Saturday, January 15, 2022

Hunter's Rules (Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #6), by Val Penney

Darkstroke Books, January 2022

DI Hunter Wilson and Dr. Meera Sharma are out for a romantic evening that comes to an abrupt halt when they leave the restaurant for the hotel's elevator. When the elevator door opens, they find a young woman laying on the floor, bleeding, with her eyes missing--completely missing.

Unlike the two previous women found with their eyes removed, she's not dead. She's still alive, if only barely, and Meera sets to work caring for her, while Hunter calls an ambulance and a police crime scene team.

When she is able to regain consciousness they learn that her name is Eileen Maguire, and her date's name was Frederick. They met on a dating app, and she doesn't know his last name. She can describe, but since she is now blind, she can't look at pictures to help narrow down the possible matches.

Having initially no real lead on the man is one complication. Another is that  Eileen Maguire is the sister of Linda Maguire, the girlfriend of Jamie Thomson, who with his cousin, Frankie, is currently running Thomson's Top Cars, owned by Jamie's father, who is currently doing a rather long prison sentence. Jamie and Frankie are relatively small-time crooks, and oddly friendly and likable, but it's going to be awkward on both sides for them to be effectively the victim's next of kin. And Jamie can be a little hot-headed at times.

Jamie and Linda, Frankie, Frankie's two young twin girls, and Frankie's girlfriend, Donna, are sharing one half of what, as far as I can tell, is what here in the northeastern US we call a duplex--two apartments, side by side rather up and down, in mirror image layout. The other side is occupied by an older couple, Mr. and Mrs. Morrison, who understandably find Jamie in particular a rather annoying neighbor. This turns out to be much more important than one might initially suspect, due to the Morrisons' unexpected connections, and Mr. Morrison having at one point fudged some details on some paperwork.

Meanwhile, we're also following the activities and concerns of the person who stole Eileen's eyes. We know both that it fascinates him, and that he's actually working for someone else, the man who really wants to collect especially attractive and interesting human eyes.

In these Edinburgh mysteries, Edinburgh, at least the criminal investigation and higher-end criminal activities portions of it, seems like a small town, where everybody knows everyone, or knows someone who knows them, or not infrequently is related to people of interest. Sometimes, it's a combination of all three. The characters are, if not all likeable, by any means, well-developed, and interesting. The British class system comes into play, for good and ill, and at both the upper and lower reaches of society. It's a story that's well-plotted, held my interest, and made me care about the characters.


I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher, and am reviewing it voluntarily.


  1. Thank you so much for taking part in the blog tour for Hunter’s Rules. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the book.

  2. I was very happy to! I know I've read, and enjoyed, a previous book in the series, but can find no evidence I reviewed it.

    Will have to fix that. Which might entail rereading. Oh, the pain! 🤣😊