Monday, March 31, 2008

Hunted: Club Dread by Walter Sorrells

This book is actually the second book in the Hunted series, revolving around a young girl named Chass who is on the run with her mother. While I have not read the first book, this novel did a good job of informing a new reader of necessary background information.

In Club Dread, Chass ends up witnessing the murder of a Josh Emmit, a young musician, who hands her an ingot with the mysterious dying last words of "Stop. Hundred." Chass, knowing not to get involved with anything that might give away her location to the people she's running from, throws away the ingot and avoids the police until the show up at her door. Suddenly she's their number one suspect and needs to prove her innocence if she wants to avoid another relocation. At the same time, she's starting her own band, which allows her to make loyal friends who are more than willing to help her catch Josh Emmit's killer. Her hunt leads to a mysterious underground group called "The Hundred" that a dangerous game, where, in order to win, you need to frame someone else for a crime. Could one of the Hundred be responsible for Josh's murder? Why is she being framed for the murder? And can Chass solve this mystery without her true identity being revealed?

This novel had a good amount of suspense, especially as the plot thickens. Sorrells does a good job of throwing in new twists and clearing that up before revealing something new and letting that sink in. There are no real questions about the murder left hanging and the truth isn't something completely out of the ballpark. The surprises make sense. At times, though, the story gets a little out there. Take for example the teen heroine clinging to a speeding car by the windshield wipers as it zips through town only to end on in a car wash with Chass still on the outside of the car. That was just a little to Hollywood action film for me to swallow. Also, I understand that this is a series and is about mysteries, but I was a little jaded by all that Chass went through. What are honestly the odds of a girl who's on the run getting involved with a murder mystery, or, for that matter, having someone killed right in front of her? Yes, this is fiction, but this girl must have the worst luck in the world. Part of me wonders how many novels there can be in the series without it becoming too prescription. On the flip-side, though, the book was interesting and maybe some things just need to be overlooked in fiction. There was a good amount of suspense and you definitely feel for Chass' desperation to remain in San Francisco with the life she's recently built.

This was a good book. Aside from a few details the might push the realistic button, the suspense and plot held up. Even if you haven't read the first novel (Fake ID by Walter Sorrells) this is a novel you might consider if you like action suspense.

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