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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 17 April 2013
How do you escape through a modern London with it's thousands of cameras and quick-response police teams? Well, Rees will tell you. Throw in a hero you can identify with and a complex backstory and you have a great read. One point off for the ending but that's a personal preference so I don't know if everyone would agree. You could well think it's 5 stars.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 September 2011
Well the first thing is that this type of storyline is certainly not original. It has been done many times over by many different authors so this sort of storyline is certainly not an eye opener. However, although I admit some authors may do this genre better, as soon as I started turning the pages of this I couldn't seem to stop!?!

I actually liked the character Danny Shanklin, but, (and there is a but), he wasn't original enough to stick in my memory. Sadly for Emlyn Rees, there are many authors out there that are at the top of their game in this genre and have a loyal following. Having said all of that, this certainly didn't take away the fact that it was still a great book. High octane, and quicker than lightning, is the best way to describe the pace of the book. The story starts with Danny in a hotel room and before you know it he is on the run. The story doesn't let its foot off the pedal until the very end meaning it was a very easy read.

The majority of the story is spent alongside Danny as he tries to evade capture meaning there are quite a few hairy moments for him which keeps you interested all the way through. You also have the added terrorism element of the story keeping it pretty current and up to date.

Although I had that sinking feeling of been here and read this before, I still read the book in one day and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it was all too familiar, it seemed like safe territory in terms of story and plot, but the writing was great. In addition to this, the ending is left on something of an opener for the next book which leaves room for the next instalment to be even better.

I will definitely read the next one, I just hope that in addition to the great writing skills, we see something a little bit different to keep my interest amongst the huge list of the longer standing authors producing recurring characters such as Reacher, Bolitar and Cross.

If you don't usually read this genre, then this is a good place to start and will certainly keep you interested. I can honestly say I am looking forward to the next one in the hope we get more originality and hopefully a new Kernick in the making.
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on 21 September 2012
I don't generally write reviews, but I had to make an exception after reading Hunted. Fantastic fast-paced thriller, unable to be put down or focus on anything else! Very well-written, with a feel of Jason Bourne. You won't regret this purchase.
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on 21 December 2012
I was wary of this as I hadn't encountered Rees before, but the back cover storyline interested me and as soon as I read a sample inside I was hooked.
The lead character is a fascinating mix of past regrets, excellent current skills, and an open-ended future. His attitude and circle of intruiging friends such as his hacker friend The Kid and his on-off girlfriend have a sweet, kindhearted edge which leavens the harshness of the story's violence and makes you root for the hero. Rees has further hooked the reader by pacing out chunks of a vital piece of backstory in between the modern scenes, and it's so well handled that you crave more at the end of each flashback.
The modern plot is a brutal 100mph exercise in spy games and deception and the hero's life is at stake almost every minute of the story, giving it a sense of pace and drama rarely captured. It only occurred to me after I'd finished it that it's essentially told in 'real-time' yet hadn't felt stretched or tedious at all, and even though the ending is clearly designed to lead to more possible novels, (something I usually find lazy or blatantly commercial) for once it didn't irritate me in the slightest - in fact I was checking to try to find the next novel within a day.
London, the Police and the characters are all sharply realised, and Rees has put real adrenaline and care into the action and the characters. All of the main roles come out very sharply defined in your head. I'm dying to read the next novel.
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VINE VOICEon 21 September 2011
Hunted is book about former CIA agent Danny Shanklin, who is set up in an ingenious way for a horrific, very high-profile, crime. Cue a story that is as fast-paced and as full of twists and turns as a series of 24. In afact it's like McGyver, 24 and the Bourne films all rolled in to one ... you couldn't ask for more high-adrenalin than that!

There are high-speed chases, clever gadgets,evil torturers, an ingenious techie guy behind the scenes, a troubled past ... all seamlessly weaved into the narrative as Danny races through London trying to escape the police, TV news helicopters and the Russian criminals who might be tailing him.

