The Accidental Hunter: A D Hunter Mystery

Overview

The first assignment is unusual. The second will set D Hunter in urgent pursuit of a mysterious entity that is kidnapping Top Forty hitmakers.

Always cloaked in the color black, security specialist D Hunter lives on the periphery of the monied Manhattan nightlife. But he's the man people come to when they need help without the interference of the NYPD. When a rising singer called Night is kidnapped, music manager Ivy Greenwich hires D Hunter to...

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Overview

The first assignment is unusual. The second will set D Hunter in urgent pursuit of a mysterious entity that is kidnapping Top Forty hitmakers.

Always cloaked in the color black, security specialist D Hunter lives on the periphery of the monied Manhattan nightlife. But he's the man people come to when they need help without the interference of the NYPD. When a rising singer called Night is kidnapped, music manager Ivy Greenwich hires D Hunter to deliver the ransom. Mission is accomplished, but Greenwich isn't finished with Hunter.

Greenwich has devised a tried-and-true plan to transform Bridgette Haze's mega-pop-star image from the tween-bubblegum-pop genre to an edgier urban one: bring her to New York City where she can be seen at the right night spots and work with leading hip-hop producers. But the recent near tragedy with Night convinces him that she'll need extra protection. D isn't really in the bodyguard business anymore, but he needs the money. So he reluctantly agrees, never expecting he'll need to fight both a surprising sexual attraction to Haze and the determination of one who is seeking revenge for betrayals of the past.

Set in the hip-hop clubs and shrouded secret hearts of New York City, The Accidental Hunter is a page-turning adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Valerie Wilson Wesley, author of Dying in the Dark In the tradition of Chester Himes and Iceberg Slim, Night Work is very dark, fast-paced, and offers a look at a world that is both intriguing and disturbing.

Tananarive Due, author of The Good House Night Work is an engrossing ride through New York's underbelly of sex, music, drugs, and dreams-for-hire. Nelson George creates dead-on characters in a world of hustlers, pimps, models, and dream-makers, a suspenseful blend of seaminess and simple humanity. You won't want to stop reading until long past night.

From the Publisher
Valerie Wilson Wesley, author of Dying in the Dark In the tradition of Chester Himes and Iceberg Slim, Night Work is very dark, fast-paced, and offers a look at a world that is both intriguing and disturbing.

Tananarive Due, author of The Good House Night Work is an engrossing ride through New York's underbelly of sex, music, drugs, and dreams-for-hire. Nelson George creates dead-on characters in a world of hustlers, pimps, models, and dream-makers, a suspenseful blend of seaminess and simple humanity. You won't want to stop reading until long past night.

Publishers Weekly
Emmy-winning TV producer George examines the ambition, deception, corruption and pervasive drug culture that lurk on the underside of the music world in this noirish thriller, which opens with the kidnapping of pop singer Night, the protagonist of George's Night Work (2003). D Hunter, the moody head of a security firm, gets hired to deliver the ransom for Night and provide bodyguards for hot pop singer Bridgette Haze, a sexy blonde trying to crash the mainly black urban music world by hosting a hip-hop awards ceremony in New York. Meanwhile, D must keep his unruly security staff in line; navigate his relationship with Emily Anekwe, his British-Nigerian girlfriend who runs a popular downtown club; and protect Bridgette and himself from threats by a mysterious motorcycle gang. Handsome, powerful, contemplative, with both of his brothers murdered and his father long gone, D struggles to accept his mother's remarriage and his own HIV positive diagnosis. This fast-paced book is written with a syncopation that parallels its setting, but the many subplots and large cast of characters, although well developed, weigh it down. Agent, David Robie at Big Score Productions. (Feb. 2) Forecast: George is also the author of The Death of Rhythm and Blues and Hip Hop America, both nominees for National Book Critics Circle Awards. He'd make an excellent interview subject, if S&S makes the effort to tour him. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This latest from Grammy Award winner George (Night Work) hits close to home; an R&B singer and his girlfriend are kidnapped and held for ransom by a gang of motorcyclists. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A cool Manhattan security specialist juggles two tricky assignments and an active love life while trying to expose a traitor in his ranks. On a highway outside Manhattan, sexy R&B singer and ex-gigolo Night (Night Work, 2003) finds his Explorer surrounded by a phalanx of motorcycles with unidentifiable riders who grab Night and Tandi, his high-strung date. Flashy veteran music manager Ivy Greenwich hires Night's old friend D Hunter and his fledgling D Security firm to deliver the ransom to Night's kidnappers and offers him another plum assignment as well: protecting precocious pop princess Bridgette Hayes. At first D finds himself attracted to Bridgette's elder sister and protector Jen, but eventually, well after they've been linked in the tabloids, he does the nasty with the diva. (Despite his closely monitored HIV-positive status, D, who's quite the player, has an "understanding" with British-Nigerian beauty Emily Anetke, owner of the trendy Downtown club, Emily's Tea Party.) D adds Mercedez, a scrappy young woman, and Ray Ray, a troubled street kid, to his payroll, but is chagrined to learn that Night's abductors might have links to one of them-or to Ivy or loyal employee Jeff. Veteran George writes with pace and panache, providing a glimpse of the high life of an NBA star and a backstage look at a music awards show, and packing his tale with more glitzy characters than a red carpet E! broadcast. Agent: David Robie/Big Score Productions
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743235525
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 1/4/2005
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,134,277
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Nelson George
Nelson George is a writer, filmmaker, and cultural critic who's been working professionally more than twenty-five years. He is the author of eight works of nonfiction, most recently Post-Soul Nation, five novels including the national bestseller One Woman Short, and several screenplays. George lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Night didn't notice the first Kawasaki Ninja in his rearview mirror as his black Explorer cruised Brooklyn's Belt Parkway toward Manhattan. He was too busy savoring a fantasy of his own making. Only a few years ago Night was a professional boy toy for lonely widows and aging ladies, his body a commodity enjoyed in the privacy of pricey condos and high-end hotels.

