Hunted in the Holler
October 14, 2023

Book Review

Hunted in the Holler

Drew Strickland continues to impress with this series set in a rural county of West Virginia. Elven Hallie, a relatively new sheriff, confronts numerous challenges while patrolling Dupray. However, he couldn’t have anticipated the terror that would descend upon him when someone hires a hitman for revenge.

As the community descends into panic with an assassin on the loose, Deputy Maddison ‘Madds’ Cook faces her own demons, trying to avoid a ghost from her past. Not only does this pose challenges for her, but it threatens to collide her past with her present. Strickland crafts a compelling novel here, ensuring the series’ fans remain captivated.

While there’s nothing like Dupray, West Virginia in winter, some eagerly anticipate the end of these bleak months. For others, it’s the prime time to operate from the shadows. This is the scenario for a mysterious visitor with a hit list and a overflowing bank account.

Sheriff Elven Hallie has been assimilating well as the new face of law and order in the county. Although it’s inevitable he’ll make enemies, he’s earned enough support to secure his position and maintain public satisfaction. His mood lifts when an old friend returns, hoping to rekindle fond high school memories. But, old disputes soon resurface.

To compound matters, the body count rises as a shooter seeks vengeance. While Sheriff Hallie hesitates to cast blame, these events coincided with Hunter Wallace’s arrival. Desperate for answers, the sheriff and his deputies must act quickly to halt the violence.

Meanwhile, Dupray’s newest deputy, Madds Cook, grapples with personal conflicts. Protecting her past and assisting some of the county’s more dubious residents takes its toll. Misleading Sheriff Hallie becomes an unfortunate necessity, something she wishes she could avoid. Her anxiety heightens when a troubling figure from her past appears to have arrived in Dupray.

With an assassin on the hunt, driven by a hefty payday, Sheriff Elven Hallie must delve into the past to decipher the present. Madds struggles to reconcile her past with the present, making a hasty and surprising decision. This is all before severing ties with the one person who truly accepted her. What will one winter night bring to Dupray? Drew Strickland unveils it all in this third installment of the series.

This novel possesses all the hallmarks of a pivotal book in a robust series. Drew Strickland masterfully addresses past issues while paving the way for future stories. His exceptional narrative flow keeps readers engrossed and often second-guessing. The subtle undertones woven into the story are integrated seamlessly without being overly overt.

Strickland’s character development is exactly what fans crave. Elven Hallie’s backstory enriches his character, revealing his earlier life in Dupray and the experiences that molded him into the sheriff he is today. Madds Cook’s narrative comes to the forefront, shedding light on her deceptions and her history in Arizona. Strickland skillfully maintains suspense, ensuring readers remain curious about Madds’ intentions. Supporting characters also get their moment, providing a glimpse of Dupray two decades prior, as recounted by its now matured high school students.

The plot progression is astutely crafted. Strickland’s introduction of the hitman narrative and Madds Cook’s unraveling backstory deepened my engagement. The intertwining of story arcs is not mere filler; they resonate on various levels, converging and diverging as the story unfolds. The palpable tension, accentuated by brief chapters and cliffhangers, is complemented by robust plot developments that compel readers to continue. I eagerly await the next installment, as Strickland has numerous threads to weave together.

Kudos to Mr. Strickland. I’m keenly awaiting Book 4.

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