HUNTER: A Thriller

Hunter A Thriller - Robert Bidinotto The story begins with a sting to capture a traitorous CIA chief. Annie Woods was the analyst that uncovered his activities and was responsible for bringing him down. Her efforts gain her the attention of Grant Garrett, a reknowned agent heading up a special intelligence division in Langley, who asks her to join his team. When an assassination takes place at a highly secretive safe house location, Grant and Annie realize they have another insider at large. The beginning of this story really piqued my interest and I was prepared to settle into an intriguing espionage-type thriller. However, it quickly segued to a vigilante style killing in the Washington, DC area. The victim was responsible for a brutal crime where he was able to get off easy because of his juvenile status. The victim had been the focus of a recent article written by a mysterious writer named Dylan Hunter. As Hunter releases more articles highlighting other offenders receiving light or no sentences for heinous crimes, the subjects start dropping like flies as a result of the vigilante killer. In the meantime, Annie and Dylan, who meet through a mutual relationship, embark on a personal, passionate love affair. It soon becomes clear that there is a clear delineation in this story of who is considered good and those evil. The legal and criminal justice system is indicted here, with those that are part of the system that provides aid and support to defendants in the evil column and law enforcement on the good side. My issue isn't with the position taken about an obviously flawed system but with the absolute sense of imbalance in portrayal of the players. It was impossible to avoid the underlying political agenda of the story and it interfered with me being able to rationally evaluate the point of view. And, the shameless celebration of the vigilante killer seemed to undermine that point of view. By the end of the story, I was frustrated, disappointed and glad to escape the diatribe. I'm big on law and order and have little tolerance for a perpetrator's circumstances leading up to their commitment of crimes. But, I also recognize that all those involved in the system of protection and rehabilitation of those accused of a crime aren't blinded to the realities of their clients. This story doesn't attempt to provide realistic characterizations and ends up with oblique parodies that I found offensive. I was unable to ignore what I know to be true to suspend belief for this story. The writer missed an opportunity to more effectively sway the reader to his point of view and fails to engage the reader more positively. I was turned off by this story and regret having read it. It doesn't invite meaningful discourse about our system of justice but celebrates a different kind of criminal behavior. I regret having bought the book and read this story.