That was another life. Sitting behind the wheel of his ride Night listened to a CD made off the sound board of last night's concert in Atlanta. Screams of black women filled his ears, along with the sound his voice, crooning smoothly through the R. Kelly produced and penned ballad "When Darkness Falls."

As he luxuriated in his voice Night glanced over at Tandi Lincoln, sleeping sweetly in the passenger seat. She was a striking cinnamon lass with curly bronze hair and the well-maintained skin of a pampered black American princess. Years ago she'd dumped Night when she'd been advised of his old profession by a playa hater. Losing Tandi had always tugged at his heart, so when celebrity arrived (via his record deal) Night worked diligently to woo her back. There were plenty of women available for a dark chocolate R&B love man, but Night's gigolo days made him jaded about women, sex, and all the accompanying bull. Tandi had vibed him when he had nothing and no one, and he needed the assurance of that kind of love. For the gig at the Fox Theater, Night had flown her down to Atlanta, a city that was home base to one of the nation's finest collections of African-American women, a gesture to demonstrate to her (and himself too!) how important she was to him. After the gig they'd gone back to the Four Seasons and, with the conviction of a woman who knew she was adored, Tandi had loved the singer so intensely they'd almost missed their flight home the next afternoon.

He glanced out of the driver's-side window toward Coney Island, where the Wonder Wheel floated cars through the Brooklyn sky as it had for decades. As a child Night had taken the D train out to Coney Island to lie on its eroding, crowded beach and indulge in bad fried food. It was another blast from his past, years of poverty and hunger and anxiety. He thought of his mother's death and his father's belligerence and the uncertainty of his youth. When you were poor and black, he mused, you never knew what the fuck could happen next. You never felt in control of anything -- least of all your life. He squeezed the wheel of his big, sturdy ride, happy that was all finally behind him.

Night only really paid attention to the first Kawasaki Ninja after he passed Coney Island. The bike and the driver's helmet were white and lime green. On his body was a lime-colored, leather Rocawear tracksuit. The biker weaved his way through the light late-night traffic until he was abreast of Night's car. Night thought the driver just wanted to drag race, which would have intrigued him if Tandi wasn't in the ride. As this thought amused Night, little groups of Japanese-style motorcycles began appearing in his rearview mirror. First he spied three. Then there were five. Then four more. By the time Night's Explorer cornered the tip of Brooklyn and was in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge, there were fifteen bikes either beside or behind Night.

Obviously this was one of those ghetto bike clubs that had popped up since DMX featured the Rough Ryders club in one of his videos. All summer long these posses roared through the city, intimidating drivers fearful of the futuristic funk these motorized gangs represented.

