My first book by Lisa Unger sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go. I’ve had Ink and Bone on my TBR, even planning to read it earlier this month, but didn’t have the time to start it. I’m thrilled I was able to begin with The Red Hunter instead. This book will be sticking with me for a long time.
The story begins with two separate plots, seemingly unrelated, and two women (Zoey and Claudia) who have both faced their own horrors. One uses her past to fuel her drive for revenge and the other finds strength in sharing her history with the world through her blog. As the women work to come to terms with their traumas in their individual ways, simultaneously trying to uncover mysteries buried years ago, their paths diverge, forcing them to face the good and evil of the world head on.
From the get-go of this story, I was blown away with Unger’s writing. Her fingers type gold. There are writers and there are storytellers, and Lisa Unger is gifted in both facets. This story is layered with past perspectives, present moments, and alternating point of views, all seamlessly woven together to allow readers to feel thrilled, empathetic and maybe even worried for what the characters will face next. If the alternating perspectives seem confusing in the beginning, have no fear, it will all make sense in the end.
“When you plan revenge, you should dig two graves – one of them for yourself.”
Readers, be prepared for a kick-ass female perspective within this novel. There’s a darkness in me that was embraced while I read The Red Hunter: I love a female vigilante. Oftentimes our gender plays the victim role, and while that happens in this story, we get to see the tables turned as well. But Zoey comes to question whether revenge is all it is cracked up to be. Instead of finding herself in the vengeful acts, she might lose pieces of her soul along the way, forcing her to question if she should be the deciding factor of whether justice is enacted.
“You never do something to anyone without doing it to yourself.”
While Zoey is off kicking the crap out of people, Claudia is putting her demons to work for good through sharing her struggles in her writing. She discovers, however, that despite her “do-good” personality, she has made mistakes along the way, too. We are all flawed, doers of both good and bad. Lisa Unger shows us through this gritty novel that forgiveness and love can allow us to come to terms with the ugliness of humanity. These nuggets of wisdom are thrown in throughout the novel, making it something to savor and learn from, while being determined to figure out what will happen next.
I enjoyed this genre bending novel – a mix of crime, mystery, thriller, and even a hint of paranormal thrown into the fray. It was a different and welcome change from my normal reading experiences. I am officially a Lisa Unger fan and cannot wait to get my hands on more of her work. Be sure to pick up The Red Hunter, releasing tomorrow, April 25th!
Lots of Bookish Love,
Thank you to Touchstone: Simon and Schuster, along with the author, for providing 5171 Miles Book Blog an advanced copy to review for our readers.