The Hunt and the Kill by Holly Watt

Today I’m delighted to share my thoughts on The Hunt and the Kill by Holly Watt as part of the blog tour. This is the first book in the series I’ve read (shocker right?) but what a place to start. My thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me to join the tour and to publishers Raven Books for providing an advance copy for review. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Advance Review Meeting
Release Date: 08 July 2021
Publisher: Raven Books

About the Book

When acclaimed undercover journalist Casey Benedict is asked to interview a young woman with a life-limiting genetic condition, the patient’s doctor alerts her to an alarming rise in antibiotic-resistant infections, tipping her off about a potential new wonder drug.

If the rumours are true, this new antibiotic could save millions of lives, but no one seems to know if the drug even exists.

Then tragedy unexpectedly strikes and Casey begins to suspect a cover-up. But she is not prepared to let the story drop, no matter how much danger she – or those she loves most of all – are put in.

A searing, page-turning, pulse-racing thriller that sees Casey on a hunt around the globe as she pursues a major exposé into pioneering medical research and drugs that could change the world.
The Hunt and the Kill is the third book from Holly Watt featuring Casey Benedict.

My Thoughts

Wowsers. Not sure what else I can say. This may be the first book I’ve read but it definitely won’t be the last if this one is anything to go by. What a read. Started Friday evening and finished Saturday morning. Fast paced, high stakes, heart pumping, thought provoking and emotion inducing stuff. And that’s just the first few chapters … This was definitely the book I needed to capture my attention when all around me felt like chaos. And capture it did as I barely looked up from the page from the moment I started reading.

Now if you are of an anxious disposition and have been affected heavily by the past year and the whole wonder that has been covid, then you may wish to exercise caution. This is not a book about covid, although it is referenced, but there are a lot of parallels that can be drawn between recent history and the investigation that our protagonist Casey Benedict undertakes. This is a story of big Pharma, of increasingly obstinate so-called superbugs and, dare I say it, those dang mutations which seem to plague our lives with increasing regularity. So much of what I was reading resonated with me and the story itself was alarmingly plausible.

The tension throughout this book was palpable. There appears to be danger at every turn, a seemingly simple article on Cystic Fibrosis turning increasingly deadly, and not just because of the ever evolving issue of drug-resistant bacteria. The tension is almost constant, an undercurrent of unease flowing throughout the book, even in the quieter moments, and the author has done a great job of maintaining that sense of threat and amplifying it at key moments, really getting that edge-of-the-seat kind of vibe when it looks like Casey might be getting a little too comfortable. But it is not just the action and the tension which dominates the story. Right from the start Holly Watt toys with our emotions, some truly heartbreaking scenes being drip fed into the story, almost unexpected, but ones which not only spur Casey on, but also push her completely off balance. That blend between emotion and action is spot on, but also blended with a dark humour, fed in through scenes in the newsroom at times, preventing the story from ever becoming too bleak.

I really liked Casey as a character. It was clear that I caught up with her at a real crunch point in her life, but her tenacity and determination still shone through, along with her emotional side. It’s clear, when on top form, she would be a formidable character, but this book really does test her in ways that anyone would struggle with. As for the team around her, I really did enjoy getting to know the newsroom team, a very diverse but credible bunch of characters, clearly drawing from the author’s own experiences. Given that Casey’s investigation leads her well away from home, it is the supporting characters who also helped the story to gel for me. Whilst Zac may not initially have been the most helpful of characters, there was an eventual easy charm to him and a kind of chemistry between him and Casey that made the story flow perfectly.

If there was one real bonus for me, alongside the way in which the author draws attention to a increasingly real and worrying subject that will eventually affect us all, it is the way in which she manages to take readers to the locations contained within the story. From the newsroom, to the Devon Hills, to the savannahs of Zimbabwe, you get a real sense of place and it adds another layer of authenticity to the story itself. You could feel the tempo switching up, the rhythm of the story echoing where the action took place, as well as the stakes that Casey was facing.

Full of drama, and tension, this is a scarily believable, sometimes heart wrenching, but always action packed story that had me captivated from the start. The first two books are already downloaded on my audible list, ready to find out just what it is I’ve missed. Definitely recommended.

About the Author

As an investigative journalist, Holly Watt worked on MPs Expenses and the Panama Papers. She has written for the Sunday Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian. She lives in London.

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