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As a professional footballer it looks like Adam Hunter has it all, but when the secret of his affair with midfielder Louie Jackson begins to leak out he’s plunged into the depths of misery – prompting a desperate series of manoeuvres to conceal the truth. Injured, distrusted by his team-mates and plagued by personal tragedy, Adam goes from hero to zero – and by the time Louie’s transferred to a German side he’s running out of reasons to stay alive. If there’s any way back from the brink of suicide, it isn’t clear to him at the moment …
My heart; my poor unassuming heart and it’s sensitive ways was unprepared for this story.
I was completely consumed by this story for its entire 366 pages. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. And I’m still thinking about it days later.
So, I’ve had the pleasure of reading some outstanding books lately. Books that have wooed me; books who’s prose were so poetic, so glorious that I felt like nothing could come close to their standard.
And then along came Hunted.
Granted, it’s not filled with flowery prose or mind-blowing imagery, but it is filled with a character driven, emotive storyline.
It was everything for me. Angsty – but not overwhelmingly so, emotive – but not dramatic, thoughtful and insightful- but not too heavy.
I was touched by MC Adam Hunter’s experiences:
– His fear of not being noticed for the right reasons
– HIs fear of being noticed for the wrong reasons
– His fear of being persecuted for being the person he is.
– Media harassment
– Persecution by his teammates for being the “odd” one, the “queer” one.
– Fear of being rejected by family.
– Living under the pressure of being in the international spotlight when you love being an athlete, but not being famous.
Sure, we’ve read about many of these issues in m/m books before, but this somehow felt different to me. I felt like we really got to see inside Adam’s head and I really connected with his character.
Using a nonlinear narrative through Adam’s first person perspective, the story unfolds slowly. Carefully bringing the puzzle pieces of Hunter’s demise together. Its a sombre story about unexpected, unwanted attraction and love. How does he handle his fame, career, attraction, love, family?
It’s clean, sparse writing creates mood and tension. Both these elements build until the pressure for reader and character is sky high.
Right up until the last chapter, I had no idea how the story would end, and yet, I did not want it to be over. I was completely obsessed with it.
If you’re a football fan, you’ll love this… and even if you’re not, I still think you’ll love it. I’ve already re-read parts and I’m sure I’ll read some more.
Liz Powell is officially on my radar. Let’s hope this debut novel is just the beginning of a prolific writing career.