House of the Hunted by Mark Mills

68%

15 Critic Reviews

The story turns back on itself to weave in colorful background—most of it necessary and entertaining, but some of it rather a drag on the pace one might expect from a thriller.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Mark Mills, bestselling author of Amagansett, The Savage Garden, and The Information Officer, is renowned for blending riveting history, rich atmosphere, and thrilling suspense. Now, in House of the Hunted, Mills deftly unfolds a story of betrayal, love, and the inescapable pull of the past as an ex-spy finds himself drawn back into his treacherous former life.
 
Côte d’Azur, France, 1935: As Europe moves inexorably toward war, Tom Nash feels pleasantly removed, pursuing a quiet writing career on an idyllic stretch of the French Riveria. A former intelligence operative for the British government, Tom now finds refuge among the lively seaside community of expats and artists, hoping to put the worst deeds from his job—and memories of the woman he once loved—far behind him. But Tom’s peaceful existence is shattered when an unknown hit man tries to kill him in his sleep. Tom is sure that somebody knows his secrets, and that this attempt on his life won’t be the last.
 
Relying on his instincts for self-preservation, Tom suspects everyone of double-dealing, even people he considers his friends: the Russian art dealers from Paris, the exiled German dissidents, even his former boss and closest confidant. And as he plunges further into his haunted past, Tom feels himself turning into the person he used to be—a dangerous man, capable of anything.  
 
Combining vividly drawn characters and gripping acts of espionage, House of the Hunted is a superbly crafted novel by an exceptional and versatile storyteller.

Praise for House of the Hunted
 
“Suspenseful and romantic . . . reminiscent of some of the best spy novels of the past.”—CNN
 
“A wild-fire hybrid of John le Carré and Ernest Hemingway . . . an excellent read for those who enjoy both espionage and literary thrillers.”—Bookreporter
 
“[Mark] Mills is a polished stylist with a singular talent for capturing the defining moment when something precious is about to be lost forever.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“This is bloody brilliant. . . . A masterpiece of espionage fiction that fully thrills, while evoking a time and place with the assurance of Alan Furst’s forays into prewar Europe. This novel is beautifully crafted, breathless, and immensely satisfying.”—Olen Steinhauer, New York Times bestselling author of The Tourist and The Nearest Exit
 
“Explosive . . . a terse, carefully plotted journey [that will] have you guessing until the very end.”—Oprah.com
 
“Mesmerizing . . . [Mills’s] best work in an already accomplished career.”—The Independent


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Mark Mills

See more books from this Author
Mark Mills is a screenwriter and the author of The Information Officer, The Savage Garden, and Amagansett. His first novel, Amagansett, was published in a dozen countries and received the British Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award, and The Savage Garden was a #1 bestseller in the United Kingdom. A graduate of Cambridge University, he lives in Oxford with his wife and their two children.
 
Published April 3, 2012 by Random House. 321 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction
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Critic reviews for House of the Hunted
All: 15 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Below average
Mar 15 2012

The story turns back on itself to weave in colorful background—most of it necessary and entertaining, but some of it rather a drag on the pace one might expect from a thriller.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Marilyn Stasio on Apr 06 2012

But while his novel may not have the solid bones of a traditional political espionage thriller, it does have the soft heart of a love story.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Feb 20 2012

Pleasing prose and convincing period detail compensate only in part for a sluggish plot.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Ray Palen on Apr 06 2012

. . .this highly literate thriller goes deep into the inner workings of the spy game circa 1935 and accurately depicts the fractured relationships between all the countries involved.

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Chron.com

Excellent
Reviewed by PG Koch on Apr 22 2012

. . .the sense Mills conveys of the Russian Revolution sending its early echoes across Europe has a haunting force.

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Oprah.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Nathalie Gorman

. . .a terse, carefully plotted journey through the precarious world of pre–World War 2 Continental politics that'll have you guessing until the very end.

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CNN.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Christian DuChateau on Apr 13 2012

Mills' story is suspenseful and romantic, vividly drawn and engaging, reminiscent of some of the best spy novels of the past.

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The Daily News

Excellent
Reviewed by Mark Lardas on May 06 2012

“House of the Hunted” offers a fast-paced adventure with unexpected twists in every chapter.

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Woodbury Bulletin

Excellent
Reviewed by Dave Wood on May 04 2012

Mills. . .won the British Crème Writers’ Association Memorial Dagger award for his first novel, “Amagansett.”. .It’s easy to see why after a romp through “House of the Haunted” as Mills mixes history with espionage.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Below average
Reviewed by Yvonne Klein

He has a great deal of fun with the stock elements of spy thrillers. . .but the mood of tension and excitement is not sustained.

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Bookgasm

Good
Reviewed by Mark Rose on Mar 27 2012

. . .Mills is adept at making each character distinct and intriguing enough for us to develop a belief in their realism.

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Tzer Island

Good
Reviewed by TChris on Apr 02 2012

Mills’ prose is as smooth as the cognac the characters love to drink. He tells a smart, engaging tale.

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2 Heads Together

Below average
Reviewed by Ed on Apr 11 2012

While House of the Hunted was surely enjoyable, it lacked something. It lacked conflict.

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BlogaBook

Good
on May 04 2012

This book has something for everyone: a gripping mystery with plenty of suspense and plot twists, a glimpse into the bohemian and leisured life of the privileged on vacation in the thirties, a narrator with an engaging manly yet sensitive voice, a cast of vividly drawn characters, a hint of romance, and lots of action and mayhem.

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On A Clear Day I Can Read Forever

Good
Reviewed by Nancy Pate on Apr 22 2012

A bit slow at the start, the story accelerates nicely once Nash starts driving the twisting coastal roads with a killer on his trail and yet another waiting around the next curve.

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Reader Rating for House of the Hunted
61%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 49 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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