Winter Hunt takes place in the early years of nineteenth century England. A home invasion robbery, during which a young man loses his life, sets the stage for an adventurous and complex tale. As the first chapter closes, the gang of thieves makes their escape with the owners' possessions in tow. The reader is left to ponder how and when they will be caught and brought to justice, if at all.
When the magistrate's godson, Will, once an army officer, is enlisted to question the robbery victims it starts a chain of events where key members of the gang end up being silenced forever. Will he be able to figure out this perplexing puzzle before the last witness to the robbery and heinous murder is no more?
Who is the mysterious Mr. Heselton, aka Mr. Smith, and what is his connection to the gang of thieves?
Will Kitty, the homeless teenage girl unwittingly enlisted into doing the bidding of a certain devious man of Mr. Heselton's acquaintance, figure out she is a target as well?
Author Allen Makepeace has written an engaging story with equaling engaging characters. The atmosphere is bleak; the weather cold, snowy, and harsh. Typhus is running rampid claiming the lives of those living in the foul and repulsive tenements. The sordidness of the career criminals' lifestyles is captured flawlessly as well as the dankness of the prisons. Life is definitely not easy, some would say even brutal, for the majority of people living in this era.
I enjoyed this novel. The pace of events was quick and I found the characters to be well-developed. Although I was overwhelmed at times by the sheer number of dubious characters introduced into the storyline, overall, this is a gem of a story and one which any mystery buff would enjoy.