Wednesday 22 November 2017



"Fast, fun and frenetic. A whip-smart edge-of-your-seat thriller," - Ernest Cline on Killfile

An unstoppable, high-concept action thriller for fans of Mason Cross and Lee Child.

John Smith is no ordinary gun for hire.

Smith is a man or rare gifts, and he knows your every thought . . .

Hired to track down a shooter targeting the rich and famous, Smith must complete his mission before another attack takes place. But when a website on the dark net is found to have connections to the murders, Smith realises that taking down a shadowy figure who has weaponised the internet will prove more difficult than he first thought.

And no matter how hard he tries, this criminal mastermind continues to remain one step ahead.


'Slick, fast-moving fun' - Guardian

'Brilliant . . . Produces intelligent and knuckle-biting suspense. Many will want to read this novel in one sitting' - Publishers Weekly

I must admit I’m not usually one for reading books with elements of supernatural or paranormal or the unexplainable, so I was really surprised to find that I enjoyed this one as much as I did.  John Smith is a private contractor, formerly a CIA operative and the product of a years-old government experiment/project to develop ESP powers in a cadre of agents. Smith’s ability is the power to read minds. Hunt You Down is the second book in the Smith series after Killfile, so the back drop to his time as an agent and his training isn’t really explored here which isn’t that important. Smith’s use of his ability - which also includes being able to implant thoughts into someone’s head - has a consequence in that he absorbs and suffers some of the pain from the people whose minds he reads. In Farnsworth’s hands the ability and the limits of Smith’s powers and the subsequent downside sound plausible and I was readily convinced.

As an opener, Smith is body guarding a rich Russian kid when the pair get caught off guard and are briefly held captive. Smith does his thing and all his right with the world again. Moving on, we have an invite to a celebrity wedding. A reality TV star, who Smith rescued (probably first book) is getting married. The wedding doesn’t go to plan as a gang of armed men attack the party. Our man manages to limit the consequences of the sneak attack and is soon re-employed by the bride’s father to bring the attackers to justice. A fragmented mind-snatch thought offers up the word – Downvote - something which means nothing to our man.

Before long, we discover what Downvote is, where it originated from, how it has been corrupted and Smith has a new mission (tied up with his old one), and a new partner and a new target. Our target, also happens to have his own special weapon, a Chinese agent with abilities comparable to Smith’s. And an agenda.

The rest of our fast-paced tale is a bit of a globe-trotting manhunt. Trying to bring down Downvote and the brains behind it, all the while out-foxing a foe who is our equal in every way. Hunt You Down is a thriller, as opposed to my usual crime fiction reading.

Verdict – I really liked this one and a fair bit more than I was expecting to. The action and events are fast-moving. The plot was believable. Smith’s abilities were convincingly explained and with my doubts and scepticism parked at the front page, I was happy to go with the flow. There’s a fair bit of fun to be had when a protagonist can read an assailant’s mind and can anticipate his next move all the while accessing his not so secret thoughts. Farnsworth serves up a decent conclusion and overall lots here to like. If my TBR pile wasn’t so daunting, I’d happily back track and read the first John Smith book.

4.5 from 5

Christopher Farnsworth has his website here.

Read in November, 2017
Published – 2017
Page count – 368
Source – review copy from publisher, Bonnier Zaffre
Format - Paperback


  1. You know, it's funny, Col. I don't usually go much for the supernatural, either, in my crime fiction. But every once in a while, when it's done very well, it can work. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. Margot - agreed, like you say once in a while and when it's done well - its a bonus.

  2. I would definitely consider this series but would start at the beginning. Maybe in 2019.

    1. Will you remember this one in another year's time? I'll have to set a reminder for you. :-)

    2. Good point, I have started a list. I bet I will hear more about this series in the next year though, it sounds like a good one.

    3. Sounds like a plan. I make loads of reading plans but never stick to them for particularly long!

  3. Now this does sound tempting. Definitely up for consideration...

    1. Woo hoo - hope you enjoy it, if you take the plunge