Talking Location With… Jan Mazzoni – EXMOOR, UK
Thriller set in Brazil and South Carolina
27th October 2020
Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor – thriller set in Brazil and South Carolina.
Hunter Killer is the 13th book in Brad Taylor’s Taskforce series. It is, I am a little embarrassed to report, the first in the series I have read. It is very good – a real page-turning thriller. I will try and read more.
The Taskforce carries out undercover, deniable, missions for the US government around the world. Their life is very violent. The leader of the Taskforce is Pike, an immensely loyal and much loved individual. His team would die for him (and some come pretty close to doing so…). He lives in Charleston, South Carolina with his girlfriend, and a young lady refugee they rescued from Syria in an earlier book. His boss and friend is blown up by a car bomb outside his house that was meant for him. He discovers it was a Russian team (much like the Taskforce, but on the other side) who carried out the killing. The same team that he and his Taskforce colleagues are engaged with in Brazil as the 2018 election approaches – and efforts are being made to eliminate key executives in Petrobras as well as the popular anti-government, anti-corruption candidate. A ‘back off’ message had been sent to Pike. In Brazil, it is a game of cat and mouse between the US and Russia teams. One will almost certainly be wiped out… Pike is determined it will not be his. Oh, and did I say that the Taskforce was officially suspended after the Charleston car bombing amid fear its existence might be revealed? Brazil is very much a freelance mission by Pike to avenge the killing of his friend – with, it has to be said, some very senior individual US government backing.
The characters in both teams are somewhat larger than life, but it works well. The story comes to a bloody and very exciting conclusion. I was gripped right to the end.
In TripFiction location terms, Hunter Killer is also an excellent read. We move between Rio and Salvador on the North East coast (where much of the action happens) and Manaus on the edge of the Amazon rain forest (and, incidentally, one of the places in the world most impacted by Covid). Each very different place is well described. Salvador, often known as the ‘first capital of Brazil’ was the seat of the Portuguese colonial administration in the 16th century, Rio was the capital from 1763 until Brasilia took over in 1960 – and is still the most famous city in Brazil, Manaus resides in faded glory in North West of the country. It made its money from the rubber trade built on the back of slave trafficking. Brad Taylor spent a lot of time in Brazil researching the book. It paid off. The feel is very authentic.
A definitely recommended read.
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