Title: Cricket Hunters
Author: Jeremy Hepler
Edition: Paperback & Kindle
Page Count: 262 pages
Rating: 5 / 5 ✨✨✨✨✨
Celia (Garcia) Lundy was fifteen in the fall of 1998 when Abby Powell, one of her five friends who called themselves the Cricket Hunters, disappeared without a trace. Cops scoured the central Texas town of Oak Mott searching for Abby. Interviewed everyone. Brought in the Texas Rangers to assist. Three key suspects emerged and were focused on, but no evidence was found. Eventually, the case went cold, and the passage of time buried the truth of Abby Powell’s fate.
Fifteen years later, as the anniversary of Abby’s disappearance approaches, Cel’s life is upended when her husband Parker, also once a Cricket Hunter, goes missing. When bizarre clues surface that point to a link between Parker’s and Abby’s disappearances, Cel is forced to delve back into the past in order to navigate the present. With the help of her abuela, a self-proclaimed bruja, she embarks on a tumultuous journey fraught with confrontation and trickery, spells and spirits, theft and murder, in order to find out what happened to her husband, and why.
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This is hands down one of the BEST books I’ve read in all of 2019, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t need to read a full review of something to want to buy or read it – GO NOW! ORDER IT! You won’t regret it!
In the story, we’re introduced to a central cast of characters that we follow through a timespan of 15 years. I loved the transitions between past and present – this isn’t always done well in books, but Hepler handled it perfectly, making it feel fluid and smooth rather than disjointed or clunky.
While there are some great horror elements to CRICKET HUNTERS, it’s also an amazing coming-of-age tale, especially in the parts from when Cel and her friends were young kids. I loved how real the depiction of childhood was, from their imaginative games to their neighborhood adventures. Woven together with Cel’s grandmother’s spells and superstitions, all of the chapters taking place in the 1990s felt really magical and enchanting to me.
In the present-day, the story felt more like a thriller – which I loved. Trying to solve the mystery in the present, while the mystery from the past unfolds alongside the main story, was a completely absorbing experience. I was swept away, and couldn’t put the book down – I honestly only stopped reading for the half hour it took me to drive home that day!
This was my first book by the author, so I didn’t know what to expect at all writing-wise – and I loved it all! Hepler’s writing is engaging and accessible while remaining completely original, from the twist ending to the beautiful blend of cultures and languages. This could easily be adapted into a movie, and I hope that someday it is, because the story is amazing and it’d be incredible on screen – although I’m not positive that any director could capture the atmosphere and ambiance to Hepler’s writing.
Overall, if I could give this 6 stars, I would. It will absolutely be in my Top Books of 2019 recap (coming soon!), and it’s one I’ll probably read again in the future. The publisher, Silver Shamrock Publishing, is putting some great stuff out recently – keep an eye on both Silver Shamrock & Jeremy Hepler‘s books!
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