Review: The Hunters by Chris Kuzneski

Thursday 30 April 2015
Title: The Hunters
Author: Chris Kuzneski
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 3rd January 2013
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9780755386499
Source: Library
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
The Hunters: Financed by a billionaire philanthropist, this elite team - an ex-soldier, an historian, a computer whiz, a weapons expert, and a thief - is tasked with finding the world's most legendary treasures.

The mission: Fearing a German victory in WWI, the Romanian government signed a deal with Russia to guarantee the safety of the country's treasures. In 1916, two trains full of gold and the most precious possessions of the Romanian state - paintings, jewellery, and ancient artefacts - were sent to the underground vaults of the Kremlin. But in the turmoil of war, the treasure was scattered - and lost. Almost a century later, the haul is valued at over 3.5 billion dollars. Despite hundreds of attempts to find it, its location has remained a mystery... Until now.

Can the Hunters find the treasure and succeed where all others have failed?

The first thing that excited me about this series was that, unlike the majority of books in this genre, which usually have a male and female character against the world, this time around we have a billionaire philanthropist who has put together an elite team consisting of: an ex-soldier, a historian, a computer whiz, a weapons expert, and a thief, and is tasking them with locating some of the world's most legendary treasures.

I really enjoyed the opening to The Hunters which introduces us to a couple of the characters as they carry out a rather clever heist. The team don't always use their skills 'in the field' and so the ones getting their hands dirty are often being guided by the various 'experts' in the team from elsewhere in the world. Their mission is to find a haul of the precious possessions of Romania, sent to Russia for safe-keeping in 1916 and containing gold, paintings, jewellery and ancient artefacts. As is often the case, it isn't just this elite team that is hunting for the treasure, and it's not going to be easy to locate it. Are the hunters about to become the hunted?

I did find the book to be a bit long-winded at times, but luckily the action never lets up, as one expects from both this genre and an author with Chris Kuzneski's credentials. And I say it all the time but it is books like this which proves why books can be just as good as films, the author's unlimited budget - his imagination - allowing for some truly breathtaking scenes, particularly as the story reaches its conclusion. Having so many characters could allow for a different way of storytelling, and despite their individual personalities shining through throughout, I would like to learn more about each member as the series progresses. What I enjoy most about books like this is when they take real facts and use real historical events together with a fictional story, it came across as an authentic tale, teaching this reader at least about a time I knew not all that much about before reading.

Not a perfect book by any means, but The Hunters kicks off this series in style and the the book ends in dramatic fashion, leaving the reader desperate for more, and I think this series is one that has real scope and so I can't wait to continue with the second book, The Forbidden Tomb. Recommended for those that might be finding the genre a little bit samey, or who are of the belief that there's nothing new that can be done with it.


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