Novelist Brian Haig's Sean Drummond series is one of my favorite reading events. With his latest novel however, Haig leaves Drummond behind and concentrates on a new lead character and a new set of events that are equally satisfying to read about. The Hunted is a fictional story based on a true story and as exciting as only real life inspired occurrences can be.
Alexander Konevitch and his wife Elena are living the good life in Russia. Only in their twenties, they have amassed a fortune that is staggering to conceive. They also have political connections with Yeltsin and access to the halls of power. But no one is too high not to be brought down and Konevitch has powerful enemies.
One, who is a former KGB agent, decides it is time to bring Alexander down so he can share his wealth so to speak. At this point Alex is kidnapped, tortured and threatened. Immediately he becomes a desperate man, and one on the run.
He eventually ends up in America where he thinks he will be safe but even there he has to watch his every step. Evil has a way of reaching across countries and even across oceans. It will take every trick and every rational thought Alex has to keep him and Elena safe. But can one man stand up to a host of enemies who get stronger every day?
The book starts out slowly - way too slowly. Maybe some of the background was necessary but only a devoted reader would slog through the history and events that precede Alex's capture. Still it is worth it when the story begins to take off. My advice, skim the first few pages and then settle down and read every word.
One of Haig's outstanding traits is cleverness. He can take the deadliest of situations and find a way to escape them, and make it all seem logical. Plus he can make even the most evil character come to life. He makes all of the people in his book three dimensional and that is a real asset.
Haig can also make his characters funny and do it naturally. There is a big difference between forced humor and natural humor and Haig knows the distinction. His writing style is similar to that of Nelson DeMille who I think is one of the funniest people in the universe.
If you are a fan of thrillers then THE HUNTED should be on your reading list. Haig may have overstretched the early background information, but once his story gets going it is a page turner and totally enjoyable. One recommendation, please read the Author's Note at the end for some further insight into the story.
THE HUNTED is published by Grand Central Publishing. It contains 453 pages and sells for $25.99.
Jackie K. Cooper