The Hunt Club (Wyatt Hunt Series #1)

( 14 )

Overview

At first, The Hunt Club had a membership of one: private investigator Wyatt Hunt. Since then, others have joined with a common interest in obtaining justice. One member, inspector Devin Juhle, has just caught a major case: the shooting of a sixty-three-year old federal judge and his twentysomething mistress...

While Juhle works, Hunt plays, hooking up with TV star and legal analyst Andrea Parisi. But before Hunt knows it, Juhle's case will be of great interest to the members of ...

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Overview

At first, The Hunt Club had a membership of one: private investigator Wyatt Hunt. Since then, others have joined with a common interest in obtaining justice. One member, inspector Devin Juhle, has just caught a major case: the shooting of a sixty-three-year old federal judge and his twentysomething mistress...

While Juhle works, Hunt plays, hooking up with TV star and legal analyst Andrea Parisi. But before Hunt knows it, Juhle's case will be of great interest to the members of The Hunt Club. Especially to Hunt himself-as Andrea's card is found in the wallet of one of the victims.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
From John Lescroart, author of the critically acclaimed San Francisco legal suspense saga featuring former police partners Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky (The Motive, The Second Chair, The First Law, et al.), comes a departure of sorts -- an emotionally charged, down-and-dirty new novel with an intriguing new protagonist.

Wyatt Hunt isn't your run-of-the-mill private investigator. A former foster child and a Desert Storm veteran, Hunt has had more than his share of personal disappointment and private tragedy. After an unfulfilling stint with San Francisco's Child Protective Services, he is currently a successful P.I., but he and his good friend, homicide inspector Devin Juhle, are faced with the most difficult case of their respective careers. When a controversial federal judge and his alleged mistress are found murdered, apparently by the judge's wife, Juhle's superiors tell him to wrap up the high-profile case quickly -- or else. And when an attractive television commentator for Trial TV -- a woman Hunt finds himself falling for -- goes missing a few days later, he vows to find her by any means necessary...

Infidelity, corruption, extortion, money laundering, murder-for-hire, the Mexican Mafia -- this novel has it all! With all the gritty realism of Joseph Wambaugh's books and the plot complexity of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels, Lescroart's Hunt Club is an action-packed detective novel so masterfully crafted, so utterly satisfying, it should be illegal -- arguably his best work to date. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
The heroes of Lescroart's popular Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series (The Second Chair; etc.) have reached the point where age and professional success keep them from the gritty street-level investigations that made their adventures so good. While promising that he hasn't abandoned the duo, Lescroart keeps the action high by inaugurating a new San Francisco series, starring private investigator Wyatt Hunt and homicide detective Devin Juhle. Longtime Lescroart fans can relax: these pals are at least as interesting and enterprising as Hardy/Glitsky. Hunt's eccentric pack of friends and associates (aka the loose organization known as the Hunt Club) are investigating the murder of a federal judge and his young girlfriend. What would normally be a job for the police becomes personal after Hunt's love interest, who has connections to the judge, goes missing. Both Hunt and Juhle have appropriately troubled pasts: Hunt was forced out of a career as a child protective services officer, and Juhle is trying to live down a shoot-out that killed his last partner. As a PI, Hunt is free to detect in unorthodox and entertaining ways, while Juhle brings to bear the technical and logistic resources of official law enforcement. Most readers will agree that it's a great combination, both on the job and on the page. (On sale Jan. 24) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In recent volumes of his popular Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky courtroom series (Second Chair and The Motive), Lescroart has flirted with the addition of new characters and subplots, but here he takes a fully fledged leap into the previously uncharted territory of private investigator Wyatt Hunt. Lescroart introduces Hunt as a caseworker for Child Protective Services (CPS) in San Francisco, follows him through an incident that ends his CPS career, and sets him up as a new protege of Dismas Hardy's ever-expanding law firm. Four years later, the staff and associates of Hunt's team, aptly named the Hunt Club, are drawn into a baffling investigation of the murder of a federal judge and his mistress that has surprising connections within the Bay City's power strata. Lescroart is to be applauded for recognizing the need for a fresh viewpoint in his narrative and for the creation of the energetic, streetwise Hunt, who certainly fills that bill. Hardy/Glitsky fans and new Lescroart readers alike will most assuredly want to join the Hunt Club.-Nancy McNicol, Ora Mason Branch Lib., West Haven, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Lescroart takes a break from the long-running adventures of San Francisco attorney Dismas Hardy and Lt. Abe Glitsky (The Second Chair, 2004, etc.) to audition a new detective hero. Wyatt Hunt worked for Child Protective Services until a politically connected boss forced him out even though he loved the work and was good at it. When he saw his chance for revenge, Hunt took it, shifted gears to get his p.i. license, opened an agency called the Hunt Club, with an unofficial annex of justice-minded friends-and never looked back. But his interest in the murders of aging federal judge George Palmer and Staci Rosalier, the much younger waitress His Honor had just given a diamond necklace, is more personal than professional. While Inspector Devin Juhle, a Hunt Club veteran from SFPD Homicide, is running around trying to pin the shootings on either the judge's widow or the hardnosed prison guards' union he was investigating, Hunt rescues TV lawyer Andrea Parisi from an embarrassing night on the town and takes her to bed hours before she vanishes from the face of the earth. What connection could her disappearance have with the double murder and the spreading stain of corruption Juhle finds beneath it? Lescroart's eye for Bay Area graft is as far-reaching and unerring as ever; conspiracies seem to lurk under every parked car in the city. Though well-connected complications keep slipping in, however, the solution is disconcertingly simple, disappointingly limited in scope and impact and readily spotted from as far away as the Golden Gate Bridge. Inside a story as big and loose-limbed as any of Dis and Abe's cases, Lescroart has hidden an uncommonly detailed story of his hero's origins and a muchsmaller case of double murder.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451220103
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/26/2006
  • Series: Wyatt Hunt Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 230,704
  • Product dimensions: 4.28 (w) x 7.54 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Meet the Author

