I’ve been in the mood for mystery/suspense lately. Even a little bit of horror. When I read the blurb for The Red Hunter I was intrigued almost immediately:
What is the difference between justice and revenge? In this buzzworthy new thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, two wronged women on very different paths find themselves in the same dark place…
Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house—one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets.
For Zoey Drake the defining moment of her childhood was the horrific home invasion murder of her parents. Years later, she has embraced the rage that fuels her. Training in the martial arts has made her strong and ready to face the demons from the past—and within.
Strangers to each other, and walking very different paths in the wake of trauma, these two women are on a collision course—because Zoey’s past nightmare and Claudia’s dreams for her future take place in the very same house. As Zoey seeks justice, and Claudia seeks peace, both will confront the monsters at the door that are the most frightening of all.
As you can see this is the story of two women who have lived through horrific trauma and the house that connects them. Having never read Lisa Unger before I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised that not only was this a suspenseful read, but a multi-layered story that easily flashes back and forth between past and present while giving many POVs.
I connected with each of these characters and understood their motivations. Zoey with her need for vengeance and answers who by day maintains a low-key existence, only to morph into a hunter of bullies by night. Claudia who countered her terrible assault by openly talking about her feelings and is hoping the renovation of the rundown house left to her by her father will grant her and her daughter a measure of peace. Claudia’s daughter, Raven, who isn’t sure of her paternity and needs to find out once and for all whether her father is the wonderful man who raised her or the monster who raped her mother. You might think being in the heads of so many different characters with such different ways of coping would be confusing, but it only led me to wonder what I would do in their situations.
Full of twists and turns, The Red Hunter kept me enthralled from the first page right up until the explosive conclusion. This was my first read by Lisa Unger, but it won’t be my last. Definitely, recommend. Final grade-B
I knew her from the blog, her name, her history, her hopes for this house. I could have told her it wasn’t going to work. Some places don’t want to be renovated, some things can’t be fixed. For this house, for this history, maybe fire was a good thing.