Won through a Goodreads Giveaway
House of the Hunted is the first novel I've read by Mark Mills. While sleeping one night Tom's past comes back to haunt him with a vengence. He's tried to put to rest the man he used to be and the constant memories of his one love. The man who's paid to kill him is proof that he can no longer hide as he's sure there will be more looking for him. What he's most concerned with is who in his circle has sold him out.
House of the Hunted takes place in the south of France during 1935, 16 years later from when we initially meet Tom who was a spy at the time. Traipsing from one party to another it seems, Tom is no longer a cold-blooded killer but sure knowes when to call on those skills when necessary.
What I liked most about Mark Mills writing is how descriptive it is. Most thrillers are really shy on details. I felt that I lived Le Rayol with Tom and his friends. It almost felt like these people partied a little too much but when in France...
There is an underlying romance that gives readers a whole nother layer to Tom's character. He's an emotionally damaged man after word that his first love Irina has been executed. Her ghost lingers in a haunting way that it allows readers to feel sorry for Tom. It is this attention to character development that makes Mills a master of his craft. It is why literary snobs that still love suspense flock to titles such as this. I'm no literary snob, but I do have gripes.
Although I appreciate detail and character development as much as the next person, I couldn't help but feel like there was not enough of the espionage, or thriller feel. The moments of action were brief and over in a blink. I know this is not supposed to be some David Morrell novel where Tom's automatically turned into Rambo but I did expect a lot more of this person the book sleeve suggests Tom once was.
I'm certain that because House of the Hunted is geared towards a more literary audience it's trying to make a point. What I found to be a recurring theme was that we never quite know the people we surround ourselves with or even love. I very much so enjoyed reading House of the Hunted and look forward to reading others I may have missed by this author. ***