The Harvestman is back! And determined to wreak revenge on Joe Hunter.

When Rink is ambushed by a team of highly skilled killers, Joe is pretty sure his friend is being used as bait. And the intended prey is Hunter himself.

Joe has to go ‘off radar’ to rescue his friend. Their deadly game of cat and mouse reaches its climax on the rusty hulk of The Queen Sofia – a container ship used by human traffickers – moored off the North Carolina coast where Joe’s ex-sister-in-law is being held hostage.

Against overwhelming odds, and amid a ferocious storm, Joe comes face to face with his old enemy Tubal Cain.

Dead Men's Harvest (Joe Hunter 6)

Dead Men's Harvest (Joe Hunter 6)

Phil Collins said it best when he sang the 1984 hit – number 1 in the US billboard chart and 2 in the UK (kept out by Lionel Richie’s “Hello”) – Against All Odds, better known as the Harvestman, Tubal Cain’s return will surprise Joe Hunter fans but one thing is for sure, he’s back with a thirst for revenge and a desire for blood – or should that be digits, but let’s face it Cain isn’t particular! There’s something about Cain this time around; he’s always been a despicable character but I found myself being sucked into his mentality, enjoying his crazy demeanour while he ponders the fate of his latest victims and re establishes himself in society.

Dead Men’s Harvest is the fifth book I’ve read from Matt Hilton – the sixth in the long standing series featuring the enigmatic action man Joe Hunter – and although showing signs of ageing disgracefully I see no reason why Hunter should hang up his boots just yet! He still has what it takes to take on the bad guys and does it with such assurance that very few would question his credentials, and if they did he’d soon set them straight! One of the things I’ve enjoyed over the last year is discovering who Joe Hunter is and what he stands for. Matt Hilton has done a great job of shaping his protagonist over the series and little by little, book by book, he adds subtle nuisances adding depth and colour to a character and an errableness that makes him believable and realistic.

As many of you will know the last couple of years has all been about fitness for me, regaining a level of health I once experienced in my twenties! It’s been a long struggle but I’m now at a level I am happy with. Why am I telling you this? Well, I’ve discovered a new way of measuring how good or engrossing a book is by reading and cross training at the same time! Although in its infancy – and putting aside the fact that men aren’t supposed to multi task – I’m impressed with the results so far. Reading Dead Men’s Harvest on the cross trainer last night I was surprised to discover that I’d been reading for 53 minutes before I drew breath and realised just how long I had been on the machine. I continued for another 25 minutes and put the book to one side. I can’t think of a better way to test how good a narrative is than reading in a packed out gym with music blaring through a variety of speakers! Dead Men’s Harvest certainly passed the gym test!

Published by Hodder Dead Men’s Harvest is available in Hardback & Kindle

In Blood and Ashes, Joe Hunter’s fifth adventure, Hilton introduced a certain insecurity and fallibility to Hunter’s character and although the insecurity has gone, the errors are still there and trust – or lack thereof – is at the forefront of this adventure. Running around the country as he attempts to stop The Harvestman from killing his brother John and his sister in law, Hunter begins to question loyalty from those he’d taken for granted over the years.

One of the questions most people ask when they come across a series six books in is – can I pick up the book with no previous Joe Hunter knowledge? The answer is unequivocally yes. Don’t get me wrong, joining the series from book one always affords a deeper understand of – in this example – Hunter’s back-story but Hilton does incredibly well not to alienate new readers by continuing to offer titbits relevant to the matter at hand without – at the same time – seemingly going over old ground for readers who have been with Hilton from the beginning.

Called in to right a wrong and save the day, our hero does it with aplomb but as with all good novels things never go quite to plan. Hunter faces enemies old and new but he’s never sure which direction the next challenge will come from – Hilton throwing a few twists and turns in for good measure – but together with Rink and Harvey the trio do their best to come out on top. Did I mention the cliff-hanger ending? No? Well now I have but to learn more you’ll have to read the book!

A sharp and fluid narrative, Dead Men’s Harvest is unquestionably a welcome addition to the Joe Hunter stable. Complete with car chases, helicopters, private jets and numerous kills, Dead Men’s Harvest is no exception to the formulaic action genre. Entertaining and escapist it most certainly is – just the ticket when the nights are beginning to draw in, highly recommended.

Published by Hodder Dead Men’s Harvest is available in Hardback & Kindle

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