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The Hunter, by John Lescroart 2012

The title would tend to evoke images of a mean person stalking innocent victims, perhaps just for his or her own perverse pleasure. Such is not the case. The hunter is Wyatt Hunt, hunting the person who killed his mother.
He also winds up looking for his father, his grandmother and his true love. Manages to find everyone, which takes a great deal of sleuthing, considering he was starting with nothing more than a cryptic text on his cell phone.
The totally unexpected phone message asks, “Who killed your mother?” Hunt was adopted as a youngster and has no conscious memory of his birth parents and no one has ever suggested that his mother had been killed.
Since Hunt has his own private investigation firm and plenty of contacts and expertise, he mulls things over and decides to find out something about his young years.
He also spent 10 years working in Child Protective Services and his old contacts are able to get him started with basic questions about his adoption. It’s not long before he finds out that his mother had in fact been murdered and that his father was tried twice for the offence and was never convicted.
Hunt keeps digging up more facts, with subtle texted hints from the mystery informant, who leads Hunt in the right direction without ever giving away any hints as to his or her identity . . . not until the very end.
Since Hunt has no memories of his life before his adoption it becomes obvious that learning about his mother’s death is going to start breaking down some of the emotional walls he has built and carefully maintained around events that happened when he was only three years old.
The facade of the mellow, laid-back businessman jock he has presented to the world all his adult life begins to crumble as he learns more about his life and a family he never knew he had.
Luckily, he has Tamara, an employee in his firm with whom he been more or less secretly in love for 15 years. Luckily, she loves him back and manages to keep him glued together when all the walls come tumbling down and he develops a tendency to curl into a crying, keening fetal ball.
Lescroart has a talent for dialogue. His characters are strong. The plot moves ahead inexorably in a linear fashion. And the happy ending has a twist or two. Good reading.

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