John T. Lescroart
John Lescroart is the bestselling author of eighteen previous novels, which have sold more than ten million copies. He lives with his family in Northern California.

Biography

John Lescroart has made a name (albeit an unpronounceable one!) for himself as the author of crime thrillers, most notably an acclaimed series starring the San Francisco lawyer-and-cop team of Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky. But the road to bestsellerdom has been paved with more than a few unexpected detours for this hardworking novelist, who has been writing all his adult life but who only started to chart big around the mid-1990s.

Lescroart (pronounced les-KWA) grew up with an equal interest in music and writing. After college, he concentrated his energies on the former, performing alone and in bands around the San Francisco Bay area and scribbling in whatever spare time he could find. But he set a deadline for himself, and when he had not "made it" by age 30, he quit music to focus on writing. Within weeks he finished up a novel-in-progress based on his experiences living in Spain. He submitted it to a former high school teacher who was less than dazzled; but the man's wife loved it and entered the manuscript in a local competition. Although it would not formally see print for another four years, Sunburn won the prestigious Joseph Henry Jackson Award, beating out Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire for the best novel by a California author.

To support his art, Lescroart held down a dizzying succession of jobs -- from house painting and bartending to working as a legal secretary. At one point, just as he was ready to enroll in the creative writing program at Amherst, he was offered a lucrative gig he could not afford to pass up, and graduate school fell by the wayside. As the years passed, some of his books were published, but he never felt financially secure enough to write full-time. Then, in 1989, he contracted spinal meningitis after body-surfing in contaminated seawater. He emerged from his life-threatening ordeal with a new resolve, quit the last of his day jobs, and became a real working novelist.

It took a few tries for Dismas Hardy to become the fully realized character Lescroart's fans have come to know and love. Debuting in 1989's Dead Irish, Hardy began life as an ex-cop/ex-attorney turned bartender and did not return to the practice of law until his third appearance in Hard Evidence (1993). From then on, interest grew in the series, which has snowballed into a lucrative franchise for the author. In 2006, Lescroart introduced another San Francisco-based dynamic duo, private investigator Wyatt Hunt and homicide detective Devin Juhle, in The Hunt Club. Slightly younger than Hardy and Glitsky but drawn with the same humanizing brush, the protagonists of this series have proved immensely popular with readers.

Incidentally, Lescroart's writing success has allowed him to return to his other love: He has founded his own independent label, CrowArt Records, which showcases some of his own music and produces CDs by a number of artist/friends. At long last, John Lescroart is able to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Good To Know

In our exclusive interview, Lescroart let us in on some fun and fascinating insights about himself and his life as a writer:

"First, it's Less-KWAH. Here's a tip -- don't have that name. Get a pen name that people can pronounce and remember. Just this Saturday, I gave a talk at a well-attended writers' conference. There were probably a hundred people in the room, and the talk went very well. Five minutes later, I was in the bathroom washing my hands and around the corner, I heard a guy tell another that he'd just heard the greatest talk by John le Carré. 'You know, The Tailor of Panama and the Smiley books? Good stuff. I'm going to go buy all his books.'"

