A town's deadly secret will drive one man to the edge of his faith ...
After learning of the disappearance of his nephew, Joe Saunders returns to his childhood home of Dark Hills. With rumors spreading of a rogue lion roaming the woods, he embarks on a mission to learn the truth. As he peels away the layers of Dark Hills, he discovers a secret that has been shrouded for three generations in a deadly code of silence. Will his young faith be strong enough to battle the demonic forces behind it?
The Hunted--Armchair Interviews
Reviewed by Maria Elmvang
When Joe hears that his nephew Caleb has gone missing, he immediately sets off for the town where his sister-in-law and nephew live to help out with the searching. Through Godís grace Caleb is foundóhorribly mauled by some strange animal, but alive.
Unfortunately, the next people to meet the beast werenít as lucky, and it soon becomes apparent that itís on a mission and that it will take extraordinary strength to stop it. But how, when they donít even know what it is? Those whoíve caught a glimpse of it claims itís a lion, and the remains would indicate the same thing, but who has ever heard of a lion loose in America? The first hunting trip goes terribly amiss, and after that the local chief of police, Maggie Gill, suddenly clams up and will reveal nothing further about its whereabouts. Itís therefore up to Joe to puzzle the pieces together: Chief Maggieís silence; a retarded reclusive who knows more than he lets on; and the return of a mysterious beast that terrorized the woods 80 years ago.
Mike Dellosso has been named the next Frank Peretti and with good reason. He manages to build and hold a level of suspense Iíve yet to find in the writings of any other author. Also regarding plot, The Hunted is very similar to The Oath, and if you liked one, youíre bound to enjoy the other as well.
Iím among those who liked The Oath so I had very high hopes for The Hunted, and fortunately I wasnít disappointed. This is a very impressive first book from a new author who shows great potential. The level of suspense he manages to sustain is unmatched by most other authors, and had my eyes racing ahead of me to see what would happen next. Mikeís love for God is very obvious, and he manages to make these views a natural part of the book, instead of falling into the trap of having it seem tacked on and sermonizing.
Donít read this book if youíre home alone after dark. But do read it in broad sunlight and enjoy this fascinating page-turner from a promising new author.
Armchair Interviews agrees.
The Hunted--The Suspense Zone
Reviewed by Susan Sleeman
A debut thriller that has it all-excellent prose, characters, a spiritual message that stays with you when you put the book down, and a hair-raising plot to tie it all together.
Hide and seek, an innocent game kids play, right? Right. Until a bizarre animal joins in the fun and viciously attacks one of the players. In The Hunted, young Caleb Sanders learns this lesson the hard way. He sneaks into an abandoned basement, the perfect place to hide from his buddies, and is brutally mauled by an unidentified animal. At first it appears as if he is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, but soon you begin to ask if there is more to Caleb's attack. Has God put him in the beast's path for a special purpose? A purpose beyond belief and one that only Caleb's uncle can figure out?
When Joe Sanders learns of his nephew's attack, Joe rushes to Caleb's side. The boy sinks into a coma and Joe vows to find the animal that hurt Caleb no matter the cost. Has Joe spoken too soon? Can he imagine the cost that will be exacted? Does he have the internal fortitude to confront his past, confront his guilt over his brother's death, and finally unload his emotional baggage in time to save Caleb?
And just as important, how will he face the woman he'd left behind years ago without any explanation? Not that he has a choice. He has to see her again as she is now the Chief of Police and is in charge of figuring out what kind of animal is running wild in Dark Hills. In a search for the beast, Maggie and Joe are thrown together and buried feelings rise to the surface. But Maggie holds a secret that stands in the way of rekindling their relationship and in the way of finding the beast that is now attacking and killing other residents of the small town.
Can Joe unlock Maggie's secret before other's are killed? Can he find and stop the beast? And can he forgive himself and learn to trust God again, even when faced with his own mortality? Oh, and does Caleb survive-come out of his coma? These are all questions that you will want the answers to once you start reading The Hunted.
Mike Dellosso has penned a supernatural thriller that is as much spellbinding as it is a study in human frailties and the need for God. The plot is simple really-animal attacks, man searches for and hunts down animal. It is the powerful human struggles over faith, past mistakes, and forgiveness that really makes this a special book. One that even those who don't enjoy supernatural stories should take the time to read.
Dellosso's writing is strong, exceptional really, even more so as this is his first book. His descriptions, similes and metaphors are unique and worth savoring. His characters are deep, have individual voices and are so real that you are certain you personally know them by the time the story ends. And the author's faith and relationship with God comes shining through his characters.
When I read fiction, I read with two hats on. One a reader, the other a writer. It is not often when both sides of me are not only satisfied by a book, but excited about it as well. The Hunted is one of those rare books that met and exceeded the expectations of both sides. This is especially surprising, as I never read supernatural stories. And for those of you out there who don't read fantasy or visionary books because you can't wrap your head around such a world, trust me. You can be a full-fledged skeptic and still enjoy The Hunted. Pick it up now. You won't be disappointed.
The Hunted--The Christian Manifesto
Joe Saunders has finally returned home to Dark Hills after hearing of the disappearance of his nephew, Caleb. As Joe helps in the search for Caleb, he soon discovers that something dark and sinister is plaguing the peaceful community. One by one, people are being hunted down by a mysterious creature that is as elusive as it is cunning. The Hunted is a fascinating thrill ride that had me hooked from page one. Mike Dellosso is a superb storyteller who knows how to mix engaging characters with relentless suspense. Mike Dellosso has truly arrived and something tells me we havenít heard the last from this shining new talent.
Joe Saunders has finally returned home to Dark Hills after hearing of the disappearance of his nephew, Caleb. As Joe helps in the search for Caleb, he soon discovers that something dark and sinister is plaguing the peaceful community. One by one, people are being hunted down by a mysterious creature that is as elusive as it is cunning.
Chief of Police, Maggie Gill, is baffled by the attacks and begins working with Joe to find answers. Their complicated history soon comes to the surface as old feelings refuse to lie dormant. Joeís feelings for Maggie are still there, but he canít help but sense that she is hiding something from him. As the danger escalates Joe unsuspectingly finds himself searching for the faith he lost long ago. Facing an insurmountable evil, Joe must now decide whether or not he will once again place his trust and hope in the One who can save them all.
The Hunted is a fascinating thrill ride that had me hooked from page one. Mike Dellosso is a superb storyteller who knows how to mix engaging characters with relentless suspense. We are effectively treated with powerful spiritual truth throughout the story, yet Dellosso never lets up with the intensity and terror found in the impending darkness. The result is a spine tingling chiller that carries a resounding message of hope and redemption that will leave you begging for more. Mike Dellosso has truly arrived and something tells me we havenít heard the last from this shining new talent.
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