Seek and Destroy – ARC review of “Trained to Hunt” by Simon Gervais

“Trained to Hunt” has my mind spinning with a dilemma, which is how to present an honest and fair review of a novel I struggled to finish. The second book in Simon Gervais’ Pierce Hunt series is an action-adventure thriller that finds Hunt and his buddy Carter in Venezuela and Afghanistan. Since I didn’t read the first book of the series some vital information was either missing or the author assumed all readers of the second in a series had read the first book. Not true. It took me all the way to Chapter 25 before the author revealed Leila’s age. I was trying to get a bead on her level of brattiness and age should be factored in and acknowledged. Pierce Hunt is a complex tortured soul who can kill with swift brutality and folds into a sniveling mass of humanity when faced with the possibility of disappointing his daughter, yet again.

The plot is overlong and especially brutal in its depiction of stereotypical South American revolutionary military and paramilitary forces of drug cartels, crime lords, corrupt politicians, and your run-of-the-mill bad guys. The dialogue frequently lacks authenticity, as do some of the situations. That said, I did get caught up in a few of the intense fire-fighting scenes. From a grammatical standpoint Gervais needs to learn how to avoid the dangers of “dangling construction”. All told, “Trained to Hunt” is an okay read, sure to be adored by those looking for action-adventure types but somewhat lacking for those with higher expectations. My thanks to Net Galley for providing an ARC (AdvanceReadersCopy) for an honest and unpaid review. “Trained To Hunt” is scheduled for release on 24 September 2019. Three stars.

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