Title: Blood Tracks
Author: Matt Hilton
Publisher: Severn House
Publication Date: 1 March 2016
When her local District Attorney offers her a considerable sum of money to track down state witness Crawford Wynne, private investigator Tess Grey is in no position to refuse. Wynne is one of the few men still alive who can help the State nail vicious drug lord Alberto Suarez. But Tess is not the only one trying to track Wynne down. Suarez’s psychotic brother Hector has been hunting and butchering anyone who is a danger to his brother.
Tess needs help and there’s only one man she can turn to: Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas Villere, known to all as Po. Po always gets his man, but he has never been teamed with a woman before. Both have their own agenda for taking on this case, and neither fully trusts the other. But of one thing they are sure: if they don’t cover each other’s backs, they are both going to die.
When I heard that Matt Hilton was starting a new series, I was both excited and a little bit disappointed. I was excited because he’s one of my favourite writers and I knew I would be getting an enjoyable read, but I was disappointed because it meant I had to wait longer for the next novel in Hilton’s fantastic Joe Hunter series. It only took me about two chapters to realise my disappointment was misguided because Blood Tracks is every bit as good as Hilton’s other work.
Blood Tracks is the first novel in Matt Hilton’s new thriller series featuring private investigator Tess Grey. Tess is hired by local District Attorney’s office to travel down to Louisiana and find Crawford Wynne, who is a state witness in the case against drug lord Albert Sower. Not knowing the lay of the land in Louisiana, Tess hires ex-convict Nicolas “Po” Villere to help her on her journey, while also keeping her safe from the mysterious other crew who seem to be silencing anyone who could incriminate Sower.
One of my favourite things about Matt Hilton’s work is his characters. For me characters are probably the most important feature of a book. If I don’t like the main character, then I’m probably not going to continue reading. That’s where Hilton works his magic. Not only are his main characters good, but his secondary characters are engaging too, which is something I feel other authors struggle with. I really like the character of Po and I would seriously read a book all about him, which is something I can’t say about most other authors’ secondary characters.
Normally I am a little bit wary about reading detective/private investigator novels because I usually find them a bit on the boring side, but Matt Hilton doesn’t know how to write boring. It has that same action-packed vibe as his Joe Hunter novels, which I loved. If you’re a fan of Hilton’s other series, there’s not a lot that’s too much different apart from the characters really. It has the same quick pace, the same level of fighting and shooting and the same little bit of humour that Hilton always manages to throw in. It also has that same ability to make you feel like you’re right there living the story.
The plot itself was pretty simple and straightforward, with the occasional twist that you expect from the genre. What I really found interesting about the book though was the setting. I can’t say I ever remember reading a story set in the Louisiana Bayou, but it was the perfect setting for a book like this. It also helps that Hilton is great at building word pictures in your head. All in all, Blood Tracks is the start of an exciting new series that I will definitely keep my eye on. I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book in the series, Painted Skins, when it comes out it August.
Worth a read? This book is worth a read for anyone who enjoys a good, fast thriller read that is packed full of brawls, shoot-outs and murders. If you’re familiar with Hilton’s Joe Hunter series then you’ll love Blood Tracks because it has the same vibe.