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The Hunted Hare (2012)

by Fay Sampson(Favorite Author)
3.81 of 5 Votes: 5
0857212044 (ISBN13: 9780857212047)
Monarch Books
Aidan Mysteries
review 1: Imagine going on a much needed retreat. Life has been stressful and you’re accompanying a loved one who is dying of cancer. You expect to have a week of peace, with no doctors and no drama. The first day goes well; the hotel is mostly empty, and you can almost look past the annoying guest and the seemingly tense relationship between the owner and his niece. The following day, that same owner is found dead and the remainder of your stay becomes anything but peaceful; especially when your terminally ill relative is a main suspect.It’s hard to describe but this book has the most perfect flow. To give an example, it begins with a gentle drive along a narrow backcountry road and a conversation between family members. But when a car approaches from the other direction at bre... moreakneck speed, the pace of the narrative picks up to reflect the sudden danger. I love books like this. The Hunted Hare drew me in to its serene setting of a retreat center in rural Wales, but ignited tension where warranted such as when a young child goes missing. The child, Melangell, is a seven year old delight. She is often wise beyond her years, but she isn’t too old to forego the ritual of the bedtime story. She also speaks her mind, as a child is inclined to do. She charms everyone, including the arrogant Caradoc Lewis who treats any form of Christianity with distain. Her parents would like her to keep her innocent and trusting nature for as long as possible, but is such a thing possible?Thank you to Kregel Publications for my free copy of The Hunted Hare, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
review 2: Who done its are not my genre of choice, but it is always nice to stretch a bit. When I saw this book in the giveaways section it seemed a good time to take a chance.meh.The book gets two stars because of the author's obvious love of the setting. Pennant Melangell is a fascinating place and reading about it in this novel is more entertaining than a tourist brochure. The rest of the novel is one star all the way.The writing style is bare bones basic and not terribly interesting, which is not a problem in and of itself if the rest of the material weren't so lackluster. The protagonists are a professional photographer, his church historian wife who has late stage cancer, and their 7 year old daughter. This is an intriguing group to serve as the investigators in a series of mystery novels, but we really don't learn much about them as individuals that couldn't be summed up in a short paragraph or less. The mystery itself is grating. "Clues" are repeated endlessly to make sure the readers can follow the investigation. This is tedious, but acceptable if the novel were a "fair play" style of who done it. It is not. The identity of the murderer (or murderers) may be relatively easy to guess, but it is not possible to build a case beyond a reasonable doubt with the evidence given prior to the resolution of the novel. More infuriating than that, the protagonists flail about in their "investigation" from suspect to suspect, dismissing one and moving to another on no more information than she seems nice or he seems creepy. There is a wee bit of Pagan-phobia going on this novel, and anything that falls outside the norm of middle class English life is immediately a little suspect. The protagonists also have a tendency to fly off the handle over perceived dangers to themselves that common sense would dictate have little merit. To be fair, the characters aren't professional investigators of any sort, but I have a hard time imagining most people behaving in such a ridiculous manner.I won't post spoilers, even hidden ones, but suffice to say that the resolution is lackluster. The Hunted Hare did not even meet my expectations for the genre, much less the wider world of literature. My mother, who devours "who done its" at an astonishing rate, would no doubt be happy to rip through this one in an afternoon, but I don't think even she would really enjoy it. less
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3.5 Stars - well paced read.
Good fast read
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