Written by Matt Hilton

Review written by Ayo Onatade

Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films

Hodder Paperback
RRP: £6.99
Released: 1st April 2010
In this, the third book in the blokish thriller series featuring Joe Hunter, he is trying to enjoy a break.  His mobile phone is switched off and he does not want to be contacted.  His attempt to benefit from some peace and relaxation does not last long when he is approached by Kate Piers the sister of a deceased friend who urgently needs his help.  Their sister Imogen has gone missing and Hunter feels obliged to help mainly because her dead brother was a close friend of his. 

As the two of them join forces to track down Imogen they come up against a brutal and thuggish group of men who act as enforcers for a businessman who also wants to track down the missing woman.  Who is Robert Huffman the local businessman and why does he want Imogen?  Unable to find her Huffman kidnaps Kate and soon once again Joe is up to his eyes in organised crime, violent killings and gun battles as he tries to rescue Kate without getting the two of them killed in the process.

Like many, I enjoy thrillers and Slash and Burn can certainly fall into the category of a high-octane page-turner.  There is no let up from the first page and vicious and brutal is a word that easily comes to mind when reading this book.  It is certainly not for the faint hearted and I think that to truly enjoy Slash and Burn you must certainly suspend your disbelief on a number of occasions. This is where I have the problem.  It is not because I cannot suspend my disbelief and it is not because I could not read the book or I did not enjoy it.  I did. In fact it lives up to the premise of the type of book that has to be read at one sitting. 

What distracted me from this novel was the feeling that I got on reading Slash and Burn and the way in which the violence was portrayed.   For a person who quite likes and does not mind blood and gore in her crime novels, thrillers etc I was surprised at how much it kept on diverting me from what could have been an interesting novel.  Subtlety is what is missing in Slash and Burn.  This is a full on, in your face; let me see how much violence I can cram into one novel type of book.    Furthermore the bad guys are very much a caricature of what one expects them to be.  It sadly does not do this book any justice.  Slash and Burn is certainly a book for the boys and it could have been much more if it wasn’t for the rather inane storyline and characterisation.  Would I read another one? Yes but purely because I hope that the series and the characterisation can be redeemed.  
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