Evelyn Baine has been a criminal profiler at the FBI for a year now, but she believes still has to fight to gain the respect of her colleagues and boss. When she’s assigned the case of a serial killer working in the small Virginia town of Bakersville, Evelyn thinks she may have her chance. But she gets more than she bargained for with this case: she’s so determined to bring him down, Evelyn doesn’t see that she might lose everything in the process.
Hunted is a crime novel featuring a very interesting main character in Evelyn. As a woman who’s half black, she feels as though she has to work harder than everyone else to prove herself. The question is whether that is actually true; Evelyn tends to see slights where none exist. Sure, she does encounter sexism in the mostly masculine department she works in, but not from everyone. It’s a unique struggle because it seems as though Evelyn is fighting against herself, rather than anyone around her. It’s an interesting twist on the woman-in-a-male-dominated-workplace dynamic.
This can also make Evelyn frustrating though. She is so prickly in Hunted that she sometimes even turns the reader off. Her determination to capture the Bakersville serial killer is admirable at the beginning, but when she continually puts herself at risk and shrugs off her superiors’ and colleagues’ recommendations, it’s hard to sympathize with her. Evelyn’s not a team player, but she has horrors in her past that have shaped her. She’s not an easy character by any stretch of the imagination, but Heiter has certainly made Evelyn intriguing.
The story of Hunted moves along at a brisk pace, and Heiter keeps the reader guessing when it comes to the serial killer’s identity. It’s not a perfect novel (there are some coincidences that are difficult to believe), but it does present a promising start to a new series. I, for one, will definitely keep an eye on Heiter to see where she takes Evelyn next.