You won't be able to put it down!
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In a hotel room for a meeting with an unknown client, Danny Shanklin is drugged and left sitting in a chair with a rifle in his hands; a rifle that has just been used to kill at least 20 people outside the Ritz Hotel in London. With the assistance of his GCHQ trained colleague, he has to escape the hotel and try to discover who was behind this atrocity and why he has been set up. Oh, and he's being tracked on live television as he tries to make good his getaway.

Meld part of Jason Bourne with a dash of Ethan Hawke; mix in a smidgeon of Liam Neeson from `Taken' with a soupcon of James Bond and a bit of Jack Bauer and you have Danny Shanklin, an ex-CIA operative now earning his money as a freelancer `helping people'. Emlyn Rees' tale of a former government agent on the run from the police, MI5 and other agencies, takes inspiration from all those characters and comes up with a very entertaining read.

Whilst not the most original of stories (I also remember seeing the virtual world that Shanklin uses to contact another operative in an episode of `CSI: New York' - maybe these things do actually exist), and let's face it, most books take ideas and scenarios from others, `Hunted: Time To Run' moves along at a cracking pace and leaves you wanting to turn the page to see what happens next. The London locations are described in a way, which, to anyone who knows the area, will add significantly to the story. What is also described, in graphic detail, is the way people are beaten up or killed, particularly the dead Russian diplomat whom Shanklin finds in the hotel room when he regains consciousness.

That you know he wasn't responsible for anything that has happened only increases your desire for him to get away from those pursuing him; Rees managing to convey just the right amount of excitement to make it enjoyable and, more importantly, believable. The author does come up with a reasonable surprise as to the who (we find out the why earlier), though the ending is slightly disappointing. The intertwining story of what occurred to Shanklin and his family seven years earlier is also left hanging. However, having said that, it leaves everything nicely open for a follow up.
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VINE VOICEon 1 August 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A few summers ago I read the much-hyped book 'Relentless' by Simon Kernick, about a man on the run. It was good, but it wasn't great. 'Hunted', however, takes the same on-the-run idea, and does it in such a breathtakingly exciting manner that I literally could not put it down.

I wasn't instantly grabbed by the story - it gets off to a reasonably slow start as it introduces Danny Shanklin and a few other minor characters. But as soon as the shooting takes place and Danny wakes to find himself framed for the horrific crime, the book starts to move at a brilliant pace. Helped only by contact with his techy friend The Kid, Danny has to avoid the police and try his best to find his way out of London, get to and protect his daughter, and find out who has set him up and why. I couldn't believe the way that Emlyn Rees managed to keep the story so tense and thrilling through what is basically just an extended chase scene. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and was genuinely surprised by one or two of the shocking twists towards the end.

As well as being exciting, the book also has a lot of heart as the relationship between Danny and his daughter is beautifully portrayed, as are his memories of the day when his life changed and his family was torn apart, which are interspersed throughout the book as flashbacks which keep you guessing.

The only thing that prevents me from giving this book five stars, aside from the slow start, is that it feels somewhat unfinished. It is set up for a sequel and although it does not exactly end on a cliffhanger, it certainly leaves the story incomplete and makes you impatient for the next book, though there does not appear to be any confirmation of whether the sequel will appear. I hope it does though and I will be first in line to buy it.

One final warning: there are some gruesome scenes in this book including graphic torture of adults and slightly less graphic but still disturbing treatment of a child, so please be aware of this before you buy.
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on 29 July 2016



Danny Shanklin wakes up slumped across a table in a London hotel room he's never seen before. He's got a high-powered rifle strapped to his hands.

He hears sirens and stumbles to the window to see a burning limousine and bodies all over the street.

The police are closing in. He's been set up. They're coming for him...

With only his tech support friend, the Kid, for backup, Danny sets out on a nail-biting odyssey though the panicked city streets, in a desperate bid to escape, protect the people he loves, and track down the terrorists who set him up.

But with 500,000 CCTV cameras, 33,000 cops, 9 intelligence agencies, and dozens of TV news channels all hot on his tail, just how long will THIS one innocent man be able to survive?

