Review: The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger

Publisher: Touchstone

Publication Date: May 16th, 2017

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Pages: 359 pages

Format: eGalley (Netgalley)

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 Stars)

*Trigger Warning: Rape

Cover = Goodreads

What is the difference between justice and revenge? In this buzzworthy new standalone thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, two wronged women on very different paths find themselves in the same dark place…

Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house—one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets.

For Zoey Drake the defining moment of her childhood was the horrific home invasion murder of her parents. Years later, she has embraced the rage that fuels her. Training in the martial arts has made her strong and ready to face the demons from the past—and within.

Strangers to each other, and walking very different paths in the wake of trauma, these two women are on a collision course—because Zoey’s past nightmare and Claudia’s dreams for her future take place in the very same house. As Zoey seeks justice, and Claudia seeks peace, both will confront the monsters at the door that are the most frightening of all.

The majority of this year has been dedicated to my YA titles but a change of pace was needed. Typically I turn to the thriller/Suspense genre whenever I’m in need of a good palette cleanser. Sometime last year I read Lisa Unger’s Ink and Bone & was hooked from page 1 to the very last. When I started seeing The Red Hunter’s beautiful splash of red all over my Bookstagram feed, I sent a little prayer to the Book Gods & went to see if Netgalley was offering it for review & the rest is history lol. I read the majority of this book in 1 day (60%), Lisa Unger once again delivered a immersive page turner. We get introduced to these two women who have been through traumatic experiences & somehow the reader knows their paths are fated to cross in some way.

Claudia is a rape survivor & we get to see her aftermath, she has a teenage daughter who may or may not be from her attacker. Her life has been turned upside down but she has chosen to re-build away from all of that by moving away from the city. I really enjoyed Claudia’s character, she has battle scars & yet she perseveres to find her peace. She has this love for places that have that lived in feel & so picking up and going to the country side to try & renovate her dads old house fit her personality so well. The parts where we see her blogging (some entries from her blog included) about her trauma & the home renovation were some of my fave parts. It did seem at times like she couldn’t catch a break with some of the decisions she made lol but that just added to her charm. We also get to follow her Daughter Raven’s POV. Raven knows all about her mom’s rape since they’ve chosen to be very honest, we get to see her search for more answers.

Zoey survived the murder of her parents when she was just a kid. Through a home invasion, both of her parents are tied up & asked to divulge the location of 1 million dollars (lots of backstory here but spoilers lol). Her parents are ultimately killed and Zoey herself is hurt & tortured. Fast Forward to the present & now we have someone who is searching for justice. She has taken up martial arts classes & excelled in training. You get the feeling that Zoey is traveling with a “dark passenger” (for fans of Dexter lol). Although she has re-built her life with the help of her uncle Paul (retired detective), she hasn’t been able to put her demons to rest. I LOVE morally ambiguous characters & I got that with Zoey who has taken so many hits that I found myself rooting for her to strike back!

The cast of characters in Red Hunter is bigger than these two leading ladies. We get to meet a lot of the people who have formed their support system as well. From Claudia, we have her daughter Raven & her ex husband. Zoey who comes from a cop family, has her uncle Paul, her martial arts teacher who is also a retired cop, and other cops as well who are still in her life. Unger manages to keep all players on the chess board while she weaves their story lines together. Once again she’s left me with fictional characters I love & will always remember.

The Red Hunter is up there for top faves of 2017 & cements my love for Lisa Unger. She is now an auto-buy author for me & I will be keeping an eye out for anything & everything she puts out. I don’t want to get into the plot too much because that would lead to spoilers & take away the fun. The Goodreads blurb does a good job of summing it up w/out ruining anything. There’s so much story in these 359 pages & seeing her skills with weaving the lives in this story together leaves you in awe…FLAWLESS! Perhaps what I love the most about her writing style is her ability to deliver characters I can’t help getting invested in. I genuinely end up caring about where their roads lead which leads to my want for a series from this author *silent prayer to the book Gods* Lastly, the mark of every Unger book would have to be her settings. This time the story took place mostly in the country in that house Claudia is renovating. Yet just like the Hollows in Ink and Bone, you can’t help but see the house as its own character. It has a soul & holds a dark & violent past making for a very atmospheric read. I hands down highly recommend The Red Hunter to all readers & please can we get more Lisa 😉

*Thank you Touchstone, Netgalley, and Lisa Unger for the opportunity to read a eGalley copy of The Red Hunter in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Have any of you awesome bookworms read or plan to read The Red Hunter? if you have, which character was your favorite?

Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

20 thoughts on “Review: The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger”

  1. I NEED THIS BOOK!!! I’m going to buy it tomorrow when I go to Union Square cause I really want it and it sounds amazing! Right up my ally. I love books like this, mysterious with two completely different characters but we know that somehow the characters cross paths. This mind twisting theory type of book, that’s what your review pretty much told me cause you know me, miss detectiva over here lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES YOU DO TWIN!!! I’ve been wanting you to read a Unger book since I read Ink and Bone but this one is just as good if not better. I honestly didn’t know what really happened til the very end, i mean I had my suspicions but DAMNIT! I didn’t see that one coming lol. I’m curious to hear your theories when you get around to it. I’m def going to be picking up a copy for my shelves since she is now a fave author like I knew she’d be LOL! I just needed to read 1 more book by her to seal the deal & SHE DELIVERTTTT! haha 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fantastic book cover! Thank you for including the trigger warning BTW. I think that’s something we as book bloggers need to be mindful of doing. This book sounds really fascinating, a little outside my usual wheelhouse, but your review totally has me sold. I’m definitely going to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Krysti! I agree, the trigger warning is necessary & I always include it in my reviews. I’m seeing first hand how important they are. I mostly mix in some thrillers in the Fall months but Unger is a fave. With thrillers it’s hard for me to connect with characters or for that matter even remember their names later on down the road. Her characters always linger, And she always throws in a sprinkle of a ghost here and there. Love her! I’m hoping you love it as much as I did when you get around to it 😄💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree. I’ve only recently started doing it, but I do think they are so important. I’ve read some books in the past that I wish had had them. I do feel that way with a lot of thrillers, because so many of them have characters whose motivations are left intentionally vague to add to the mystery, which has the unfortunate side effect of making them difficult to relate to. But this sounds great, and a sprinkling of ghosts makes it even better! 🙂


  3. Gah! I have been on a mystery/thriller binge lately between my true crime and cult reads. I just looked up Ink & Bone as well and am adding both to my wishlist so I can pick them up next go around! Need these 🙂


  4. I really like that one of the characters keeps a blog. This past semester I was teaching a class in which we talked about contemporary writers failing to include personal technology in their books. Occasionally, someone will send an email, but how often these days are we email for reasons unrelated to work? Email itself has changed.


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