Hunter's Moon, by David Devereux (Gollancz, 2007)

Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary solutions. In England, one such solution is the operative known only as Jack, who describes himself as “a musician by choice, a magician by profession, and a bastard by disposition.” When the shadowy government agency he works for needs something done right, no matter how dirty or nasty the job, Jack gets the call. From demons to druids, cultists to terrorists, he’s left a trail of bodies, buried so deep no one will ever find the evidence. And he’s about to take on a really nasty sort of case.

Partnered with a woman he only knows as Annie, he’s sent to investigate a group of radical feminists who plan to assassinate the Prime Minister. Jack goes undercover as Annie’s boyfriend, even as she’s tapped to infiltrate their inner circle and determine just how deep a plot is afoot. But as the mission progresses, things get messy, and before he knows it, Annie’s gone native thanks to the group’s brainwashing techniques. Now Jack’s got to rescue his colleague and foil the assassination. He’ll stop at absolutely nothing to succeed, heedless of the cost in lives and souls. But how much is too much, to preserve the country he loves?

Hunter’s Moon is an intense, no-holds-barred, nonstop excursion through some extremely dark corners of the soul and the landscape. Jack himself is a hardcore, badass son-of-a-bitch drawn straight from the Jack Bauer (24) school of thought, utilizing brutal, merciless techniques to get the job done. From assault to kidnapping, torture to seduction, it doesn’t seem as though Jack balks at anything when it comes to doing his job, rationalizing it all away as the price required to preserve the greater peace. In the world of secret agencies, shadow organizations, mysterious societies and renegade cults, it takes a stone-cold killer to succeed. And even then, the bad guys nearly get the drop on him, with their own unique blend of talents and techniques.

David Devereux, a self-proclaimed paranormal expert and exorcist, certainly imbues this story with a dark sort of passion and energy, granting Hunter’s Moon a morbidly compelling appeal. It’s dark and unrelenting, and more than a little disturbing in places. It’s well-written and fast-paced, a hell of a story in its own right, but it definitely draws from a different set of inspirations and tones than your average urban fantasy. Honestly, it seems to straddle a grey line between dark fantasy and horror; take out the fantasy elements and you have yourself a modern-day Bondesque thriller. I really enjoyed Hunter’s Moon, but there’s no doubt that it left an impression that’ll last well after finishing the book. I daresay I’ll be on the lookout for the sequel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>