Follow Here To Purchase Hunter's Escape

Author: J.C. Hager

Publisher: Greenstone Publishing

ISBN: 978-09797546-3-0

Once again J.C. Hager roams into thriller territory with his Hunter's Escape where his two heroes, Matt Hunter and his young bride, Tanya are characters we can easily root for as they overcome adversity while experiencing some riveting suspenseful situations along the way. And while worrying about the couple, we also tag along with them on their honeymoon which proves to be quite an unexpected chilling voyage.

The opening scene of the narrative places us in the middle of an escape where four men are attempting to flee from the tyranny of Cuba in a battered catamaran. Unfortunately, only one of the escapees manages to survive the ordeal, the other three are not as lucky.

The tale subsequently shifts to the wedding ceremony of Matt and Tanya, which doesn't exactly unfold in the way it might have been planned and this is due to the presence of some very unsavory characters who were planning to kill a friend of the family, - an important Russian Mafia crime boss known as Webb. Nonetheless, after some delay, the couple celebrate their nuptials and proceed to the reception welcoming their guests and receiving gifts.

One of the gifts turns out to be an expensive-looking telescope given to the newlyweds by a friend of theirs, Edward, an investigator with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Matt and Tanya couldn't fathom why they were given a telescope and if there were any strings attached coming from the DEA?

The honeymoon is to be a five or six hundred mile voyage that would take Matt and Tanya towards Mexico- an area that is rife with traffickers in narcotics and people, and a mixture of some just plain psychotic killers.

While on the boat, Matt and Tanya open up the letter from their DEA friend Edward and it contains four single-page sheets each with several mug shots of some very scary people describing their histories, convictions, suspicions, known associates, aliases, outstanding scars, tattoos or features. Three of these outlaws were Mexican with million- dollar rewards for each, the fourth, a Colombian, had a five million-dollar bounty on his head. As we discover, the latter turns out to be Morgan Morales (Momo), a very dangerous powerful gangster from the Mexican State of Quintana Roo, and as Matt remarks, he makes their Russian gangster friend Webb look like a “Sunday School teacher.”

Matt and Tanya contact Edward via the GPS that was built into the telescope case and Edward requests that they report on the activities of Morales but at the same time to keep a low profile due to the extreme danger this man poses.

During their voyage, Matt and Tanya, acting as good Samaritans, rescue the surviving and badly injured Cuban, Alberto from a shot-up raft and head to Mexico for medical assistance. Unfortunately, they meet up with a bunch of Morales' Mexican gang members who hijack them when they try to leave their marina. Fortunately, they manage to overpower them and escape. US navy vessels arrest the Mexicans, however, Morales, upon learning what happened, is not too thrilled and vows revenge.

The next leg finds Matt and Tanya winding up in a Cuban prison, which, as we discover, is not exactly a Club Med. In addition, some of their other experiences include not only involving themselves with Russian crimes bosses and DEA people but also being fired upon by a helicopter, attacked by a prisoner they befriend while being incarcerated in Cuba, fuel shortage, threat of a naval inspection and some other goodies in a menacing world. which all make for quite a yarn in keeping the reader hostage.

Although this was quite a yarn in keeping me hostage, I believe it could have delivered a better punch if Hager concentrated on building more tension during the first half of the book, particularly with Matt and Tanya's encounter with Morales and his goons. Raising the stakes is one of the basic principles that is essential to making any story more powerful and in this case the suspense and reader's anxiety would have been redoubled had more attention been paid to showing how unlikely the escape of Matt and Tanya seemed from the clutches of Morales. Only in the latter part of the book did I actually feel tension where Matt and Tanya were put through hell in their suffering in a Cuban prison. It was here where the principal characters of the novel were pushed to the edge and their personal stakes were likewise pushed to the limit. Nonetheless, Hager shows great promise and I look forward to hearing more from him.

Follow Here To Read Norm's Interview With J.C. Hager

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