The Hunt Club (Wyatt Hunt Series #1)

The Hunt Club (Wyatt Hunt Series #1)

by John Lescroart

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Overview

At first, The Hunt Club had a membership of one: private investigator Wyatt Hunt. Since then, others have joined with a common interest in obtaining justice. One member, inspector Devin Juhle, has just caught a major case: the shooting of a sixty-three-year old federal judge and his twentysomething mistress...

While Juhle works, Hunt plays, hooking up with TV star and legal analyst Andrea Parisi. But before Hunt knows it, Juhle's case will be of great interest to the members of The Hunt Club. Especially to Hunt himself-as Andrea's card is found in the wallet of one of the victims.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451220103
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/26/2006
Series: Wyatt Hunt Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 311,602
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.35(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

John Lescroart is the author of nineteen previous novels, including The Betrayal, The Suspect, The Hunt Club, The Motive, The Second Chair, The First Law, The Oath, The Hearing, and Nothing But the Truth. He lives in Northern California.

Hometown:

El Macero, California

Date of Birth:

January 14, 1948

Place of Birth:

Houston, Texas

Education:

B.A. in English with Honors, UC Berkeley, 1970

Interviews

Ransom Notes Interview with John Lescroart

Paul Goat Allen: John, after so many successful Hardy/Glitsky novels, what was the creative spark behind writing The Hunt Club? And how fun was it to include Diz Hardy as a peripheral character?

John Lescroart: To answer in the reverse order: Including Dismas Hardy in a couple of walk-on roles was one of the most fun things about writing this novel. Having been "inside" Hardy's head for all these years, I just had a blast looking at him through new eyes -- Wyatt Hunt's. As for the creative spark, this one was almost a literal spark. In the middle of writing my previous Hardy/Glitsky book, The Motive, in the course of my normal workday I was writing what I hoped would turn out to be a fun scene where Hardy essentially blackmails his client's husband into paying him his attorney's fee. To do this, he implies that he's discovered an adulterous secret about the husband, and (here's the spark) he refers to an invoice from his investigating firm, the Hunt Club. As soon as those words hit my computer screen, I knew I had an opportunity to expand my horizons in the San Francisco legal world that I've been chronicling. And just as suddenly, I knew that the owner of the Hunt Club was a guy named Wyatt Hunt. I didn't know him then, but I wanted to, and thought my readers would like him, too.

PGA: In the novel's acknowledgments, you described the idea of The Hunt Club as "perhaps risky." Can you elaborate?

JL: Well, when you've been as fortunate as I have been with my "franchise" characters over 13 previous books, you know that your readers have developed sometimes very strong bonds with your characters. You know that they're waiting for the next installment to catch up on what's happening with their "old friends." And I knew that by writing about an entirely new character, I wouldn't be delivering on this kind of implied promise that I'd always previously kept with my loyal and long-term readers. That fact alone might make some of them mad. Worse, maybe people wouldn't like Wyatt Hunt and Devin Juhle. Finally, the book has an entirely different structure (including a lengthy first-person section, which I'd never used before in the Hardy/Glitsky series) and contains no courtroom scenes. So I was in essence jettisoning my main characters, my narrative structure, and my genre all in one new book. I thought this was, in fact, quite a bit more than "perhaps" risky. But as they say: no guts, no glory. I think it has definitely been worth the risk, and I'm glad I took it -- and I hope my readers agree.

PGA: You're known for your unparalleled character development -- and the complex and compelling character of Wyatt Hunt was no exception. How do you go about constructing characters like Wyatt?

JL: I must admit that getting close to Wyatt was a bit of a challenge. He had to be a trained investigator, comfortable with weapons, good with his hands, and I didn't want him to be the "usual" ex-cop (even Hardy had been an ex-cop), so he had to have served in the Army, better in a war zone such as Desert Storm, better still with the Criminal Investigation Division. I also knew that I wanted him to be charismatic, athletic, musical, intelligent -- i.e., an active character. It was also a bit important, having written about those two quintessentially married men, Hardy and Glitsky, for 13 books, that Wyatt not be married. I wanted a little of that romantic and sexual buzz in this book.

The one thing I wanted to avoid was the clichéd hard-boiled private eye. As with my other characters, I wanted to give Wyatt a "real-life" background that hadn't been done to death in other people's fiction. I've got a great, long-standing friend named Andy Jalakas, who had spent about 30 years in Child Protective Services in New York. Some of his stories -- removing children from abusive parents -- were incredibly exciting and moving. I started to think that this was the kind of work toward which a guy like Wyatt Hunt might gravitate. After I read a book that Andy had recommended, Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk by Marc Parent, I was sure that this was the life from which Wyatt had come.

But that left the question of how he got from Child Protective Services to where he is now -- owner of a private investigation firm in San Francisco. Trying to answer this question led -- and again, it's based on some of Andy's "real" stories -- to the kind of bureaucratic/political shenanigans that I love writing about and that make up the final chapters in the first section of The Hunt Club: bad bosses, political cronyism, lies, and power.

