What a book!

March 20, 2010

“The Last Track” by Sam Hilliard

Filed under: Fiction,Mystery,New Authors,Sam Hilliard — jacksheard @ 12:25 pm

A major goal of this blog is to introduce readers to new books and new authors. This is one of those times you’ve not heard of the book or the author, so take note.

This is Sam Hilliard’s first novel, and Sam, good start. This style of mystery is in my wheelhouse, right down the middle … and “The Last Track” hits a home run.

Mike Brody is a tracker, on the case of a missing teenager in the woods. A strong cast of characters surround him, and you’re left trying to find out who is good and who is bad, all while eagerly waiting to see if Mike succeeds.

Sam Hilliard has an ability to keep you guessing thoughout, not knowing who you can trust as a reader, always keeping the pages turning.

This opening act isn’t perfect. It does have characters who are inexplicably mysterious. This adds to the suspense, but at times makes the reader ask questions. It’s a minor issue and mostly all gets resolved in the end, though you never find out why some characters are this way.

Nothing stops the pages from turning. Like the best of Dan Brown and others, the action happens quickly in “The Last Track.” Start to finish of the mystery is four days, and a clever clock keeps ticking to let you know throughout. The lead character also has just a touch of supernatural ability, but not enough to be hokey.

I look forward to reading more about Mike Brody in future novels. He’s different than John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar and Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware. However, he’s got that same ‘read me’ quality these others have and you’ll want to know more.

On a sidenote: In a minor part of the book, the teenager being tracked explains something about running, and Hilliard nails it for me. Talking about runners in races who realize they aren’t going to win, but continue running, he writes, “Sean knew why they kept on in spite of the odds. Win or lose, the journey offered its own reward. Runners ran for the feeling of getting somewhere on their own steam.” It’s a small part, used to explain Sean’s situation and attitude. But it described my newfound love for running exactly.

Like I said, great work Sam. I look forward to more from Mike Brody and more mystery from this new author. Four and a half stars out of five.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You enjoy suspenseful mysteries, John Sandford novels, long-running characters or are in the mood for something little different.

Melissa already reviewed this book, so this is the first two-timer on What a Book!

Link to Sam Hilliard page. This is also the first book from Buddhapuss. Find out more about them.

Link to Sam Hilliard’s Twitter page.

And a link to a book trailer video of this book.


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