The Hunters: Financed by a billionaire philanthropist, this elite team – an ex-soldier, an historian, a computer whiz, a weapons expert, and a thief – is tasked with finding the world’s most legendary treasures.
The mission: Fearing a German victory in WWI, the Romanian government signed a deal with Russia to guarantee the safety of the country’s treasures. In 1916, two trains full of gold and the most precious possessions of the Romanian state – paintings, jewellery, and ancient artefacts – were sent to the underground vaults of the Kremlin. But in the turmoil of war, the treasure was scattered – and lost. Almost a century later, the haul is valued at over 3.5 billion dollars. Despite hundreds of attempts to find it, its location has remained a mystery… Until now.
Can the Hunters find the treasure and succeed where all others have failed?
What do you get when you combine an Indiana Jones type adventure, a Russian Monk known for his madness, the Carpathian mountains in Romania, the “A Team”, a group determined to succeed at all costs and a dash of history thrown in for good measure – easy –The Hunters by Chris Kuznesky.
The Hunters marks a brand new series from the bestselling author and man is this one an impressive read! Incredibly compelling the book urges you to turn the pages and when one chapter ends you find yourself willing the next one to begin so you can continue on the journey -this is one special journey that’s for sure. I’ve not had the pleasure to read anything by Chris Kuzneski before – and can’t comment on his previous novels – but if you’re like me then this is the perfect place to begin! I do know that I now want to experience his back catalogue!
A multi layered plot with more than enough twists and turns to satisfy the most discerning of adventure lovers the book reads at a dramatic and rapid pace. Blending two main storylines the author somehow manages to keep the reader glued to the pages and the combination of history telling and adventure works well.
Apart from strong characterisation – I’ll get to that in a second – the thing that captivated me more than anything was the atmospheric and dramatic scenery the author introduces the reader to throughout the book. I truly felt part of the brutal and unforgiving mountain scenery, the woodland and all the secrets it held and the harsh and deserted Romanian streets in 1916. I felt part of the book and found myself daydreaming about travelling along the very tracks our intrepid group of adventurers found themselves travelling. I could close my eyes at any point and imagine I was enveloped in the harsh landscape and at the same time prisoner to the chilling temperatures – you can’t ask for more than that in a book.
Friday, December 15, 1916
The biggest theft in modern history didn’t occur at a bank. It happened in a train station in the dead of night, under the watchful gaze of armed soldiers.
Amazingly, no one knew it was a robbery until years later.
And by then, the treasure had vanished again.
It was miserably cold as Béla Dobrev left the three-story building where he and his wife lived in a small, second-floor apartment. The streets were empty at this late hour, and the wind from the northeast carried the damp, dreadful smell of the Prut River. He pulled his new wool scarf higher on his face, over his full moustache to the bridge of his nose. He was grateful his wife had given him this Christmas gift early. The winter was unforgiving, the odors of sewage even worse. At least in the summer the winds tended to blow from the south.
Characterisation is key in any book, especially in one that heralds in a new series and in The Hunters the author certainly does that. The protagonist – Jack Cobb – is a former soldier with a leadership quality few possess. Commanding an elite group consisting of an historian, a computer whiz, a weapons expert, and a thief is no mean feat but he manages to get everyone working as a finely tuned unit despite the fact they’d never met.
It’s hard not to like these characters and there wasn’t one I found superfluous to the story and apart from Cobb there was one character who stood out for me – the aging Andrei Dobrev – who really adds something special to the book. Suffice to say I won’t divulge any secrets but he adds so much depth and passion for his craft to the book that you can’t help liking him!
The ending is open ended as you would expect from the first in a new series but it is accomplished, solid and very well done. It certainly leaves you wanting to know what happens and what the next adventure holds. Before I forget props for the jacket cover, I simply love the cover and its texture – the gold coin a wonderful touch!
A remarkable book The Hunters is quite clearly one of my favourite books I’ve read in the last few months. It’s books like this that makes me glad I love adventure thrillers, a genre that is fast becoming my favourite! I for one can’t wait for the next adventure.
- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Headline (3 Jan 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0755386477
- ISBN-13: 978-0755386475