"Second, I didn't have to quit the day job to keep writing. One of the most productive times in my early writing life was while I had a full-time job as a word processor in a law firm and also worked part-time at night, often working until 11:00 p.m. How did I do any writing, you might ask? Well, I did it between 6:00 and 8:00 in the morning, four pages a day, and published five books in six years. But because a) I was making some money doing 'regular' work and didn't have to be scrounging for coin and b) I was panic-stricken at the little time that was left in the day to write, I wound up becoming more efficient."

"Third, I don't wait on inspiration, and I refuse to acknowledge 'writer's block.' I simply sit down and put words on the paper. It's like being a carpenter -- writers build things. Carpenters don't wake up and say, 'Hmm, I'm not in the mood to drive nails today.' No, they go to work and do the job. It's not very romantic, but that's how I approach writing."

"If you have a good relationship, nurture it. The great god of Writing with a capital "W" isn't the only thing in life. It can be a great part and a big part, but it shouldn't consume you on a daily basis and shouldn't make your life miserable all the time. Try not to get nuts about the greater success of other writers -- we're really not in competition with other writers. We're only trying to outdo ourselves, to get better at our jobs. Go on dates. Spend some time outside (fishing is good, so is skiing, hiking, swimming, jogging). Stay in shape -- writing is a marathon. Don't drink too much. Have as much fun as you can."

Lescroart used to perform as "Johnny Capo" in a group called Johnny Capo and His Real Good Band. Although he no longer performs with that outfit, he still pursues music as the founder of his very own independent label called CrowArt Records. The first project on the label was Date Night, a CD of his own compositions performed by master pianist Antonio Castillo de la Gala. Followers of Lescroart's writing may recognize the in-joke in the album's title. As he explains on his web site, "Fans of Dismas Hardy will know that Diz and Frannie (Dismas's wife) set aside every Wednesday night for some time alone together -- it's their date night."

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Lescroart
    2. Hometown:
      El Macero, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 14, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Houston, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English with Honors, UC Berkeley, 1970

Interviews & Essays

Ransom Notes Interview with John Lescroart

Paul Goat Allen: John, after so many successful Hardy/Glitsky novels, what was the creative spark behind writing The Hunt Club? And how fun was it to include Diz Hardy as a peripheral character?

John Lescroart: To answer in the reverse order: Including Dismas Hardy in a couple of walk-on roles was one of the most fun things about writing this novel. Having been "inside" Hardy's head for all these years, I just had a blast looking at him through new eyes -- Wyatt Hunt's. As for the creative spark, this one was almost a literal spark. In the middle of writing my previous Hardy/Glitsky book, The Motive, in the course of my normal workday I was writing what I hoped would turn out to be a fun scene where Hardy essentially blackmails his client's husband into paying him his attorney's fee. To do this, he implies that he's discovered an adulterous secret about the husband, and (here's the spark) he refers to an invoice from his investigating firm, the Hunt Club. As soon as those words hit my computer screen, I knew I had an opportunity to expand my horizons in the San Francisco legal world that I've been chronicling. And just as suddenly, I knew that the owner of the Hunt Club was a guy named Wyatt Hunt. I didn't know him then, but I wanted to, and thought my readers would like him, too.

PGA: In the novel's acknowledgments, you described the idea of The Hunt Club as "perhaps risky." Can you elaborate?

JL: Well, when you've been as fortunate as I have been with my "franchise" characters over 13 previous books, you know that your readers have developed sometimes very strong bonds with your characters. You know that they're waiting for the next installment to catch up on what's happening with their "old friends." And I knew that by writing about an entirely new character, I wouldn't be delivering on this kind of implied promise that I'd always previously kept with my loyal and long-term readers. That fact alone might make some of them mad. Worse, maybe people wouldn't like Wyatt Hunt and Devin Juhle. Finally, the book has an entirely different structure (including a lengthy first-person section, which I'd never used before in the Hardy/Glitsky series) and contains no courtroom scenes. So I was in essence jettisoning my main characters, my narrative structure, and my genre all in one new book. I thought this was, in fact, quite a bit more than "perhaps" risky. But as they say: no guts, no glory. I think it has definitely been worth the risk, and I'm glad I took it -- and I hope my readers agree.