Finally, I also wanted Wyatt to have a certain sense of loss deep in his soul -- and for a long time I couldn't quite discover what that had been. But I knew it had to be the thing that had driven him to work with abandoned or abused kids, and that left him seeking love and companionship -- and one day it came to me that, of course, he'd been orphaned himself, shunted around in the foster care system as a child until finally getting adopted by a loving and caring family.

PGA: The numerous plot threads running throughout The Hunt Club were amazingly dense. There's a lot going on here. And considering that you're introducing an entire cast of characters, how much more difficult -- if at all -- was writing The Hunt Club compared to recent Hardy/Glitsky novels?

JL: We're being honest here, so I can say that The Hunt Club was the most difficult book I've ever written. For the longest time, even after I more or less knew who Hunt was, I couldn't get my arms around a story that seemed to take advantage of the disparate elements of his character. I actually started the book -- and passed the 150-page mark -- three times between September and December.

I had several problems, some of them technical. In the first place, I had a huge backstory about Hunt to convey, and I hate exposition and expository dialogue. I need things to happen in the here and now. I think that's what narrative drive is all about. So how do I tell Wyatt's backstory, which really has nothing to do with the actual plot of The Hunt Club, without it feeling tacked on, expository, or boring? Secondly, I've always written with a third-person omniscient narrator -- but now I was "free" to do anything I wanted. This wasn't, after all, a Hardy/Glitsky book. So I experimented in all of my false starts with different tones, voices, past or present tense, points of view. (I even considered telling the whole story from the first-person point of view of Wyatt's female secretary!)

Also, I had just a ton of very cool research about the California Correctional Police Officers Association (the CCPOA), better known as the Prison Guards Union, and I wanted to somehow include that in the story, as soon as I knew what the story was.

At last, it got to be the end of January. The book was due at Dutton, my publishers, on the following May 1st -- 90 days away! Was I worried? Panicked? Even slightly concerned? Somewhat.

So then I did what I always do. I stop thinking and recite the old mantra that Thurber's editor at The New Yorker had said to him: Don't get it right, get it written. I literally didn't have time for all the soul-searching and nail-biting. I knew I had all the material. I had to just try to have fun with it and tell a story that was intriguing and amusing, scene by scene. So I started fresh again -- for the fourth time -- and found that a first-person narrative in Wyatt's voice brought him to life on page one, and also kept him active, front and center until the day he decides to become a private eye. At which point, I switched narrative styles, reverted to my comfortable narrative third-person voice, tried to channel through the Sun God Ra, and wrote like a madman, finishing the book with two days to spare. Whew!

But if The Hunt Club reads fast and fun, that's because that's how it was written.

PGA: The book's conclusion is pretty open-ended. Are you (hopefully) planning on writing any more novels featuring Hunt and Juhle?

JL: Hunt and Juhle are already in my next book, tentatively entitled A Domestic Disturbance, which now has about 100 pages written. Hardy is in it, too. But none of them are the center of the action. At least so far. In any event, I expect that over the coming years, both Juhle and Hunt will have cases and books of their own, à la Hardy and Glitsky.

PGA: I have to ask: What's the status regarding the next Hardy/Glitsky novel?

JL: It's on the burner right now -- the back burner to be sure, but simmering away. I expect I'll start on it next September. For now, I'm giving both of these guys a chance to have some time go by in their lives, so that when we revisit them, there'll be some new and interesting surprises.

