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Sea to Sky: A Hunter Rayne highway mystery (The Hunter Rayne Highway Mysteries) (Volume 3) Paperback – March 14, 2013
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I so enjoy this series. Rayne reminds me a bit of Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire – both are a little old-fashioned when it comes to relationships, both have a strong sense of justice, a deep love of family, and a deep need to set things right. I like the relationships between the characters, the mostly Canadian settings, the descriptions of life on the road, and Hunter’s complicated relationships with the women in his life. I root for him to find peace and happiness in his life. There are also topical subplots involving domestic violence, industrial espionage, a runaway, missed connections, and missed opportunities.
I read some reviews where people complained about the profanity “in the first three pages” of this story. I’m not sure we read the same book. This is no cozy, that’s for sure, but it’s not a filth-filled piece of garbage either. It’s a traditional realistic mystery with great settings, some grit, and complicated characters with real problems and real emotions. I hope there are more in this series.
While probably written for an adult audience, I found nothing in the book inappropriate for a YA reader. The most concerning things would be murder, family violence, and a runaway teen. There is infrequent use of bad language. One case is using belittling words to put down characters. Some of the characters also work in fields where frequent use of the F word is not uncommon, though the word is not used gratuitously.
The POV switches a lot and can sometimes be a bit confusing, but it keeps the details flowing without a lot of explanatory speeches. In my case many of the POV shifts happened at page turns which sometimes made it difficult to catch the shift until I'd eead a sentence or two.
The characters are all distinctive and colorful. Character development is seen in several of the characters, which is always a welcome bonus.
Besides being a great whodunnit, the author also throws in interesting tidbits from fiction and history, such as a mention of the Horatio Hornblower novels and the background of an infamous female serial killer (of whom I'd not heard, despite my amateur study of serial killers). These are sprinkled throughout and I love learning new things, even while reading fiction.
I've read the first three books and am beginning the fourth. All are 5-star for me. I like the descriptions of areas of which I have some familiarity. Lived In WA state for 7 years and trips to Canada to exhibit our dogs and finish a Champion or three.
The main character, Hunter, is an complex man and his landlord is an interesting person.
Altogether, these mysteries meet my criteria for a satisfying read. Kudos to the author who soconvincingly captures the voices of men.
My only con would be the over use of the F word. I grew up amongst hard boiled construction workers and was on the job site amongst dump trucks, deadlines cats and mechanics & heard nothing more than "Damn and s***s " from my Dad and friends.
He gets caught up as a suspect in a murder investigation, and wants to help solve the case so
he can freely move on with his life as a long haul trucker.
As a former RCMP, he has investigative skills. I thought that with the murder
and subplot of searching for a runaway teen, there was plenty of story. It was
distracting to bring in so much information and detail about Sorry, the reserved
trucker, for example. The whole father epiphany and their interaction added
nothing to the main or secondary plots, and felt like 'filler'.