PGA: You're known for your unparalleled character development -- and the complex and compelling character of Wyatt Hunt was no exception. How do you go about constructing characters like Wyatt?

JL: I must admit that getting close to Wyatt was a bit of a challenge. He had to be a trained investigator, comfortable with weapons, good with his hands, and I didn't want him to be the "usual" ex-cop (even Hardy had been an ex-cop), so he had to have served in the Army, better in a war zone such as Desert Storm, better still with the Criminal Investigation Division. I also knew that I wanted him to be charismatic, athletic, musical, intelligent -- i.e., an active character. It was also a bit important, having written about those two quintessentially married men, Hardy and Glitsky, for 13 books, that Wyatt not be married. I wanted a little of that romantic and sexual buzz in this book.

The one thing I wanted to avoid was the clichéd hard-boiled private eye. As with my other characters, I wanted to give Wyatt a "real-life" background that hadn't been done to death in other people's fiction. I've got a great, long-standing friend named Andy Jalakas, who had spent about 30 years in Child Protective Services in New York. Some of his stories -- removing children from abusive parents -- were incredibly exciting and moving. I started to think that this was the kind of work toward which a guy like Wyatt Hunt might gravitate. After I read a book that Andy had recommended, Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk by Marc Parent, I was sure that this was the life from which Wyatt had come.

But that left the question of how he got from Child Protective Services to where he is now -- owner of a private investigation firm in San Francisco. Trying to answer this question led -- and again, it's based on some of Andy's "real" stories -- to the kind of bureaucratic/political shenanigans that I love writing about and that make up the final chapters in the first section of The Hunt Club: bad bosses, political cronyism, lies, and power.

Finally, I also wanted Wyatt to have a certain sense of loss deep in his soul -- and for a long time I couldn't quite discover what that had been. But I knew it had to be the thing that had driven him to work with abandoned or abused kids, and that left him seeking love and companionship -- and one day it came to me that, of course, he'd been orphaned himself, shunted around in the foster care system as a child until finally getting adopted by a loving and caring family.

PGA: The numerous plot threads running throughout The Hunt Club were amazingly dense. There's a lot going on here. And considering that you're introducing an entire cast of characters, how much more difficult -- if at all -- was writing The Hunt Club compared to recent Hardy/Glitsky novels?

JL: We're being honest here, so I can say that The Hunt Club was the most difficult book I've ever written. For the longest time, even after I more or less knew who Hunt was, I couldn't get my arms around a story that seemed to take advantage of the disparate elements of his character. I actually started the book -- and passed the 150-page mark -- three times between September and December.

I had several problems, some of them technical. In the first place, I had a huge backstory about Hunt to convey, and I hate exposition and expository dialogue. I need things to happen in the here and now. I think that's what narrative drive is all about. So how do I tell Wyatt's backstory, which really has nothing to do with the actual plot of The Hunt Club, without it feeling tacked on, expository, or boring? Secondly, I've always written with a third-person omniscient narrator -- but now I was "free" to do anything I wanted. This wasn't, after all, a Hardy/Glitsky book. So I experimented in all of my false starts with different tones, voices, past or present tense, points of view. (I even considered telling the whole story from the first-person point of view of Wyatt's female secretary!)

Also, I had just a ton of very cool research about the California Correctional Police Officers Association (the CCPOA), better known as the Prison Guards Union, and I wanted to somehow include that in the story, as soon as I knew what the story was.

At last, it got to be the end of January. The book was due at Dutton, my publishers, on the following May 1st -- 90 days away! Was I worried? Panicked? Even slightly concerned? Somewhat.

So then I did what I always do. I stop thinking and recite the old mantra that Thurber's editor at The New Yorker had said to him: Don't get it right, get it written. I literally didn't have time for all the soul-searching and nail-biting. I knew I had all the material. I had to just try to have fun with it and tell a story that was intriguing and amusing, scene by scene. So I started fresh again -- for the fourth time -- and found that a first-person narrative in Wyatt's voice brought him to life on page one, and also kept him active, front and center until the day he decides to become a private eye. At which point, I switched narrative styles, reverted to my comfortable narrative third-person voice, tried to channel through the Sun God Ra, and wrote like a madman, finishing the book with two days to spare. Whew!

But if The Hunt Club reads fast and fun, that's because that's how it was written.

