Friday, October 31, 2008
Justice For All (Zac Hunter) by Steven Hague
Steven Hague proves he uses his inspirations with great skill. With this first offering he manages to marry successfully the twists and turns of Harlan Coben with the feeling of authenticity and mood of Michael Connelly.
Ex-cop Zac Hunter beat the crap out of a suspect child killer / molester. While out of the job he still won’t let the case of this killer rest however. Helping him out along the way is an aging detective (my favourite character in the book)..
There’s also a Russian vigilante killer who dishes out violent justice to various unsavoury characters and a female lawyer who seems to be more than meets the eye.
All these characters cross paths in this exciting tale of vengeance.
During the course of the novel we begin to see that Zac may be an unrelenting champion of justice but is by no means a ruthless vigilante. Pitting him against a killer that is one is a great choice for a first novel in this series. It makes sure you don’t mistake Zac for a Punisher (Marvel Comics) or Executioner (Don Pendleton’s novels) kind of character. These are thrillers / crime novels, not mindless, action-packed men’s adventures. So the movie version would star Mark Wahlberg, not Steven Seagal.
Zac Hunter is THE loner, the epitome of the character Dashiel Hammett invented with the Continental Op. He has no private life to speak of but a thirst for justice and the truth that makes him the ultimate detective.
I really enjoyed this one. Not only was I satisfied with the writing style, direct but not written as a documentary, characters that might become larger than life but still ended up as feeling very real, a satisfying amount of action and lots of surprises and plot twists. Also, as a Dutch writer who has decided to set his series in the same city (L.A.) as British writer Steven I must compliment him on his excellent research. I know how tough it can be sometimes.