An avid Fiona Walker fan, like many of her readers I have been fairly disappointed with her Oddlode series, and hadn't planned on reading her newest one, 'Love Hunt'. But, on seeing it at the airport before it's published release date, I couldn't help myself, and was pleasantly surprised.
Like the book of Walker's I have enjoyed least, 'Tongue in Cheek', it features several main characters and a longwinded complicated storyline. However, unlike that book, it focuses on one character I warmed to the most, Trudy Dew, who I cared about enough to want a happy ending for.
Being the last in a series of four books about the same village and characters has it's downsides- there was no more than a brief passing mention of characters such as Ellen, heroine of 'Lots of Love', despite her being close friends with some of the main characters. And unanswered questions from previous books needed to be tied up, adding to the books already hefty weight, which as ever felt a hundred pages or so too many. This would have been aided by cutting the number of characters and superfluous subplots, especially Pheeley's ridiculous slim-Fast in the New Forest! I also felt that the epilogue was largely uneeded and squashed the last of the loose ends into a few confusing pages. If it wasn't by Fiona Walker, and wasn't being compared to her last couple of books, it probably would have got 3 stars.
Readers hoping to get a return to books such as 'Kiss Chase' and 'Well Groomed' will be disapointed. But largely well-rounded and likeable characters (despite several unlikely affairs), a plot with enough unexpected twists and turns to keep the pages turning (although not as quickly as it could have) and make me want to get to the end, despite it's length, and a satisfying ending all added up to a book that pleased me more than I was expecting from Fiona's previous couple of books.