Veteran author Simon Gervais is back with his second Pierce Hunt thriller, Trained to Hunt. Gervais, a former infantry officer, turned federal LEO had an extensive career investigating illegal narcotics, then working along side elite anti-terrorism units from all over the world. After a rewarding career full of long hours, sacrifice, and constant training, Gervais turned to writing. He has three novels and one short novella in his international best-selling Mike Walton thriller series. His last, Hunt Them Down (2019) was the first in a new series with protagonist Pierce Hunt, a former Army Ranger (RLTW) and current DEA agent. That novel earned critical acclaim worldwide, having 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with over a thousand customer reviews. Over five thousand ratings on Goodreads and earned itself a Blast Radius of a DIRTY BOMB! (9/10) from us. His follow up, Trained to Hunt is even better. With an established list of characters, very few had to be introduced from scratch, which left more room for killing bad guys, and Pierce Hunt is very good at dishing out death to those that deserve it, especially when he’s motivated to punish everyone involved in the events that took place in the last book.
Trained to Hunt picks up roughly four months after the kidnapping and rescue of Hunt’s daughter Leila and her best friend Sophia. Due to the fact that Hunt waged an almost one-man war against the notorious Black Toska aka Valentina Mieles he was fired from the DEA, we learn later at the request of POTUS. The administrator of the DEA, Tom Hauer however hired Hunt and his team as contractors. This is actually one of the best written ways to keep an almost rogue type of agent in the game. He did disobey orders and waged his own war on the responsible cartel, but those actions also have consequences like they would in the real world. The reason this sat well with me is because the U.S. Government is notorious for outsourcing to contractors. The latest Gerard Butler movie currently in theaters, Angel Has Fallen actually revolves around military contractors. Also, as a veteran myself, I personally know how many contractors were being utilized in OIF and OEF. The ratio between contractors and troops at its peak was 3 to 1.
After receiving a tip that one of the few living high ranking members of the Black Tosca’s cartel is in New Orleans, Pierce goes hunting. Conducting surveillance on his target alone isn’t easy and Hunt gets spotted, giving chase and of course catching up to the target. Unknown to Pierce at the time, he interrupted an ongoing CIA operation to recruit this guy. This creates an opportunity for the CIA and utilizing Hunt’s extensive knowledge on the said cartel, they end up mounting an operation together. During this operation, Pierce was part of a team, but when he heard a girl’s high-pitched scream, he abandoned all of his training and charged forward, saying to himself, “if it were Leila in that room screaming for her life, what would he expect a highly trained operator like himself to do?” This stuck out to me, specifically because I remembered reading very similar dialogue in Andrews and Wilson’s latest Tier One thriller, American Operator. There, the protagonist John Dempsey says, “if you were stuck in CONUS right now and that was your daughter being held inside that hellhole – what would you want the two operators on the X to do?” Andrews and Wilson are also veteran authors, this tells me these guys all strive to build characters who are rough, violent, and tough, but also good at their core. In my mind as the reader, they’re quite successful.
Back home, Leila is still dealing with the trauma from being kidnapped a few months ago but is recovering quite well with the help of her supportive boyfriend and high school football star, with much potential. Until they’re at one of his games and he loses consciousness and ends up fighting an ultimate losing battle for his life. Along with him, over a hundred young athletes have all suffered a similar faith. Current DEA investigations have concluded that the Garcia crime family is responsible for distributing this new drug that hit the market early before proper tests were conducted. But Anna Garcia is the current head of the Garcia crime family and she struck a deal with Tom Hauer to clean up her vast family businesses and go legitimate. Was trusting Anna a mistake? Or is there more at play here? Her business is vast and not everyone that works for her is ready to give up their illegal activities and the big pay day it provides. Some would do anything to remain a criminal organization and others would really like to seize control of the business from Anna.
The mission with the CIA Hunt participated in has led the authorities to more intel in where these drugs are being made. This gives Hunt and his team the wonderful opportunity to deploy to a war zone in Afghanistan to find where these labs are located. Coming up empty after weeks of searching, Hunt utilized an old contact and gets some intelligence while fighting off multiple attacks from the Taliban. At the same time, another undercover DEA agent is running for his life through the jungle of Venezuela. While back home, Anna Garcia is being targeted for assassination if she doesn’t willingly participate in distributing this new drug.
Intense action, life threatening situations, gun fights on three continents, an assassin with no remorse, and a drug that threatens the nation’s youth. This thriller starts strong and does not let up. Pierce Hunt is as formidable as ever and targeting those he loves is a sure death sentence. Available on September 24, 2019. This Pierce Hunt thriller is a must-read.
Author: Simon Gervais
Series: Pierce Hunt # 2
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Follow Simon on Twitter: @GervaisBooks
Lima Charlie Rating: A BLAST RADIUS OF: A DIRTY BOMB (9.5/10) – This type of bomb kills immediately & continues to kill rendering the land useless for a long time.
About the author
SIMON GERVAIS was born in Montréal, Québec. He joined the Canadian military as an infantry officer and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1997. Assigned to the Infantry School in Gagetown, New Brunswick, he received extensive training in advanced reconnaissance and small-unit tactics.
In 2001, he became a federal agent. His first posting was in Toronto, where he served as a drug investigator. During this time, he worked on many international drug-related cases in close collaboration with his American colleagues from the DEA. However, in 2004, his career switched gears and he was placed with a federal anti-terrorism unit based in the Ottawa Region. During the following years, he was deployed in numerous European and Middle Eastern countries. In 2009, he became a close-protection specialist tasked with guarding foreign heads of state visiting Canada. Among many others, he served on the protection details of Queen Elizabeth II, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President, Hu Jianto.
In 2012, Simon was transferred to his organization’s counter-surveillance unit. During the next two years, he participated in a number of intelligence gathering operations. In May 2014, he returned to his former unit to serve as a bodyguard for the American and Israeli ambassadors to Canada until his retirement in September 2014.
Simon is now a full-time writer and a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization.
Simon is represented by literary agent Eric Myers at Myers Literary Management.
Simon, his wife and their two children divide their time between Ottawa, Miami and The Bahamas. He’s an avid skier and boating enthusiast.