Only the Hunted Run is the newest book in Neely Tucker's Sully Carter series.
I've read the first two books and really enjoyed them, so I happily picked up this newly released third entry.
Sully is a newspaper reporter in Washington, DC. I'm going to borrow from one of my previous descriptions of Sully:
"The best protagonists for crime books are the walking wounded, the ones who buck authority, the ones who just can't let things be or let justice go unserved. Sully Carter fills the bill on every count. He's battling PTSD, alcohol and anger issues, his bosses and manages to step on toes everywhere he goes. He's also a confidant of the one of DC's crime lords. Flawed but driven."
Sully is in the Capitol building on an assignment when a shooter goes on a rampage. Sully, instead of running, moves further into the building, chasing the story. He gets close, manages to hide, and is a first hand witness to the carnage. The shooter himself makes the 911 call, but manages to walk out without being apprehended. After reading Sully's story, he calls him, insisting they have similarities in their lives. And that they should talk.....
I always love keeping an eye out for the title cue as I read. In this case, it comes from Terry Waters, the shooter:
"Sully, okay. You've got to understand this. It's key. Only the hunted run. I, me, I'm not the hunted. I'm not running. I hunt. I am the hunter."
But Sully too is hunting - hunting for who Terry Waters is and the whys and wherefores of his killing spree.
The journey for those answers makes for addictive reading. It was only when I finished the book that I discovered that Neely had (again) woven in fact with fiction. It was hard to believe that these horrific historical details were sickeningly real.
What makes this such a great series? Well, I love the main character, flaws and all. Sully is making progress on the anger, drinking and PTSD, but it's two steps forward, one step back. Tucker has given Sully an expanded personal life with Alexis that I hope lasts - I quite like her. There seems to be an exit for one supporting character that I will be sad to see leave. But I am looking forward to seeing what his replacement will bring to the series.
The writing is fantastic - great pacing, dialogue, setting and plotting. And no wonder - Tucker himself is a writer at The Washington Post. He's also been a war correspondent in over sixty countries. Tucker brings that experience and knowledge to his writing. And to Sully as well - I do wonder how much of Tucker himself is woven into the character?
Only the Hunted Run was another great read for me. I look forward to number four. Read an excerpt of Only the Hunted Run.
You can connect with Neely Tucker on his website, find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @NeelyTucker.