When Mika arrives home the morning after an evening out, he discovers the bodies of his mother and brother who have been brutally tortured and murdered. The police think they interrupted a robbery, but Mika doesn’t think so. He also feels tremendous guilt because the reason he was out in the first place was because he met a man and spent the night with him. Mika thinks that if he’d have been there, he could have helped. Depressed and staying in a motel because he can’t make himself go back to the scene of the crime, Mika heads to a bar, nursing a beer. It’s at that bar where he meets Buck the bouncer.
Buck has been watching the Mika at the bar, and when he goes to leave, Buck stops him. He sees Mika’s pain and offers him a chance to talk. Mika tells him his whole story, starting from the beginning when he and his family lived off the grid, to his father’s death, to wanting to know why his mother and brother were killed.
Buck wants to help Mika figure who the killer is and why they did it. Soon, the men become friends. Later, they admit they’d like to be more, but they want to wait until they have answers. Now, Buck and Mika have to try and survive a hit man and make the cops realize there was no robbery. The men find themselves in a battle for their lives, trying to find the killer and falling deeper and deeper for each other.
I’m always up for a good murder mystery, and with Hunting a Killer, I got a pretty decent one. The plot was well thought out and had a nice, steady pace. Mika and Buck are good characters…Mika in mourning and Buck as a shoulder to lean on and a wall to bounce thinks off. Their friendship is believable, and the road to their romance was as well. They took their time and got to know each other before jumping into anything really serious. I found this to be responsible on their behalf, as well as the author’s. Yes, this book is a romance, but I feel like it’s more a mystery with romantic elements. Mika and Buck get their happily ever after. It’s hard fought and won, and I enjoyed the road it took.
Saying all that, Hunting a Killer has a few rough points I want to mention. First and foremost, there is quite a lot of inner dialogue. It’s used for exposition, but it made some parts of the story feel a little clunky. This example takes place at the beginning of the book when Mika has just returned to his motel room after being at the bar.
“I don’t care what they say, that was no home invasion. At least not the way the cops are thinking. Someone breaking in to steal whatever they can find might, maybe, shoot the homeowners to keep them from telling the cops what they looked like. But for damned sure they wouldn’t have cut them up the way Mom and Reko were. That was done out of hate or rage.”
It continues in the next paragraph.
“Who were they, and why our house? It’s not like there was anything worth stealing. We never did have anything of real value. It wasn’t the way we lived. If Dad hadn’t died, and Uncle Elias hadn’t insisted we move back to civilization, as he put it, we’d still be where we grew up. Civilization my ass.”
To me, this looks like it should be part of a discussion with another person…perhaps with Buck or a detective. It doesn’t ruin the story, but, as I said, it feels kind of heavy.
There were a few instances where I thought a little more detail could have been helpful. Once the killer is exposed, and even when the motive was discovered, I felt there could have been a little bit more information about the past and when and why the decision to kill people was made. The murderer makes sense, and there is some information provided, I just think it could be better served if there was…more.
There is a lot of the plot I’m not telling you about. I don’t want to give anything important away. I will say there is definitely more than meets the eye. Some things aren’t what they seem, and a long held belief is shattered. I admit I figured it out before the reveal, but that didn’t detract from the mystery.
The ending was as it should be. It wrapped up quickly and neatly. Mika and Buck are together, and Mika has his answers. I recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of mysteries. This one is nicely done, and you should give it a go.