The chase is on and the list of suspects is long and scary. But the most crucial element in this crime novel by Karen Robards is the overriding possibility that there is no plausible solution to the dilemma these characters have wound up in. As you read HUNTER you find yourself truly shaking your head wondering how they can ever survive this absolute mess. And that’s the beauty of this latest crime story set in New Orleans.

Have you ever visited New Orleans? Well take it from me, Karen Robards describes it to a T. Her locales are spot on and she masterfully captures the uniqueness of the locals.

New Orleans might not appreciate the seediness uncovered and exposed in HUNTER but for pure entertainment value they wouldn’t complain. I think?

One of the first things I recall from a recent visit to New Orleans is the reminder from the parish police department that although the street seem open all night you should exercise caution and use your head. This is a culture where it’s acceptable to drink out of a plastic cup basically anywhere as long as you are not driving. Of course that’s the abbreviated version but pretty eye opening.

Detective Reed Ware’s life has always been about being a cop and he’s been a good one even after somehow working through the heartbreak of the death of his young son. Perhaps this attachment to his son was the catalyst but there is no denying the connection Reed has with these two young boys whose own lives have been rather chaotic. These two brothers Holly and Ant are left alone when their mother is murdered supposedly in a drug related transaction. But they have Reed as their own sort of protector.

The world seems to erupt when Holly gets it in his mind that there was more to the shooting death of his mother. He can’t seem to let go and he somewhat accidentally uncovers some information that might connect a series of killings. The finger of suspicion dubiously pointed at none other than the NOPD.

Reed decides to investigate Holly’s suspicions and that’s when the world as Reed, Holly and Ant cease to exist.

Candidly they become hunted by well-connected sources and are forced to take extraordinary measures. That’s where we meet Caroline Wallace – a hostage negotiator who is at odds with her responsibility when called to action at a Christmas Gala. She is too intuitive to take what’s going on at face value. There must be more to the reason why a well-respected detective has decided to take the mansion as hostage. This is not how she remembered Reed the cop who had caught her eye many years ago and still held a special place in her heart.

Pretty soon the hunted become the hunter as the race is on for their safety, justice and dare we hope for a future.

Hot doesn’t even come close to describing the attraction between Reed and Caroline. But somehow they have to remain cool, smart and detached if they hope to come out of this monstrous mess intact.

Book Blurb for Hunted

’Twas the night before Christmas . . . and dozens of rich, influential hostages are trapped inside a sprawling lakefront mansion in New Orleans. The perp? Detective Reed Ware, model cop turned outlaw. After receiving a panicked call from Hollis “Holly” Bayard, a teenage street tough with a penchant for amateur sleuthing who stumbles upon the scene of a drug-deal-turned- murder, Ware finds his and his friend’s lives in dire danger. The crime Holly witnessed could be the biggest police cover-up this side of New Orleans—and no one’s talking. Driven to desperate measures to uncover the truth, Ware stages a coup at a Christmas party for the New Orleans elite, including the mayor, the council chairman, the sheriff, and the superintendent of police, who just happens to be hostage negotiator Caroline Wallace’s estranged father.

Cool, calm, controlled. That’s Caroline’s reputation. But when she’s brought in to talk Ware off the proverbial ledge, she realizes no amount of false promises is going to placate this man, who looks even hotter than he did years ago when seventeen-year-old Caroline tried to seduce him. It was his duty to protect her family then. Now it’s her turn . . . if she can think fast enough over the pounding of her heart.

When Caroline becomes wrapped up in the drama, it’s clear the sizzling tension she shared with Ware never let up. And the harder she tries to defuse the situation, the more she begins to wonder whose side she’s really on.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2014 4.00