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House of the Hunted    by Mark Mills order for
House of the Hunted
by Mark Mills
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2013 (2012)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

House of the Hunted by Mark Mills takes readers back to a different time that of the 1930s on the French Rivera. Lush, profligate, throwing caution to the winds, spending money the characters might not even have, while living a life fraught with intrigue; the players live a privileged lifestyle.

Underneath all the gaiety, however, there is a sense of unease. The political world is shaky at best, with Hitler on the rise. Spies abound at every turning. Mistrust of even your best friend is common while, on the surface, the gay lifestyle continues. Almost every move is suspicious. Who is sleeping with whose wife or husband is always up for speculation.

It's 1935 and writer Tom Nash has built a marvellous home overlooking the sea. He is godfather to a lovely young lady and spoils her shamelessly. Her mother is bitter-tongued and manages to spoil many a gathering with her vituperous comments. His neighbors have set patterns for their days, and all of them are expected to participate whether it be for tennis, a swim in the cove, a long and elaborate lunch on the beach, or a formal dinner with pate de fois gras and bottles of champagne.

What Tom doesn't expect is someone trying to kill him. As he slept! He manages to get the upper hand but wonders if this is just the beginning. Will there be another attempt? And why? Tom had been an intelligence operative for the British government and done things he would like to forget. Has his past caught up with him?

House of the Hunted is an intriguing and intelligent read, with a taste of the thirties' swinging lifestyle and the deeper reality of the world spinning off its axis. An excellent novel.

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