O folks have I got a fab post for you all today!!
I’m joined by Matt Hilton, author of the ‘high-octane’ Joe Hunter series. Matt has just released his latest book Marked For Death with Canelo and today is my stop on the blog tour with a seriously fantastic straight-up post entitled ‘Somewhere over the Rambo’
From the bars of Miami beach to car chases and superyacht grenade battles, bestseller Matt Hilton dials up the intensity in this rip-roaring, set-piece filled thriller perfect for fans of Lee Child, David Baldacci and Stephen Leather.
Time for a cuppa? Sit back and enjoy….
Somewhere over the Rambo
by Matt Hilton
I love reading action thrillers.
In the late 1970’s and early 80’s I grew up as a child reading action adventure books, and personal favourites were Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan (The Executioner), and Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy’s Remo Williams (The Destroyer). In those books, the action was overblown, exciting and you had to allow a little suspension of disbelief, but I didn’t care.
The books were fun, fast-paced and engaging to my juvenile mind, and it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I’ve never really grown out of them.
I still read action adventure to this day – albeit they’re now referred to as action thrillers or crime thrillers – and, being heavily influenced by them also write in the same genre.
Through the late 80’s and into the 90’s I discovered David Morrell and was a huge fan. If you’ve never read a David Morrell novel, then I can guarantee you’ve heard of his greatest creation: John Rambo, who was immortalized on screen by Sylvester Stallone.
Seeking books in a similar vein, I went on to discover other top authors throughout the early twenty-first century too.
These days some of my favourites are Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar and Winn, Jack (J.A.) Kerley’s Carson Ryder, John Connolly’s Charlie Parker (ably assisted by Louis and Angel), Stephen Leather’s Spider Shepherd, Tom Wood’s Victor the assassin, James Hilton’s Gunn Brothers (keen-eyed readers might spot that Jim’s my younger brother but he also writes a mean action thriller), Mason Cross’s Carter Blake, Sean Black’s Ryan Lock, and also – possibly the best known in the genre – Lee Child’s Jack Reacher.
Because I love reading a good action-packed book, it was also the kind of book I wanted to write and those early influences – Bolan, Remo and Rambo – heavily influenced me when I set out to write the first in my Joe Hunter series, Dead Men’s Dust.
Anyone familiar with those books might spot some facile, or perhaps even overt, similarities, with Joe Hunter, and that’s fine because I hoped to pay homage. In the true spirit of adventure – and a thumping good read – I wanted Hunter to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of those giants of the action adventure genre, so I threw him headlong into high-stakes, action-packed adventures, where the action was slightly overblown and to be taken with a tiny pinch of salt.
I’m happy to report that I think I achieved my mission through a previous eleven books and a bunch of short stories.
Hunter now has a legion of fans that eagerly await his next outing, and I’m looking forward to hearing how they’ve enjoyed his latest exploits in Marked For Death, which I believe is his most explosive outing yet.
You see, in the past, there have been some readers that have criticized the Hunter books – fair enough, each to their own – but possibly because their expectations had been for a more sedate mystery novel or such, rather than the b***s-to-the-wall read they got. Some complained about the high body counts, the exertion and bullets spent.
So, trying to please them, I dialled back Hunter, tightened his leash, and delivered a couple of books smaller in scope, and with less death and destruction.
But the truth is you can’t please everyone all of the time. I was then moaned at because Hunter was ‘growing soft’, and I was even criticized because in his most recent outing Hunter didn’t kill anyone at all (there was still action aplenty, but they were right, Hunter wasn’t the one to do the killing but then he was under the scrutiny of the police at the time). And that was where the epiphany struck.
I’d fallen into the trap of trying to please my detractors (which is a fruitless and impossible task) instead of giving my loyal readers exactly what they expected from a Joe Hunter thriller.
With that in mind, I decided to go back to what I enjoyed writing most, and thought, this time I’m even going to up the ante, go somewhere over and above the Rambo stakes, and go back to the uncompromising vigilante with a heart that Hunter’s fans fell in love with, and throw him into a situation where the sparks and bullets will fly.
Without giving away any spoilers, Marked For Death is spread across only a few days, with much of it written in breathless real time, and the action and peril comes thick and fast. If you are looking for a cerebral read, then this isn’t the book for you, but if it’s thrills and spills, and a visceral response, well…I’ll let you be the judge.
I’ve gone for the action of a John McClane or Jason Bourne movie, and allowed Hunter to channel his inner urban Rambo. Also, readers might be pleased to hear that Hunter’s sidekick Rink – who has his own fan base – is back to his glorious form and heavily involved in the butt kicking this time.
Marked For Death is the twelfth book in the series, but is standalone, an ideal place for new readers to meet Hunter for the first time. It is not so much a re-imagining of Joe Hunter, it’s more of a return to what he does best.
Hunter’s the protagonist of an action thriller series, the illegitimate descendent of a long line of similar literary tough guys, so expect blood and thunder, and uncheck your disbelief because it’s going to be a wild but fun ride.
Purchase Link ~ Marked For Death
Matt Hilton quit his career as a police officer to pursue his love of writing cinematic action thrillers. He is the author of the high-octane Joe Hunter thriller series. His first book, Dead Men’s Dust, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers’ Debut Book of 2009 Award, and was a Sunday Times bestseller, also being named as a ‘thriller of the year 2009’ by The Daily Telegraph. As well as the Joe Hunter series, Matt has been published in a number of anthologies and collections, and has published novels in the supernatural/horror genre.
Photograph © Niall McDiarmid
Bio Courtesy of Canelo
Website ~ www.matthiltonbooks.com
Twitter ~ @MHiltonauthor
Facebook ~ www.facebook.com/MattHiltonAuthor
Official author page at Facebook ~ www.facebook.com/MattHiltonBooks