Author – Alexandra Sokoloff
Published – 2012
Genre – Thriller
When I reviewed The Distance by Helen Giltrow I commented on how unusual it is to find a thriller written by a woman so it may seem odd to be reviewing another so soon. But where The Distance was along more traditional spy thriller lines, Huntress Moon feels more like a cross between a police (well FBI) procedural and a thriller.
FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke witnesses the sudden death of one of his undercover agents. The death appears to be an accident but Roarke noticed a woman at the scene, someone that he felt he had a connection to, and he becomes a little obsessed with her presence there. Searching for an explanation for the agent’s death he focuses on the mysterious woman and quickly finds that she, or someone matching her description, has figured in the deaths of at least two other men in two other states. The information he has access to is sparse, so he hits the road to talk to the other investigators first hand.
As Roarke is pursuing his investigation we’re introduced to the woman herself. We know that she is fleeing the scene of the death but her motivation is kept hidden from the reader until well into the book; the author uses the present tense for the ‘huntress’ character which works well to conceal her thinking and plans.
Rather than detailed police work the investigation depends on hunches and gut feelings and even hints at supernatural explanations, but everything is explained rationally although not necessarily explicitly. When I went back to check the book to write my review there were a few occasions which made me go ‘of course’ as everything fell into place – so pay attention! Although the action takes place over just a few days there’s a backstory which dates back many years and it’s here that the reader is rewarded with the explanations for the behaviour of both the main characters. I also learnt a lot about the prevalence (or lack of) of female serial killers.
Sokoloff has created two very engaging characters and it’s hard to choose who you want to emerge triumphant from the chase. As well as clever plotting and great characterisation I also enjoyed the descriptions, especially of the landscape. While it didn’t intrude on the pace of the book it was enough to give me a vivid picture of places I’ve never visited.
Huntress Moon is the first in a series of books featuring Agent Roarke which explains the loose ends left at the end, so it won’t be long before I start the sequel Blood Moon. You can see some other points of view on Vicky’s blog and Lizzy’s. Many thanks to the author for the review copy of the book.