Fox Hunt


Title: Fox Hunt
Author: Chris Quinton
Publisher: Manifold Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary/Supernatural/Action/Adventure
Length: 52000 words/200 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: This story has it all – intelligent writing, exciting adventure and suspense and two interesting protagonists. Read to find out why I really liked it. 🙂

Blurb:

Robert Rees, full-time librarian, part-time art restorer, is called in to finish a commission when his father goes into hospital – a pair of Elizabethan portraits on oak panelling, Adam Courtney and Ann Darcy. Trouble is, there’s more interest in the paintings than Rob ever bargained for; a lot of people want to get their hands on such priceless treasures, and they’re not always particular about their methods. Just as well he’s got his brother’s mysterious friend Fox on hand to look out for him, then, isn’t it? Or, for that matter … is it?

Review:

I was intrigued by this story almost from its very beginning. The subject of art restoration is not something that gets explored in this genre too often, or not too my knowledge anyway; in fact, off the top of my head I do not remember a single one that I have read about it (I am sure some do exist of course). But very quickly the story becomes a suspenseful action adventure or does it? I am really not sure. There are several very fast-paced and fast-moving scenes because, as the blurb tells us, so many people are interested in that mysterious painting (and other things 😉 ), but are those parts enough for the story to count as action/adventure? I don’t know and I suppose your mileage may vary on this one.

No matter though what genre this story is, I was glued to the pages. I thought the writer portrayed the desires of several people to have this painting for themselves very well and of course, I understood and could relate to some of those people. It was just a very enjoyable and fun storyline for me.

I thought that the supernatural element was incredibly well-drawn and I thought that the author did a rather unusual take on something tried and true. Note how I am keeping deliberately quiet about what the supernatural element was? That’s because the blurb is so very quiet about it and I don’t want to spoil it for you. The only reason why I am even mentioning it is because publisher put “supernatural” as one of the genres for this book on their site.

Fox is a very interesting and unusual character, and I think we get to know him very well. In fact, despite the fact that Robert narrates the story, I think we get to know Fox through Robert’s eyes better than we get to know Robert himself. I suppose I would count it as the only relative shortcoming of the story, and when I say relative, I mean it. While we certainly get to know Robert, I just felt that I needed to know more about him when I was finished with the book. I did not feel that his portrayal quite matched the depth of Fox’s portrayal, if that makes sense.

In any event, I really enjoyed these guys and I thought that their story was weaved into all the action perfectly.

Recommended.

15 comments

  • Thanks so much for this review. I put Fox Hunt on my Spring Break reading list and just got to it. I loved this book! I’m partial to this particular supernatural bent, and have to say that this was particularly well done. I appreciate that it wasn’t the center of the story. The story reads like a contemporary, but the hints are there. This is my first Chris Quinton. What a treat — I loved the characters, the dialogue, Robert’s take on things and very witty/intelligent comments, Adam’s vulnerabilities and sense of humor.

    Reply
  • I loved this story, Chris writes such beautiful and detailed characters and storylines. A few authors can really take you away to a different time and/or place, Chris’s writing is like that.

    I’m also a fan of the covers from Manifold Press, classy and a nice change from the usual.

    Reply
    • I totally agree rdafan, I also think that one of the characteristics of her writing style is “restraint” in the best sense of the word. Am I making sense? She writes without going over the top with descriptions of settings, emotions, etc and still manages to do it so well IMO. And yes, I love the cover too.

      Reply
  • I think the reason why this book is getting such mixed reviews at GR is the rather misleading blurb which says nothing about this being a paranormal story so some reader who only read contemporary were disappointed.

    I personally loved the book and wrote a long review, comparing it favorably to Dick Francis’ best books and then my browser crashed … :wallbash:

    Reply
    • Hi Enny, I definitely agree that blurb is misleading, but I think otherwise it would be revealing huge spoiler about that supernatural element, you know? When I was writing the review, at some point I was feeling between rock and hard place, because I felt that the depth of my review wil suffer without discussing the element in detail. But I had to choose and decided that even with spoiler tag, which I usually put up even for small revelations it will be a huge reveal and people who do no want to be spoiled will be justifiably annoyed with me. So I guess what I am trying to say is that as much as I love warnings I personally and thats only my opinion do not think that this needed specific warnings, especially since “supernatural” listed as one of its genres. Sorry about your review 🙁

      Reply
  • Hi Sirius, thanks for the review! I was unsure about this book because art restoration seemed so…dull…to begin with. However, after Sea Changes and Aloes, Chris Quinton is about to turn into an auto-buy for me, and since you assured me I’d get my action….off to give it a try! 😀

    Reply
    • Hi Feliz I cannot guarantee that you will like the book of course – but there is certainly action there 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi Chris. Thanks for writing it. I have no idea what other place you are talking about , but now you made me worry that I missed some huge flaw in the book :). Unless I purchase the book before deciding to review it here, I always avoid reading reviews before my review is done – I find it
    Very hard to get them out of my head.

    Reply
  • Thanks for a great and really insightful review, Sirius.

    It’s always a relief to get a good review, and this one more than makes up for the 2 stars at another place… *g*

    Chris

    Reply
  • I am SCARED and afraid to jinx it, I have like seven or eight books in a row that I overall really liked. Shhhhhh. Hope you will enjoy this one too.

    Reply

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