincing detective. Lescroart fans will be interested, even so. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton; First Edition edition (January 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525949143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525949145
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,792,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John R. Linnell on February 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am and have been a huge John Lescroart fan. The Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series has been a joy to read and it was with some curiosity that I awaited the release of The Hunt Club. This was to be a departure from the past and I was hoping it would measure up.

Dismas Hardy makes a few cameo appearances in this novel, but this story as about a new character, Wyatt Hunt, PI. Still set in San Francisco, Hunt becomes involved in the murder of a federal judge and his mistress and the disappearance of a tv personality. The start of the novel is promising and it is not long before you find yourself immersed in the intrigue however, for far too long in my judgement, the story is allowed to meander without apparent purpose until as the end comes into sight, Lescroart finds his feet again and puts some very interesting finishing touches to it.

To my mind this is a novel that does not beg for or even promise a sequel. It can easily be a stand alone book and if there are no further adventures of Wyatt Hunt, that will be alright with me. Hopefully, if Mr. Hunt is to have some longevity in future novels, the author will find something about him to make him relevant to those of us who admire his writing.
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Format: Hardcover
Many John Lescroat fans will undoubtedly be disappointed that this story includes only a few exceedingly brief (although meaningful) appearances by Dismas Hardy and only a passing reference to Abe Glitsky, the two friends who have provided so many hours of enjoyment to readers who enjoy both legal thrillers and police procedurals. Nevertheless, THE HUNT CLUB does remain true to several of the elements which have made Lescroart one of my favorite authors: wonderful character development, intricate plotting, attention to detail (perhaps overly so in this case), which as usual are combined with sufficient action and suspense to maintain the reader's interest. To provide a bridge for readers of his earlier works and to increase their background understanding of this story, there are two crossover characters as well. Amy Wu plays a crucial role before the story is completed and Diz' partner Wes Farrell appears several times as well. And as usual, the city of San Francisco itself provides not only the geographic backdrop for the story but a political dimension to the plot as well.

The first section of this book is entitled "That was then", and consists of four chapters which provide both a brief introduction and also some historical background regarding the two characters who will play the central roles in any continuing series originates from this novel. The first is Wyatt Hunt, whose varied experiences have led him to his current occupation as a private investigator and head of the firm which bears his name. The second is San Francisco Homicide Inspector Devin Juhle, Wyatt's best friend and baseball buddy during their teenage years.
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Format: Hardcover
Wyatt Hunt began his career with Child Protective Services but has moved on to private investigation. A federal judge and a young woman have been murdered at the judge's home. A beautiful journalist, Andrea Parisi, in whom Wyatt is interested, has disappeared. Who is the dead woman, what is the motive and where is Andrea. Wyatt and members of his team, The Hunt Club, are determined to find out, sometimes to the consternation of Wyatt's friend, homicide inspector Devin Juhle.

This book started out really well for me but then kind of fell apart. There were too many characters and too many similar names, and other than Wyatt, I didn't feel I'd gotten to know any of them well. I like good twists in a plot, but the route the story finally took didn't convince me. It wasn't that the motive was completely implausible, but the person behind the motive seemed implausible. Some authors set books in the Bay Area and make the unique microclimates a almost another character. Lescroart didn't give me a strong sense of place. In fact, I had to remind myself the story is set where I live. It's a good airplane book, but didn't make me a huge fan of the author.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't know about this one. Fairly good story, but thin in many areas. The main character is Wyatt Hunt a former military inspector and former child protective services field agent turned PI. Definitely not of the traditional gumshoe mold -- he's a bit too self aware with some scars from the past left by growing up in the foster care system and later losing his fiance. I really wanted to like this guy, but I don't think Lescroart developed his character well enough or allowed for a rich enough story line for him to grow on me. He did a far better job with the other characters in the book like Hunt's friends Amy Wu and Devin Juhle. But maybe Hunt grew on my just enough, because I do think that I'd give a "Hunt" novel another chance. Just to see where Lescroart can redeem him.
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Format: Hardcover
When I started to read this, I was riveted.

The history of Wyatt Hunt while at Child Protective Services was mesmerizing.

And the story stayed strong through his retirement and then formation of "the Hunt Club"--a loose amalgam of friends: cops, lawyers, private eyes.

But then the main component of the plot kicked in, and things got SLOW.

There are really two big problems.

First, Lescroart often succumbs to lawyerese--his prose is labored and pedantic and overprecise.

That's the smaller problem.

The much worse problem is LACK OF SUSPENSE. He has 3 main plotlines going, but instead of running them parallel--so you don't know which will be the correct one till the end--he runs them in series. First, option A is pursued and discarded. Then option B. So (no surprise)--it's option C that is the right one.

By the time I got there, I had almost forgotten about options A and B, and (worse) almost forgotten about the poor hostage.

The other Lescroart books are great. This is, alas, a lapse.
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