cover image The Hunter

The Hunter

Tana French. Viking, $32 (480p) ISBN 978-0-593-49343-4

Edgar winner French’s slow-burn sequel to 2015’s The Searcher underlines her knack for setting and character development. Teenager Trey Reddy is less than pleased by her ne’er-do-well father Johnny’s unexpected return to the small Irish village of Ardnakelty to execute a get-rich-quick scheme he believes will finally enable him to provide for his family. On a recent visit to a London pub, Johnny claims to have spoken up when a stranger asked whether anyone present was from Ardnakelty; the man, Cillian Rushborough, then revealed to him that the village was home to a hidden trove of gold. Johnny’s account is met with skepticism from Cal Hooper, the ex-Chicago cop who retired to the village and became a surrogate father to Trey after the events of The Searcher. Cal’s suspicion proves warranted, and Rushborough’s subsequent arrival in Ardnakelty sets in motion a series of crimes, including a murder, that upend Cal’s and Trey’s once peaceful existence. While this isn’t quite up to French’s best—the gears of the plot take too long to start turning—it’s a pleasure to spend time with her finely drawn characters, and the murder investigation, when it finally gets underway, has impressive scope. This may be a step down from its predecessor, but it’s still a cut above similar fare. Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary. (Mar.)