Title: Search and Destroy
Author: James Hilton
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: 14 June 2016
Brothers Danny and Clay Gunn were brought up an ocean apart, but blood will out. Both served in the military, and both know how to kill, taking work as private military contractors and freelance ‘fixers’. But when they save a female journalist in the Nevada desert, it is they who become the targets, stalked by a paramilitary team known only as The Presidents, under orders from the heart of government. To stay alive they must turn the tables, stop running, and become hunters once again.
If I am going to be totally honest, the main reason I picked this up is because James Hilton is the brother of one of my absolute favourite authors. The blurb sounded real cool and I liked the look of the cover, but the main reason was the name on the cover. And boy am I glad that I picked up Search and Destroy because it was everything I hoped for and more in a good thriller book.
Search and Destroy is James Hilton’s first thriller novel featuring freelance ‘fixers’ Clay and Danny Gunn. Andrea Chambers is in the Nevada desert researching a story when she is set upon by a group of hitmen that kill her brother and his partner. Andrea manages to escape and runs into Danny and Clay Gunn, two brothers with military experience enjoying some quiet time. As Clay and Danny vow to protect Andrea, they must figure out why she is being hunted in the first place.
To say Search and Destroy is action-packed is an understatement. It moves through the story at a crazy pace and there is so much going on that I couldn’t put it down. Hilton has such a simple, yet engaging writing style that I could really picture the book playing in my head like a box-office action movie. The story itself was great and pacing of it was good too. Just like Matt Hilton’s books, I was glad to see that James Hilton was able to slip in touches of humour throughout that really lightened the mood at certain points.
My favourite thing about the book was the characters. Honestly, Clay Gunn may be one of my new favourite characters in books. He’s such a bad-ass dude but he’s hilarious at the same time and I love it. I also really enjoyed the idea behind the characters that they’re brothers that grew up on opposite sides of the world because it allowed Hilton to make them totally different yet still have a good reason as to why they would be together, which I though worked well.
My only complaint with the book, and it’s a tiny one, is that it felt a touch unrealistic at times. It put me off a little bit that despite the amount of beatings Danny and Clay take at the hands of the bad guys, they’re able to almost fully recover and continue on. At times Danny and Clay felt almost superheroic and that dampened my enjoyment a touch, but that’s just a personal taste thing and literally the only issue I had with the book.
I am so glad that I gave this book a try and I cannot wait to see what James Hilton does with Danny and Clay in the next book, Fight or Die, next year. If it’s anywhere near as good as this book, then I know I am in for a thrilling ride.
Worth a read? If you enjoy action-packed, suspenseful mystery books with kick-ass main characters in the style of Lee Child, Matt Hilton, Sean Black or Jason Dean, then you cannot go wrong with Search and Destroy. If you pick it up, clear out a weekend because it is near impossible to put down.