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Killer Choice

Review

Killer Choice

Let me say up front that I foresee a huge reading audience for KILLER CHOICE, one potentially far beyond the folks who reflexively pick up thrillers. Anyone who has ever been gobsmacked by tragedy just when everything seems to be going their way --- or know someone who has --- will identify with one or more of the elements of Tom Hunt’s debut, which asks and answers the question, “How far would you go to save the life of someone you love?”

KILLER CHOICE is a very accurate, though highly unlikely, title for a story concerning a married couple whose relationship is suddenly afflicted by misfortune. Gary and Beth Foster are deeply in love and are blessed with the imminent arrival of their first child. Their circumstances aren’t idyllic, given that they live in an area of Michigan that has been hard hit economically and Gary’s business is having cash flow problems, but they think they see daylight up ahead financially. We learn all of this after the book’s introduction, which finds Gary racing to the hospital, where he and Beth learn that she has an inoperable brain tumor.

"Hunt finds a couple of different story crevices to explore, and does so in a manner that makes it a one-sit read while ensuring that you add his name to your author list."

As matters take their course, Beth and Gary learn of an experimental treatment program in Germany. It’s the last hope they have, but it’s beyond their reach; the program is not covered by their insurance and costs over $200,000. Gary’s brother and sister-in-law set up fundraisers that are well received, but the charitable donations --- from people who barely can afford their own expenses --- do not even approach what is needed. The publicity concerning the unfortunate situation results in Gary being approached by an extremely shady character who gives him a way out. The stranger offers Gary the money he needs; all he has to do is kill someone. Gary has never even considered committing a murder, doesn’t own weapons, and has no experience using them. He is, in other words, anything but a hit man.

But desperate situations require desperate measures, and Gary is ultimately willing to do whatever it takes to save Beth’s life. He accepts the stranger’s offer and follows through. Unfortunately, instead of putting everything right in their lives, his actions just make things worse, and in ways that they (and the reader) would never anticipate. All that Gary can rely on are his instincts and his business skill sets --- which include just a touch of obsessive-compulsiveness --- to get him out of the difficulties into which he has placed himself and his family. I’m not really giving away anything when I tell you that it won’t be anywhere near enough.

KILLER CHOICE is a bit reminiscent of “Breaking Bad,” though I was reminded even more so of some of Jason Starr’s work or a book or two by Marcus Sakey. But Hunt finds a couple of different story crevices to explore, and does so in a manner that makes it a one-sit read while ensuring that you add his name to your author list. You’ll also think twice before answering a phone call from an unidentified number, no matter what your circumstances may be.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on February 2, 2018

Killer Choice
by Tom Hunt

  • Publication Date: January 30, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley
  • ISBN-10: 0399586407
  • ISBN-13: 9780399586408