It’s time to finish what he started… A young girl is snatched in broad daylight from outside her school and later found brutally murdered and hanging from a tree. When recently retired San Francisco Police Inspector, Bob Farrell, sees this on the news, he realises his worst nightmare has just come true. The same brutal killer a government agency stopped him from putting away twenty years before is once more on the loose. As the killer wreaks a trail of blood and destruction across North America, Bob Farrell sets out to track him down. But Farrell is not playing by the rules any more than the killer is, and soon the FBI have both of them in their sights…
Knowing my predeliction for reading crime books written by those who have experienced this world at first hand, Sean Lynch was an absolute find for me! With not only experience as an Infantryman in the US Army and a long career in law enforcement, Lynch is perfectly placed to imbue this novel, a brutal and bloody tale of the pursuit of a psychopathic killer, with a frighteningly accurate depiction of the essential natures of both killer and pursuer- and yes, this is definitely not one for the more nervous nellies among you, so be warned. Personally, I couldn’t fault this visceral, violent and completely enthralling thriller and here’s why…
Opening with the abduction of a young girl, resulting in the death of her teacher, and bringing the abductor into an altercation with an off-duty rookie cop, Kevin Kearns, Lynch instantly immerses us into a world of sickening violence, compounded by the later discovery of the child’s body in horrific circumstances. Kearns finds himself villified by his colleagues and the media with his failure to stop the initial abduction, setting him against the buttoned up and eminently dislikeable FBI agents who become involved in the case. Kearns is a great character, a subtle balance of naivity and grit, with an overwhelming compunction to nail this killer, who has bruised him mentally and physically. Throw into the mix, Bob Farrell, a grizzled retired police inspector and without a doubt one of my favourite characters of recent years, who recognising the traits of a killer who had slipped through his hands some years previously, takes Kearns on a road trip he will never forget in pursuit of one Vernon Slocum- abductor, murderer and psychopath supreme. Each member of this distinctly unholy trinity is brilliantly drawn and the interplay between Kearns and Farrell is particularly engaging, as eager beaver Kearns is constantly shown up by the cunning wiles of his older compatriot. Farrell is the archetypal ex-cop, a borderline alcoholic who smokes too much and has little personal life to speak of, but who possesses a great line in bare-faced cheek, thinking nothing of impersonating others and embarking on underhanded courses of action in a bid to apprehend Slocum. Equally our interpid duo’s prey, the wonderfully evil Slocum, is a great creation, utterly reprehensible, perverted and no stranger to the more creative punishments one human being can inflict on another. Cracking!
As the plot moves our three pawns in the story from one state to another, the pace is unrelenting and you will find yourself all too reluctant to draw away as this was one of those books that cries out ‘go on- one more chapter- you know you want to’. It definitely induces in the reader a slightly queasy fascination with a killer’s mind, whilst causing a quandary in us into the cause of nature vs nurture in the formulation of this particular killer’s psyche. Easily comparable in style and pace to writers like Chris Carter, Daniel Blake and Jack Kerley, Lynch is another welcome addition to the world of the serial killer thriller, and I for one can’t wait for the next bout of darkness and depravity hitting our shores next year!
Just like Bob Farrell, the main character in WOUNDED PREY, Sean Lynch is a real life recently-retired cop. He was born and raised in Iowa and migrated to Northern California s San Francisco Bay Area, where he served for nearly three decades as a municipal police officer. During his Law Enforcement career, Sean served as a Sector Patrol Officer, Foot Patrol Officer, Motorcycle Officer, Field Training Officer, S.W.A.T. Team Officer, Firearms Instructor, S.W.A.T. Team Sniper, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Juvenile/Sexual Assault Detective, and Homicide Detective. He concluded his career at the rank of Lieutenant and as Commander of the Detective Division. Find out more about Sean Lynch- and the more light-hearted aspects of his bio here: http://www.seanlynchbooks.com
Wounded Prey is published in the UK by Exhibit A Books 6.6.13
(I received Wounded Prey in Kindle-format courtesy of Exhibit A Books via www.netgalley.com )