Featured Review: ‘Trained to Hunt’ by Simon Gervais

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Trained to HuntAfter introducing readers to former Army Ranger turned Special DEA Agent Pierce Hunt in last year’s Hunt Them Down, Simon Gervais brings back his ass-kicking hero for another go-around and tons more action. 

Picking up several months after the events of the last book, the smoke has finally cleared and with it comes a whole bunch of changes for Hunt. For starters, Pierce is no longer officially with the DEA, a direct result of the carnage he caused by locking horns with the Black Toska cartel. Instead, he’s now working as a contractor and, after a lead causes him to walk right into an operation being run by the Central Intelligence Agency, Pierce joins forces with the CIA to form an elite unit of hunter-killers. 

Meanwhile, Hunt’s lover, Anna Garcia, the current head of the Garcia crime family, vows to legitimize her enterprise. But going straight has its own challenges, and when a new drug begins spreading across the country—killing teens and other victims at an alarming rate—the DEA pegs Garcia’s Miami-based Cartel as the distributers behind the deadly new PED. For Hunt, the problem is deeply personal for two reasons. For starters, he doesn’t believe Anna is capable of the charges levied against her. Secondly, and more tragically, perhaps, is the fact that his daughter’s boyfriend is one of many athletes who died after ingesting the drug. 

Leila, Pierce’s daughter, was a major focal point in the last book, and her physical and mental recovery takes a serious hit when her boyfriend dies. Vowing to avenge her loss, while simultaneously hoping to clear Garcia, Hunt sets out to do what he does best—collect clues, find the bad guys, and kill ’em all before any more damage can be done. But as things unfold, Pierce is forced to question everything, and ultimately, he realizes that nobody is worth trusting. With time tunning out and bad guys moving into position all around him, Hunt once again finds himself severely outgunned . . . and this time, he’ll have to find a way to turn the tables and fight back if he has any hope of making it out alive. 

From New Orleans to South America, Asia, and Miami, Simon Gervais takes readers on a hard-hitting Tour de France—delivering blow after blow, and twist after twist. While heavy emphasis is placed on the action—as it should be, considering his deep background in law enforcement that includes stops with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and later, a career as a federal agent—Gervais continues to flesh out his cast, doing a fine job developing them in between the gunfights and explosions. Likewise, he’s found ways to mix in more eye-popping descriptions that really help transplant readers to whatever setting Hunt is operating in at that moment, adding a little more sizzle to his fantastic sequel. Bottom line: Gervais has grown leaps and bounds since his debut, The Thin Black Line, dropped in 2015, and now, after two lights-out books, he stands among some of the best action-thriller novelists in the game today. 

Someone better tell Scot Harvath and Courtland Gentry to start making room at the top of the genre because Pierce Hunt is rocketing up the charts in a hurry, and Simon Gervais continues to show why his name belongs right there next to Brad Thor and Mark Greaney.

Book Details

Author: Simon Gervais
Series: Pierce Hunt #2
Pages: 319 (Paperback)
ISBN:1542004926
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer  
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10

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Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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