Customer Reviews

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The Hunt Club (Wyatt Hunt Series #1) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was not impressed with this book. Story ok but drags "too many words" with not much to say. Characters were weak and uninteresting. Ok read if you have nothing else laying around.
Guest More than 1 year ago
And I will read more too. But this is his not-best book. The beginning quarter, and towards the end picked up. But in the middle there was a long, very long stretch where all the characters did was visit each other and talk about what was going on, covering the same ground over and over. Lag is the word. Most Lescroart books are snappingly good, this is the exception. I do like the characters though, and will be glad to read about them again in a new book.
Mahuenga More than 1 year ago
This is the first in a series of three books specifically featuring private investigator Wyatt Hunt. Hunt is a like-able man who surrounds himself with a good team. The book starts with a first-person narrative providing Hunt's backstory. The plot was very well-woven --- lots of potential killers, lots of hidden motives. A satisfying read.
CBPax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good mystery but not his best. I love this author though.
mashley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good suspense until the end, which is a little contrived.
TerryWeyna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Lescroart starts a new series with The Hunt Club, set in the same universe -- even the same San Francisco, and around same police department -- as his Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky books. While it is written with competence, The Hunt Club is disappointing. It lacks Lescroart's usual tension, despite a possible kidnap victim for whom the clock is ticking down. It almost seems as if Lescroart is getting bored with his own writing.The hero of The Hunt Club is Wyatt Hunt, a San Francisco private investigator. The book traces his career from his work with Child Protective Services -- some of the more harrowing and interesting scenes in the book concern this work, but they're nothing but preface -- to his decision to hang out his own shingle. With his connections to Dismas Hardy and his law firm, the PI venture is a success from the very beginning. It doesn't hurt that Hunt has a strong connection to the police department in the person of Devin Juhle, a homicide inspector.The real plot of the book starts about 50 pages in, when a federal judge is found shot dead in his home study -- along with his young and beautiful lover. Shortly thereafter, Andrea Parisi, a gorgeous attorney who has been reporting on a local trial for Trial TV disappears. The police start to wonder if Parisi, who has just become a strong romantic interest for Hunt, wasn't the one who killed the judge and his lover. Motive? She was the judge's mistress before the dead woman was.But there are plenty of other suspects, from the judge's wife (who had been unaware of his infidelities) to the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, a union of prison guards (over which the judge had been about to exert federal control due to a variety of abuses, from the mundane financial scams to hideous, torturous treatment of prisoners). The story of the CCPOA could have been very interesting indeed, had Lescroart chosen to develop it; but he does not.And this is true of much of the book: interesting subplots seem about to erupt, but then bubble down again. Not only the CCPOA itself seems like an interesting story, but so does the lawyer who is conflicted about representing the CCPOA, to the tune of millions of dollars in billable work each year. The involvement of Trial TV seems interesting, but is merely a sidebar. There are many ideas here, and many books that could have been written really exploring some of them. But instead, The Hunt Club soon devolves into an almost dead case, with the police suspecting that Parisi did it and then jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, while Hunt refuses to believe it and keeps looking. Even this doesn't sound like it should be boring; a race against time to find a possible victim of kidnapping should be edge-of-the-seat stuff. But Lescroart loses his way with pages of introspection from one character, agonizing by another character, and the ambitions of a third. By page 400 one is longing for the finish, but that's still far, far away.To read some prime Lescroart, try The First Law. That's a good one. This one isn't.
JustAGirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another excellent page turner from Lescroart, bringing in a new cast of characters as well drawn as Hardy and Glitsky.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disappointed!!! Struggled off and on through out. Had me, lost me a few times!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Is this book a classic that literature students will be reading 10 years from now? No. Is this a book you will easily put down once you are into it? No. There are books you read for cerebral inspiration, and then there are books you read for pure entertainment. The Hunt Club is pure entertainment. It is a page turner. I agree that the ending is a bit disappointing, not because of who the culprit turned out to be but because of the improbable way this carefully crafted story was rushed to an ending. Nevertheless, I feel this book is a very good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book in its entirety up untill the ending. The ending which was only five pages, left me very disappointed and rather angry. Don't get me wrong, this was a great book, a great suspenful story, but the ending made me want to throw the book up against a wall.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With some 16 bestsellers to his credit John Lescroart well knows how to plot a thriller. With a multitude of TV and film appearances behind him Guerin Barry certainly knows how to narrate a suspense driven story, and he does it to a T with The Hunt Club. Audiobook fans can sit back, press a button, and know they're going to meet two exciting new characters, sharply drawn by Lescroart and compellingly read by Barry. As is often the case with this author, the opener is a grabber. A federal judge is found murdered - shot to death in his home. However, His Honor didn't die alone - also found is the body of his young mistress. San Francisco can't get enough of reading about this case. Initially, inspector Devin Juhle chalks the killings up to the revenge of a betrayed wife. Of course, it's not as easy as that. Seems there are some others who would also like the judge to breathe his last. Among them is a lovely attorney, Andrea Parsi, who has recently found her moments of fame as a commentator on Trial TV. What's a good story without romance? Wyatt Hunt, Juhle's pal, is smitten with Andrea and doesn't like it one bit when she turns up missing. Never one to pay too much attention to the rules, Hunt rounds up some of his cronies to help him find the missing woman. Little did they know what they'd find as they dug deeper into her disappearance. Surprises and suspense abound with The Hunt Club. - Gail Cooke
harstan More than 1 year ago
In San Francisco, someone murders U.S. Federal Judge George Palmer and his much younger mistress Staci Rosalier in his high income home in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. His wife Jeannette found the bodies and called 911. SFPD Homicide Inspector Devin Juhle immediately assumes that the spouse killed her husband and his lover for cheating on her especially in their home. --- Helped by Dismas Hardy, Wyatt Hunt became a private investigator and opened up the Hunt Club four years ago. He sometimes serendipitously works with his police friend Devin as he is doing right now on the judicial homicide. Hunt uncovers some powerful enemies that Palmer made over the years however, just after finding his girlfriend TV reporter Andrea Parisis has a connection too, she vanishes, making the investigation personal. --- Much of what makes Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky so popular is found in the characteristics of the key players of this novel. THE HUNT CLUB starts a fresh series that is less legal and more investigative in nature. Devin and Wyatt make a fine team as the former brings police technology and know how to a case while the latter can go under the law to make other types of inquiries. The support cast including Devin¿s deceased partner (died in the line of duty) add understanding to the two sleuths as much as moving the exciting story line forward. Fans of Hardy-Glitsky will toast the beginning of a long friendship. --- Harriet Klausner