A thief breaks into the Edinburgh home of Scotland’s minister of Justice. He’s helping himself to various valuable, including a wad of cash in a desk, when the minister arrives home early and surprises him. The minister is up in years, but he gives chase. The thief reaches a nearby golf course when he stumbles and breaks his ankle. What he’s stumbled over, or into, is the dead body of a woman.
Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson arrives to take charge of the case, and he’s just thrilled when the burglary victim turns out to be his former boss in the police force. The two never got along when they had to work together, and they likely won’t be getting along still. The body, a red-haired woman in her 40s, shows signs of old physical abuse. What complicates the case even further is the burglary suspect, who stoutly maintains that the bag of cocaine in the wad of cash is not his. And if it’s not his, then it must belong to Scotland’s minister of Justice.
Hunter’s Chase is the first of five novels in the Edinburgh Crime Mystery series by Val Penny. It introduces the reader to Hunter Wilson and his team of detectives, including the brand-new team member, the son of the minister of Justice. It’s a big story, with a large number of characters, generally organized into police, their families, and the main players and families of two chief villains.
As the story progresses, all of these stories begin to intermingle in an engrossing tale of drugs, petty crime, murders, family passions, and old secrets. Wilson, divorced, will come to understand that his own family is enmeshed as well.
Penny, an American living in southwestern Scotland, has written five novels in the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series: Hunter’s Chase, Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force, Hunter’s Blood, and Hunter’s Secret.
Hunter’s Chase is a finely wrought story, a big story full of personal drama, well-developed characters, and a very past pace that that keeps the reader’s attention riveted.