The Hunted Review
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I don’t normally label a book as “awesome,” but Wayne Barcomb’s The Hunted gets a triple-wow from me—because the ending shocked me right down to my toes.

As a child, Lucky witnesses a brutal murder—one that shapes her future in the worst way. She becomes a serial killer, stalking men who can’t normally attract a woman—especially an exceptional beauty like Lucky. Once her victim gets her back to his apartment and starts getting touchy-feely, she whacks him in the head with a wine bottle and beats her victim’s head on the floor until he’s dead. Then she shoves the neck of the bottle somewhere obscene. It’s meant to send a message, but it’s a message that only Lucky understands—along with one other person, who’s just been paroled and is looking to exact his revenge on Lucky, since her testimony convicted him of murder.

Detective Frank Russo is newly single and under a lot of pressure to solve a string of related murders. The killer leaves behind long strands of hair and the scent of Jean Nate, leading him to believe that the murderer is a woman. He suspects that she’s a prostitute, but anyone who’s seen the woman with the victim before he dies says that she doesn’t come across as a prostitute—and Jean Nate isn’t sexy enough for a hooker.

Author Wayne Barcomb skillfully weaves a tangled tale of revenge and silent rage, and The Hunted unfolds as an edgy, enthralling, can’t-wait-to-get-back kind of read.

Lucky is an unusual serial killer—not only because she’s a woman but also because you’ll find yourself empathizing with her. She just seems so lost and confused, and she’s still haunted by what happened when she was a child. It’s almost as if she’s not to blame for what she’s doing. That’s something I normally think is a bunch of bull, but it seems to work for this character.

Best of all, though, when the identity of the killer in The Hunted was revealed, I was so shocked that my mouth dropped open—and it stayed that way for at least ten minutes. I kept thinking, Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow, over and over. It’s such an awesome and unexpected ending, yet it’s completely plausible, too.

I don’t often like to compare authors, but, when it comes to thrillers, Wayne Barcomb ranks right up there with James Patterson. I highly recommend The Hunted, and I’m definitely getting in line for the next Detective Frank Russo police procedural.

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