The Hunt Club

Bret Lott
Villard, 1998. 256pp
ISBN: 0-375-50014-6

review by Harriet Klausner

In South Carolina, fifteen year old Huger Dillard and his Unc Leland (who is blind) are escorting a hunting party of physicians on the family property, when they find a corpse whose head is nearly gone and whose hands have been skinned clean. A note accompanied the body, naming the victim as Charles Middleton Simons, MD; the culprit appears to be Charles' wife Constance; and even contains an aside written to Leland (who once dated her) not to blame her for the act.

Before long, Huger is going to grow up as he confronts transgressions and adversity amidst his family's love for one another. He will endure a concussion, his life will be threatened, and his mother Eugenie will be kidnapped. Apparently, the hunting doctors (who all belong to the same club) demand possession of the Dillard tract of land. As Huger, with the help of Unc, race to save Eugenie, they place themselves into further jeopardy.

Brett Lott is a critically acclaimed author, renowned for his fantastic family dramas that highlight problems that people face in today's society (Jewel and Reed's Beach, etc.). His latest novel, The Hunt Club, is a bit different and yet the same. This time Mr. Lott has wrapped his family drama inside a superb tale loaded with a lot of suspense. As always, the characters seem so genuine that readers will embrace them, especially the amateur sleuth odd couple of Huger and Unc. The story line is action-packed and constantly moves forward towards a suspense-laden conclusion. Though the villains occasionally provide Shakespearean soliloquies that seem out of place here, Mr. Lott provides the audience with a top rate suspense novel that is worth reading.

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