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Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin
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Blood Hunt (1995)

by Ian Rankin

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Ian Rankin wrote three books under the pseudonym of Jack Harvey. I presume he used a pseudonym because these three books are quite a bit different from his John Rebus detective fiction. Nevertheless, they captivate the reader just as much as the books for which he is more famous.

Gordon Reeves now lives on an island in the Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland, and offers survival courses to men who want to be tough. He was a soldier in the elite SAS squad and knows a thing or two about survival. His brother, Jim, is a freelance journalist. Gordon doesn't know too much about Jim's work but that is about to change when he gets a call from a cop in San Diego saying his brother is dead. The death has been ruled a suicide but that just doesn't seem right to Gordon. He wants to see what Jim was working on but his laptop and notes have disappeared. There are some clues that it has to do with organophosphates, chemicals manufactured by Co-World Chemicals. Gordon suspects that Co-World (or CWC for short) had Jim killed to prevent him from exposing them. He is determined to investigate until he knows the truth. A sideways glance at a man in a car at his brother's funeral makes him think that he may be up against a man he thought was dead, a man who was also in the SAS. That ups the ante for him.

The action takes us from the US to London to France back to the US and finally to Scotland. I sure hope Reeves chalked up some frequent flyer points. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 5, 2018 |
I thought I'd won the lottery when I discovered a previously unheard-of novel by one of my favorites, Ian Rankin, on the shelf at the local library. Alas, Blood Hunt wasn't recent output by Rankin, but was actually written under a pen-name back in 1995. That would normally not be a problem, but the writing and plot were both well below the level of quality I've seen in his more recent work.

The story line itself was OK at a high level. A Brit journalist with personal problems was working on an incendiary story of some sort, but commits suicide on the US west coast. The circumstances seem a bit murky to his surviving brother, an ex-SAS guy who runs a survivalist training camp in Great Britain. It becomes his crusade to prove that his brother was murdered, and the remainder of the book is involved in that effort. As I mentioned, the writing was mediocre, but the real weakness was in the various sub-plots that impinged upon his search for truth. The conclusion was fairly contrived and the actual end of the book was very abrupt.

If you're new to Ian Rankin, start with the early novels in the Rebus series. The one thing Blood Hunt gave me was an appreciation for how much Rankin has grown as a writer. ( )
  gmmartz | Jun 21, 2016 |
An Audible book read by an excellent narrator. Not as good as Rankin's Rebus series, but an entertaining, fast-paced, far-fetched plot. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
A thriller with an entertaining and very realistic story. It keeps the reader occupied and tensed, but the book ends too quickly. The hero is an uncomplicated, but possibly not-too-well former soldier on a revenge-tour. There are very few moments when the reader fears that he might loose the battle. As he at last wins, there are no big surprises and picking up the pieces becomes a rather tedious affair.
  lestrond | Jul 4, 2015 |
Not Inspector Rebus this time. This is an older book – it says it was originally published in the UK under author name Jack Harvey. This edition was published in 2006.
Gordon Reeve runs training classes in Scotland for potential bodyguards, and probably mercenaries are other survivalist types. When his brother, a journalist, dies in San Diego, Gordon goes there and does not believe the official investigation results that give the cause of death as suicide. He starts investigating, and finds that he needs to follow through on the story that his brother was looking into when he died. This involves agribusiness, pesticides, and GM patents.
I enjoyed the book. It was well written as all Rankin's books that I've read have been. The characters and likable and there is a lot of good humor. ( )
  BillPilgrim | Mar 7, 2014 |
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Er stand am Rande des Abgrunds und starrte hinunter.
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It begins with a phone call. Gordon Reeve's brother has been found dead in his car in San Diego - the car was locked from the inside, a gun in his hand. In the US to identify the body Gordon comes to realise that his brother has in fact been murdered. What's more, it is soon obvious that his own life is in danger. Once back in Scotland he finds out that there have been more visitors than usual to his house and his home has been bugged by professionals. But Reeve is a professional too. Ex-SAS, he was half of a two-man unit with someone he came to fear, then to hate. It looks like his Nemesis is back. The horror has just begun.… (more)

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