Hunter's Revenge - Val Penny

The Blurb

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is avenged. 

DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold. 

Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George's home so intense? 

Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify George’s killer. 

When a new supply of cocaine from Peru floods HMP Edinburgh and the city, the courier leads Hunter to a criminal gang, but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough, and local gangster, Ian Thomson, to make his case. 

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taut crime thriller.

Hunter’s Revenge is the second in Val Penny’s gripping crime series featuring DI Hunter Wilson.  

An extract to wet your appetite:

DCs Tim Myerscough, Bear Zewedu, Mel Grant and Dr. Gillian Pearson stop for a few drinks on their way to the Scotland -v- Wales international rugby match and witness an unexpected meeting.
Tim was aware of comments about himself and Bear as the four of them walked along. The men were used to causing a stir. They were both tall, with the physiques of rugby players. Although they were now in their early thirties, and playing for the older players’ team of Merchiston Castle School former pupils, their distinctive builds and vastly different colourings always caused people to look twice. Tim knew that Mel was used to it, but was aware that the glances were all new to Gillian (although she often got a second glance herself, due to the bright green flash at the front of her hair). As the four of them went into the Roseburn Bar for a drink before the match, a group of Welsh supporters were getting up to leave and Gillian managed to grab the table.
“That was quick. Well done!” Mel said.
Gillian grinned. “It comes from playing musical chairs with three older brothers.”
Tim sat with the girls while Bear went to buy the round. He, Tim and Mel all ordered pints of special. Gillian asked for a gin and tonic and a bag of cheese and onion crisps. Bear caught Mel’s eye and smiled.
“We have a lady present,” he smiled.
“And that’ll not be me, big man,” Mel replied. “I know. Go on, get them in before I die of thirst.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Gillian said. “I’ve never liked beer.”
“Don’t worry about Bear, he’s just teasing me. He always says a pint glass looks silly in my wee hands, but compared to him and Tim everybody in the world has wee hands.”
It was Tim’s turn to smile.  
As soon as Tim saw that Bear had made it to the front of the queue around the bar, he got up to help and Bear passed the drinks back to him. They managed this above the heads of everybody else and never spilled a drop.
“You big boys sure ate your porridge when you were young, didn’t you?” a little Welshman said.
“That we did,” Bear laughed.
“You two have done that before,” Gillian said.
“More times than you would believe,” Tim replied as he sat down. 
“Myerscough, isn’t it? Tim Myerscough and Winston Zewedu? My goodness, imagine seeing you here.”
Tim and Bear stood up at the same time. Both of them dwarfed the newcomer. Neither of them smiled. 
“Lord Buchanan,” Bear said holding out his hand to shake the man’s hand formally.
“Well, I never, Lucky Lord Lachlan Buchanan. What are you doing slumming it here?” Tim did not offer to shake hands.
“I’m just meeting a few friends. Fine pub, here, what? And I heard about your dad, Myerscough. Rotten luck getting banged up like that.”
“Lucky! Oh, hello Tim, Bear,” a familiar voice said.
“Sophie. Long time no see. May I introduce you? Gillian Pearson, meet Lady Sophie Dalmore, my ex-girlfriend,” Tim said.
Gillian gasped and blushed. She brushed the green flash in the fringe of her hair and smiled.
“And my present one, of course.” Lucky put his arm protectively around Sophie’s waist.
“Of course,” Tim said flatly. 
The tension amongst the group could be cut with a knife. Tim could tell that Gillian was uneasy; the three men stood verbally scoring points against one another, whilst Sophie looked as if she wanted the earth to open up and swallow her.
“Good to see you boys. We must get together sometime,” Lucky said insincerely.
“Of course,” Bear said, sarcastically.
“Why?” Tim asked.
“Indeed. Well, I see my friends, I must go. Sophie, I won’t be long. Will you wait in the Range Rover?”
“Range Rover? You had me folded up in a Fiat 500 so you could save the planet!” Tim said angrily. 
Sophie looked embarrassed, but said nothing and turned to walk out of the pub.
As Lucky turned to walk away Tim made to sit down, but he noticed the group of men in the corner that Lucky was heading for. 
“You should choose your friends more carefully, Lucky, or you may not be Lucky Lord Lachlan Buchanan for much longer.”
“Jealously doesn’t become you, old boy. And no hitting on Sophie, if you know what’s good for you,” Lucky sneered.
Bear made to stand up to defend Tim, but Tim shook his head. “He’s not worth it, Bear.”
“Who are his friends?” Mel asked, nudging Tim.
“Look over there,” Tim murmured. “Donald Blair, Brian Squires and Lenny The Lizard.”
“I know Squires and Lenny The Lizard, but what is the other man's connection?” Mel asked.
“Donald Blair? He’s a lawyer.”
“The one..?”
“What are you two whispering about?” Bear asked.
Tim nodded at the group.
“I thought Lucky Buchanan was choosy about the company he keeps,” Bear said.

Hunter's Force - Synopsis

Hunter's Force is a police procedural crime novel. It is set in Edinburgh, Scotland in October 2013. It is character driven. The central character is Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson. He is keen to investigate the death of a young woman whose body his son finds in his flat. However, the new united Scottish Police Force, Police Scotland now exists and the central Major Incidents Team would normally lead such a serious crime. Sub-plots include, money laudering, people trafficking and disgraced DC John Hamilton determined to make Hunter suffer.

