Cover image for Hunting down Amanda : a novel
Hunting down Amanda : a novel
Klavan, Andrew.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W. Morrow, 1999.
Physical Description:
369 pages ; 25 cm
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After his wife's brutal murder, Lonnie Blake becomes obsessed with the woman who fulfilled his fantasies for one night and sets out to find her, only to learn that a team of ruthless killers are hunting Carol and her five-year-old daughter.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Following his ghostly The Uncanny (1997), about a young Hollywood producer who goes to England to connect with the spiritual world, Klavan turns out an equally successful psychological thriller with sf overtones. The story opens with the horrendous crash of a jumbo jet. There is an immense loss of life but no obvious reason for the jet's destruction. Then we meet five-year-old Amanda Dodson, whose mother, Carol, is a local bartender. Carol is concerned that Amanda may have been harmed by the vast quantity of plane wreckage raining down on their town, but as it turns out, she has not been harmed. So far, so good. Then we meet musician Lonnie Blake, who one night meets and falls for a hooker, who turns out to be bartender Carol. Some pretty strange and violent men are after her, and, of course, Lonnie gets caught up in her predicament. But what does all this have to do with Carol's little girl, Amanda? Well, it takes a long time to get the answer, but the journey is well worth it, for Klavan has a gift for fashioning tight plotting and creating colorful characters. Good entertainment. --Brad Hooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

1999 may be Klavan's breakout year: the film version of his novel True Crime, starring Clint Eastwood, was a hit, and Morrow is backing his immensely exciting new novel with a major promo campaign. Any breakout will be past due. Admirers of Klavan thrillers acknowledged (Don't Say a Word, etc.) and pseudonymous (as Keith Peterson, The Scarred Man, etc.) know that this author at his best bows to no one for whiplash plotting and page-whirling suspense. He's at his best here. The novel opens full-tilt, with a rain of flesh and "liquid fire" on a small town in Massachusetts. Into the ground-level conflagration caused by the plane explosion walks a little girl. Her mother, Carol Dodson, chases after her and finds her in the arms of a man staggering through the fire, who hands the girl to Carol. "Oh God," Carol says in a moment of clarity whose significance is revealed only later, "now they'll come after her." And a team of villains does, with shocking fierceness, alerted to Amanda's location by the incident and headed by one Edmund Winter, a killer as stone-cold as his name and dispatched by a multinational corporation with a lethalÄif a bit too incredibleÄinterest in both little Amanda and the man at the crash site. Fighting to save the girl are several equally desperate characters, including her mother, now on the run, willing to do anything, including selling her body, for her daughter; Lonnie Blake, a soul-blasted jazz musician looking for a reason to live; and an embittered lit professor stricken with cancer. Related in trim, athletic prose, the novel unfolds around New England and New York City as an extended, twisty chase, breathtaking but seriously deepened by its fallible heroes' varied struggles for redemption. The ending is a kick in the solar plexus but feels just right: this is a thriller with smarts equal to its ultra-slick style. $300,000 ad/promo; author tour; rights sold in the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Holland and Japan. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Lonnie Blake's wife was murdered three years ago. Now the new love of his life is being stalkedÄalong with her little daughter, Amanda. From a two-time Edgar Award winner. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.