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The Hunt Club by John Lescroart
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The Hunt Club (2006)

by John Lescroart

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In The Hunt Club, John Lescroat starts off with a new series also set in San Francisco, this time featuring private investigator Wyatt Hunt and homicide detective Devin Juhle. Both have troubled pasts and are part of a group called The Hunt Club. They are investigating the murder of a federal judge and his young girlfriend. Hunt and Juhle complement each other in their investigational techniques. Hunt is unconventional and on the edge, while Juhle is analytical and has law enforcement resources at his disposal.

Lescroat does a solid job in this novel, which doesn’t come as a surprise, since he is a strong technical writer. The problem is that there is just nothing spectacular about it. It’s just all right, something to pass the time but there’s not enough there to get overly excited about. It’s the type of novel that you’ll completely forget about a year later.

Carl Alves – author of Blood Street ( )
  Carl_Alves | Apr 26, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book. Lescroart's The Hunt Club is a well-paced, well-structured, well-written detective story that maintains an ever-increasing level of suspense, effective red herrings, and a believable cast of characters.

A federal judge and a young woman are found shot in the judge's home. Problem: the judge is married, but not to the young woman, who isn't who she apparently claimed to be. Then a popular lawyer-turned-TV-court-analyst goes missing (presumed dead), and she just happened to be working with the judge in an effort to dissolve the dysfunctional California Correctional Peace Officer Association (prison-guard union). Enter Wyatt Hunt, P.I., who happens to have just started a relationship with the popular lawyer.

Without ever losing sight of the fact that this is a murder mystery, The Hunt Club manages to be easy-going and breezy (except when it needs to be serious). Lescroart does an excellent job of creating good characters, likeable good-guys, excellent narration. He has, in particular, a real skill for creating effective dialogue - in particular, the banter between friends and associates.

You cannot do better than this for a good summer read. ( )
  jpporter | Jun 26, 2012 |
Very enjoyable alternate - though related - cast of characters in this Lescroart mystery. Wasn't too into the "thriller" ending, but maybe that's just me. ( )
  cherilove | Jun 18, 2011 |
Essentially, this book is a 4 hour Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode -- you hang on to find out whodunit and how the good guys are going to nab them. The good guys use illegal techniques to nab them and the bad guys still go to jail in the end.

I wish I had read this book when it was first released because it had a "Great Read Guarantee" attached; I would have liked to have tested that and written in with my disappointment. I didn't think it was a GREAT read by any stretch! It was good ... I'd give it that. It certainly did not deserve an Acknowledgment at the end from the author!!

I did, however, loss the book towards the very end and I was really disappointed because I wanted to find out how it ended and who had done the murders!! Thankfully, I did find it ... ( )
  Adrianne_p | Jun 29, 2010 |
John Lescroart starts a new series with The Hunt Club, set in the same universe -- even the same San Francisco, and around same police department -- as his Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky books. While it is written with competence, The Hunt Club is disappointing. It lacks Lescroart's usual tension, despite a possible kidnap victim for whom the clock is ticking down. It almost seems as if Lescroart is getting bored with his own writing.

The hero of The Hunt Club is Wyatt Hunt, a San Francisco private investigator. The book traces his career from his work with Child Protective Services -- some of the more harrowing and interesting scenes in the book concern this work, but they're nothing but preface -- to his decision to hang out his own shingle. With his connections to Dismas Hardy and his law firm, the PI venture is a success from the very beginning. It doesn't hurt that Hunt has a strong connection to the police department in the person of Devin Juhle, a homicide inspector.

The real plot of the book starts about 50 pages in, when a federal judge is found shot dead in his home study -- along with his young and beautiful lover. Shortly thereafter, Andrea Parisi, a gorgeous attorney who has been reporting on a local trial for Trial TV disappears. The police start to wonder if Parisi, who has just become a strong romantic interest for Hunt, wasn't the one who killed the judge and his lover. Motive? She was the judge's mistress before the dead woman was.

But there are plenty of other suspects, from the judge's wife (who had been unaware of his infidelities) to the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, a union of prison guards (over which the judge had been about to exert federal control due to a variety of abuses, from the mundane financial scams to hideous, torturous treatment of prisoners). The story of the CCPOA could have been very interesting indeed, had Lescroart chosen to develop it; but he does not.

And this is true of much of the book: interesting subplots seem about to erupt, but then bubble down again. Not only the CCPOA itself seems like an interesting story, but so does the lawyer who is conflicted about representing the CCPOA, to the tune of millions of dollars in billable work each year. The involvement of Trial TV seems interesting, but is merely a sidebar. There are many ideas here, and many books that could have been written really exploring some of them. But instead, The Hunt Club soon devolves into an almost dead case, with the police suspecting that Parisi did it and then jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, while Hunt refuses to believe it and keeps looking. Even this doesn't sound like it should be boring; a race against time to find a possible victim of kidnapping should be edge-of-the-seat stuff. But Lescroart loses his way with pages of introspection from one character, agonizing by another character, and the ambitions of a third. By page 400 one is longing for the finish, but that's still far, far away.

To read some prime Lescroart, try The First Law. That's a good one. This one isn't. ( )
  TerryWeyna | Jun 11, 2009 |
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"You think you know yourself until things start happening,
until you lose the insulation of normality."
—Robert Wilson, A Small Death in Lisbon
Dedication
To Justine Rose Lescroart,
daughter of my heart
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From the outside, the large four-story San Francisco apartment building on Twenty-second Avenue near Balboa in the Richmond District was well kept up, but I had seen that before when I'd been called on complaints, and by itself it meant nothing.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451220102, Mass Market Paperback)

At first, The Hunt Club had a membership of one: private investigator Wyatt Hunt. Since then, others have joined with a common interest in obtaining justice. One member, inspector Devin Juhle, has just caught a major case: the shooting of a sixty-three-year old federal judge and his twentysomething mistress...

While Juhle works, Hunt plays, hooking up with TV star and legal analyst Andrea Parisi. But before Hunt knows it, Juhle's case will be of great interest to the members of The Hunt Club. Especially to Hunt himself-as Andrea's card is found in the wallet of one of the victims.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the aftermath of a federal judge's murder, homicide inspector Devin Juhle discovers that the victim had powerful enemies, a mistress, and unsettling ties to a woman with whom Devin's best friend has fallen in love.

» see all 4 descriptions

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