Title: Fox Hunt
Author: Chris Quinton
Publisher: Manifold Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
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. 🙂
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?
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.