ARC BOOK REVIEW: The Hunter by Jennifer Herrera


Publication Date: January 10, 2023
Format: Kindle
Genre:  Psychological Thrillers

Publisher: GP Putnam 
 351 pages
Buy: Kindle | Audio


After reckless behavior costs NYPD detective Leigh O’Donnell her job and her marriage, she returns with her four-year-old daughter to her beautiful hometown of Copper Falls, Ohio. Leigh had stayed away for more than a decade—even though her brother and a trio of loving uncles still call it home—because, while the town may seem idyllic, something rotten lies at its core. Three men in town have drowned in what Leigh suspects to be a triple homicide. She hopes that by finding out who killed them, she just might get her life back on course.

Headstrong and intuitive, Leigh isn’t afraid to face a killer, but she has to do more than that to discover the truth about what happened to those men. She must unravel a web of secrets going back generations, and, in doing so, plumb the darkness within herself.


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Leigh tanks her career with the NYPD when she pulls her gun on her partner and while wallowing in self pity over the loss of her career and husband she is offered a job in her home town investigating a possible homicide.  

There is so much more to this story than just a mystery. Themes of white privilege, how we protect ourselves through our memories, loyalty, and corruption. 

Leigh hasn't been back to Copper Falls since she left, she has mixed emotions about being home now.  Her uncles who now reside in the family home take her daughter under their wing with their eclectic charm and wit. Her brother is also on the police force and tries to explain to her the ins and outs of daily police work in this small town.  

Something doesn't feel right to Leigh, from the drive bys to check in on people who don't seem the least bit friendly, to the old woman who lives in a run down house and talks to Leigh in riddles. Then there is the records room of the police station, all compiled in neat boxes with a file card system like something out of the 80's nothing has been upgraded to digital and the captain seems less than enthusiastic that Leigh has been spending time down there. 

Through this journey Leigh discovers that her mind creates closed doors on things that she doesn't want to remember, like why she pulled a gun on her partner, her mothers eventual slide into death, and what is going on between her and her husband who are separated. 

Copper Falls was founded by 5 white families who basically took the land from the Native people who lived there. No one leaves except for a few and even some of them don't make it out before something tragic befalls them. 

Leigh knows something isn't right about the deaths of 6 people but she can't place her finger on what. 

Captivating and engrossing the story moves you along to solving the mystery and opens the doors to discover some of what Leigh has been hiding from herself. 

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