Night wasn't afraid -- not really. But he was becoming real concerned. If any of these untrained, risk-taking fools somehow jammed into his car, Night, the one with the money and visibility, would take the weight. Any accident or, God forbid, a smashup would automatically be his fault. Next to him a bike popped a wheelie. One kid stood up on his bike and did a handstand while rolling at sixty miles per hour down the Belt Parkway. Night attempted to maneuver his way out of the pack but found that instead of giving him space, the pack grew tighter around him. The green-suited biker accelerated a bit and moved right in front of his ride and dangerously close to his front bumper. Night pressed the center of his steering wheel and beeped loudly. The lead biker beeped back, closely followed by the horns of the other fourteen bikers in a frightening, sardonic chorus.

The blaring horns woke Tandi and, looking out of the window, she immediately saw that Night's SUV was stuck in a cornfield of Japanese motorcycles. "What's going on, Night?" she asked.

"Just some hip-hop bike motherfuckers," he replied dismissively. "They just making some noise. They got nothing better to do."

The lime-green biker slowed down, forcing Night to reluctantly decelerate. Two of the bikers on the driver's side began driving dangerously close to him, while the bikes on the passenger side slid over to the right, creating a narrow passageway. They wanted Night to move to his right, which was precisely why he didn't do it.

"You think they're fans, Night?" Tandi asked innocently.

"That's probably it," he told his Tandi, trying to downplay his own anxiety. Night knew they weren't. The women who bought his records drove Saabs, not Kawasaki Ninjas. Besides, he'd kept his windows up and he doubted they could see through his tinted windows in highway light. But this was an expensive ride, so he might have just been the wrong SUV on the wrong highway on the wrong night. He'd let his driver go home at JFK, happy to be driving himself again after three months of riding in tour buses, limos, and jeeps around the country. Now he was contemplating pushing the pedal to the floor and blasting his way through the bikes before things got serious. But he'd thought too long.

There was a loud tap on the driver's-side window. Night turned and found the long barrel of a Desert Eagle automatic aimed at his face.

"Oh, my God!" Tandi cried as Night struggled to keep his emotions under control. The biker with the gun motioned with it for Night to roll down his window. Night, frightened into obedience, followed instructions.

"Next exit!" The voice was low-pitched but female -- definitely female.

"Night," Tandi screamed, "don't do as they say! Keep driving straight!"

"No, boo, it'll be all right. It's just a carjacking. They'll take the ride and we'll be all right. Just keep it together and we'll be all right." Night's voice was as calm as he could make it, but his heart was beating double time. Led by the lime-green biker, Night guided his car toward an exit for Red Hook, a section of Brooklyn with waterfront warehouses that was, at night, dreary and relatively isolated.

For the first time in several miles Night noticed that the CD of his performance was still playing. He heard himself seducing several thousand willing women. It was the voice of a man in complete control of his environment. It was a beautiful illusion that he suddenly had to let go of. He clicked off the CD player, took a deep breath, and followed the lime-green biker down the exit ramp.

Copyright © 2004 by Nelson George

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    interesting street fast urban noir

    On Brooklyn¿s Belt Parkway heading to Manhattan, fifteen bikers with the lead person holding an automatic weapon force R&B singer Night and his date Black American Princess Tandi Lincoln to exit the highway. Not long afterward, D Hunter of D Security attends a Knick game where he introduces himself as a friend of Night to an elderly white dude with an afro nicknamed the Mack, but actually is Night¿s agent Ivy Greenwich. Ivy hires D to pay the ransom to Night's kidnappers and to protect talented pop star Bridgette Hayes. The tabloids name D as Bridgette¿s toy, but he is a player feeling he is always ONE WOMAN SHORT even while he plays with his client, her sister, and Emily who owns the in Emily's Tea Party. However, he becomes concerned that the bikers may have ties to one of his security staff, but if that true which one as Night¿s abductors threaten to snatch Bridgette. Anyone serving as her bodyguard can expect bodily harm if they get in the way.--- This street fast urban noir stars an intriguing player who though heis HIV Positive continues to play the game. The story line predominantly focuses on the underbelly of sex and drug abuse in the music world. However, the myriad of subplots, though well written, for instance one involving a Knick super stud makes it difficult at times to stay focused on the biker scenario. Still Nelson George provides a deep look at the personalities behind the music scenes with East Coast glitz and glamour disguising the NIGHT WORK accentuated by sex and drugs.--- Harriet Klausner

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