PGA: The book's conclusion is pretty open-ended. Are you (hopefully) planning on writing any more novels featuring Hunt and Juhle?

JL: Hunt and Juhle are already in my next book, tentatively entitled A Domestic Disturbance, which now has about 100 pages written. Hardy is in it, too. But none of them are the center of the action. At least so far. In any event, I expect that over the coming years, both Juhle and Hunt will have cases and books of their own, à la Hardy and Glitsky.

PGA: I have to ask: What's the status regarding the next Hardy/Glitsky novel?

JL: It's on the burner right now -- the back burner to be sure, but simmering away. I expect I'll start on it next September. For now, I'm giving both of these guys a chance to have some time go by in their lives, so that when we revisit them, there'll be some new and interesting surprises.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2009

    Hunt Club

    Was not impressed with this book. Story ok but drags "too many words" with not much to say. Characters were weak and uninteresting. Ok read if you have nothing else laying around.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    Read A Lot Of Lescroart

    And I will read more too. But this is his not-best book. The beginning quarter, and towards the end picked up. But in the middle there was a long, very long stretch where all the characters did was visit each other and talk about what was going on, covering the same ground over and over. Lag is the word. Most Lescroart books are snappingly good, this is the exception. I do like the characters though, and will be glad to read about them again in a new book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2006

    A Page Turner

    Is this book a classic that literature students will be reading 10 years from now? No. Is this a book you will easily put down once you are into it? No. There are books you read for cerebral inspiration, and then there are books you read for pure entertainment. The Hunt Club is pure entertainment. It is a page turner. I agree that the ending is a bit disappointing, not because of who the culprit turned out to be but because of the improbable way this carefully crafted story was rushed to an ending. Nevertheless, I feel this book is a very good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2006

    The Hunt Club

    I liked this book in its entirety up untill the ending. The ending which was only five pages, left me very disappointed and rather angry. Don't get me wrong, this was a great book, a great suspenful story, but the ending made me want to throw the book up against a wall.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2006

    COMPELLING READING OF A STANDOUT THRILLER

    With some 16 bestsellers to his credit John Lescroart well knows how to plot a thriller. With a multitude of TV and film appearances behind him Guerin Barry certainly knows how to narrate a suspense driven story, and he does it to a T with The Hunt Club. Audiobook fans can sit back, press a button, and know they're going to meet two exciting new characters, sharply drawn by Lescroart and compellingly read by Barry. As is often the case with this author, the opener is a grabber. A federal judge is found murdered - shot to death in his home. However, His Honor didn't die alone - also found is the body of his young mistress. San Francisco can't get enough of reading about this case. Initially, inspector Devin Juhle chalks the killings up to the revenge of a betrayed wife. Of course, it's not as easy as that. Seems there are some others who would also like the judge to breathe his last. Among them is a lovely attorney, Andrea Parsi, who has recently found her moments of fame as a commentator on Trial TV. What's a good story without romance? Wyatt Hunt, Juhle's pal, is smitten with Andrea and doesn't like it one bit when she turns up missing. Never one to pay too much attention to the rules, Hunt rounds up some of his cronies to help him find the missing woman. Little did they know what they'd find as they dug deeper into her disappearance. Surprises and suspense abound with The Hunt Club. - Gail Cooke

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong thriller

    In San Francisco, someone murders U.S. Federal Judge George Palmer and his much younger mistress Staci Rosalier in his high income home in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. His wife Jeannette found the bodies and called 911. SFPD Homicide Inspector Devin Juhle immediately assumes that the spouse killed her husband and his lover for cheating on her especially in their home. --- Helped by Dismas Hardy, Wyatt Hunt became a private investigator and opened up the Hunt Club four years ago. He sometimes serendipitously works with his police friend Devin as he is doing right now on the judicial homicide. Hunt uncovers some powerful enemies that Palmer made over the years however, just after finding his girlfriend TV reporter Andrea Parisis has a connection too, she vanishes, making the investigation personal. --- Much of what makes Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky so popular is found in the characteristics of the key players of this novel. THE HUNT CLUB starts a fresh series that is less legal and more investigative in nature. Devin and Wyatt make a fine team as the former brings police technology and know how to a case while the latter can go under the law to make other types of inquiries. The support cast including Devin¿s deceased partner (died in the line of duty) add understanding to the two sleuths as much as moving the exciting story line forward. Fans of Hardy-Glitsky will toast the beginning of a long friendship. --- Harriet Klausner

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