'Hunted gives new meaning to the phrase "fast-paced." Filled with clever twists, stylishly written and populated with characters who are as real as our friends and family (and enemies!), this thriller moves at breakneck pace from first page to last. Bravo!' Jeffery Deaver

This was a great paced thriller, plenty of action, twists, great shocks, kept at a rollercoaster paced thriller. Based in the heart of London, a great main character, added with his daughter Lexia.

All I can say is I am happy I finally took this off my bookshelf and read the book, and now I am going to order number two if the series, and another great action author I know I am always going to look forward to reading, and another great anti-hero character to follow.

A Strong four star from me.

Sean Peters
"A Good Thriller"
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on 3 March 2013
Well what a fab book, the story is mesmerizing and is as good as Simon Kernick and just as tough to put down once you start to read...
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Hunted is a frustrating book. It has some great moments, but it also has some horribly clunky and/or horribly cliched ones too. Worst of all it builds up its story only to leave every single-plot thread hanging and offers no form or cathartic resolution to reward the reader's patience. Its all set-up without a decent payoff.

The great moments can pretty much all be found in the first half of the book as Danny Shanklin is framed and forced to go, very publicly, on the run. His helter-skelter chase through central London is brilliantly handled and keeps you utterly gripped. The set piece in Harrods is a particular high-point. Rees also manages to keep it all within the realms of plausibility, with no overt James Bond super-heroics. Once that very immediate dash comes to an end however, the high points grow fewer and further between. There's a car chase that's reasonably well done, and a good twist towards the end that I didn't see coming, but that's about it.

Everything else on offer feels rather stale and cliched. Danny Shanklin is straight out of central casting; loner, former-CIA man with tortured past including murdered wife and son and estranged daughter. He offers nothing fresh and new in terms of characterisation and his one-dimensional mulling over his unhappy past grows pretty wearisome after a while. I've never understood why thriller writers insist on giving their leading characters difficult private lives or tortured personal histories; I think they believe it will make them more 'interesting' when in my opinion its a lazy and mostly unsuccessful short-hand method for giving characters depth and complexity.

The addition of Lexie, Shanklin's daughter, there solely to become imperilled and give Shanklin something else to fight for, is another horrible cliche, straight out of movies like 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' or 'True Lies'. Her presence simply serves to slow down the pace of the second half and give Shanklin something else to be tortured about. You never actually fear for her ultimate safety and since she and her father remain firmly one-dimensional characters you don't really care about their relationship.

There's also a series of extended flashbacks that appear to have walked in from another book entirely, in this case a serial killer mystery, and are intended to provide Shanklin with added depth but go into too much detail doing so and just slow the primary action down even more. Add in a nefarious plot that remain so utterly opaque until the final few pages that its not able to fire your imagination, and cast of nameless 'bad-guys' who flit in and out but remain charisma free throughout, and once Shanklin stops running there's not very much to really hold the reader's attention.

Then there's the ending. All would-be readers should be warned going in that this is part 1 of a longer, larger story. Unlike many first volumes in a series however, Rees offer absolutely nothing in terms of a satisfying conclusion. There's not even a small pay-off for Shanklin in return for all his efforts; not a modicum of revenge or sense of justice being even partly done. After all the build-up 'Hunted' just ends, leaving everything open for the next volume. Its not that I was expecting everything to be tied up neatly in the final few pages, but some sort of resolution to a few minor plot-threads would have been welcome. Instead it feels like someone has arbitarily sliced a larger book in two or three. It might increase demand for the next volume but its also ulimately unsatisfying.

I obtained Hunted through the Vine Programme. Were the next volume of Shanklin's adventures to be offered to me in the same way I would consider accepting them, mostly out of curiosity about where Rees will take the story next. The same would be the case if they were available at a low price on Amazon. There's isn't enough here however, beyond a basic adrenalin rush in the early stages, to demand that the next volume be given an automatic place on my list of future reading.
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