Picks and Pans Review: The Hunt Club
by Bret Lott
When you hear the handle creaking as a thriller winds down, you can't help remembering how smoothly it was cranked up; all it took was a dead body and some brave or foolish soul who asked too many questions.
In this case, the soul is Huger Dillard, a scrawny white teenager with wing-nut ears who's upset because his blind, beloved Uncle Leland is the prime murder suspect. Huger's ally is a beautiful deaf-mute black girl who is a computer whiz. The backdrop, a hunt club on the South Carolina coast, is ideal for spooky chase sequences—and a plum for greedy developers. Veteran novelist Lott knows how to paint a scene and animate his characters. The action is crisp and credible. But this is his first thriller, and all the plot's mysteries are explained in a series of wooden soliloquies by dying characters. Lott needs to squirt some oil on that handle. (Villard, $23)
Bottom Line: Just a little off target
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