The story starts with Hunter's son, Cameron returning to his flat after a night at a club where he has met Harry Hope and his friend Gavin who are back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The soldiers have young women, Olena and Symona in tow and they all head back to Cameron's flat. His date, Klavidya never turned up at the club. The group find Klavidya dead in the kitchen. Another young woman, Anichka, whom Cameron has never seen before is very upset and in the flat.

Cameron calls Hunter for help. Meera attends the flat with Hunter and also suggests that Hunter calls Tim because he knows Cameron's boss and landlord, Lord Lachlan (Lucky) Buchanan. Cameron says a huge fair haired man brought Klavidya to stay at his flat. The man is identified as Brian Squires.

Ian Thomson is released from prison. Jamie collects him and takes him back to the house. Ian has secured a large new house for them to live in, and two betting shops to add to his business empire. He has hired Mrs Mansoor as his manageress. He re-unites with his estranged wife, Janice.

Klavidya's father and uncle Oleksander and Sergei Ponomarenko are gansters. They are Ukrainians associated with the Russian mafia. However, he is appointed trade attache to the Ukrainian Consulate because of his expertise.

The deceased girl, Klavidya, was studying in Edinburgh at the Universtiy. Tim's girlfriend, Gillian knows her. The new professor, Zelay Sheptytsky is known to Klavidya and her family. The professor also knows Arjun Mansoor and goes to visit him in jail. When Klavidya's father cannot get hold of her he contacts Gillian at the University.  

Hunter goes to lunch with Cameron and Lucky then goes home to get ready for a darts match. Hamilton is in his house and knocks him out. When Hunter wakes up Hamilton forces him to go with him to a car. Brian Squires is in the back with Hunter. Hamilton is keen to make Hunter suffer because Hamilton had to leave the force. Hunter must use his wits and force to escape from Squires and Hamilton. Hunter misses a briefing during this time. Mackay tries to track him down. Meera gets worried. Evetually Hunter calls Tim to get him back to Edinburgh.

Tim and Jane interview Cameron. Oleksander sees Tim and thinks he is Squires. Oleksander threatens Tim with a gun, but Tim and Jane's quick thinking avoids disaster.
Tim catches Hamilton when he is out with Gillian.
Ian lands back in jail – the betting shops and big house is lost. Jamie and Frankie end up back in West Mains Road. Janice leaves Ian again, this time for Brian Squires who escapes to Spain.
Oleksander Ponomarenko is charged with money-laundering and people trafficking but has diplomatic immunity. 
Olena, Symona and Anichka plotted to murder Klavidya. Anichka did the deed.

Hunter's Force – Main Characters

DI Hunter Wilson –  A thoughtful leader, observant, divorced, a good team player.  
Likes: Fairness, honesty, loyalty, Meera Sharma, darts and success.
            Dislikes: Pomposity, drugs, corruption and losing. 

DC Tim Myerscough – Physically fit, intelligent, loyal, family oriented
    Likes: Family, rugby, loyalty, cats, Gillian Pearson and winning.
    Dislikes: Lying, cheating, self-aggrandising, small cars.

Gillian Pearson – Tim's girlfriend, clever, good looking. Nice natured. Sees the best in people.
      Likes – travel, cars, Tim, translating 
      Dislikes – family, cats, cruelty and violence

Zelay  Sheptytsky – Professor of Modern Languages at University of Edinburgh, Gillian's boss
          Likes – travel, study, friends, family, Gillian.
          Dislikes – violence, stupidity, Oleksander Ponomarenko, authority

Ian Thomson -  A clever 'wide-boy' always on the make
   Likes – Money, wheeling & dealing, family and success
   Dislikes – drugs, losing, being used, violence

Jamie Thomson – A young thief, intelligent, witty   
      Likes: Family, girls, jaffa cakes, beer and loyalty.
      Dislikes: police, losing, drugs, disloyalty.

Frankie Hope – Father of twins, works with his cousin, Jamie Thomson at Thomson's Top Cars
    Likes: His twins, kindness, honesty.
    Dislikes: Drugs, his own skin.

Oleksander Ponomarenko – A gangster who portrays himself as a businessman. Clever.
    Likes: Money, connections, power, sex and family
    Dislikes: Poverty, weakness and bad manners.

Meera Sharma – Pathologist who works with Hunter Wilson.
        Likes: Hunter Wilson, her family, honesty, success.
      Dislikes: Dishonesty, violence, losing.

Lachlan 'Lucky' Buchanan –  Inherited his title, went to Fettes, dates Lady Sophie Dalmore.
      Likes: feeling important, wealth, pretty women and power
      Dislikes: Bear Zewedu, the dark and bad service in restaurants

John Hamilton – Disgraced former DC
      Likes:  Food, sugary drinks, drugs and power
      Dislikes: Hunter Wilson, Police Scotland and Colin Reid

Olena, Symona and Anichka – three young women trafficked by Oleksander Ponomarenko from Ukraine to Scotland. Hoping to make their fortunes.
   Likes – family, fame and money 
               Dislikes – Oleksander Ponomarenko, being chaeted and being mis-treated

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