The Hunted

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Pub Date 04 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2022
Head of Zeus, Head of Zeus -- an Aries Book

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Set in a remote Scottish lodge in the depths of winter, this explosive and disturbing thriller asks what happens when dark secrets finally come to light. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Kerri Beevis.


It's been twenty years since they were all at school together. So when a group of female friends gather at a beautiful but isolated Scottish island lodge for a weekend away, they're looking forward to relaxing, sharing updates on their lives, and reminiscing.

The furthest thing from their minds is murder.

But even though they've known each other since high school, some of these women have secrets. Dark secrets that can ruin friendships, ruin marriages – ruin lives.

Things you thought you knew and loved can turn out to be your biggest nightmares. And when recriminations start to fly, it soon becomes clear: it's not a question of when, but if, these old friends will ever make it home again...

'In The Hunted, the layers of deceit carefully built over years are torn off; the façade of normality slowly peeled away, all in an atmosphere of sublime menace. Black delivers a subtly written and engaging read.' Daniel Scanlan

Reviews for P.R. Black:

'A slow-burning thriller that builds to a devastating dénouement' Mail on Sunday
'It's edge-of-the-seat stuff... A cracker' Bookbag
'Copious amounts of suspense' Novel Kicks

Set in a remote Scottish lodge in the depths of winter, this explosive and disturbing thriller asks what happens when dark secrets finally come to light. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Kerri...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781800249394
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 35 members

Featured Reviews

Wow wow wow! What a crazy story! Geez! This one definitely had the heart pumping! This book had crazy suspense, intrigue, action and a crazy serial killer! Lots of blood and gore! Geez the storyline was just crazy interesting! It had my heart pounding and glued to my kindle! I will definitely recommend reading this book! It is filled with murder and Gore! So reader beware! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!

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The Hunted by P.R. Black was a slow-burning thriller, super suspenseful- had me turning pages late through the night because I could not put it down until I had worked out all the twists.
The atmosphere is heightened by the author’s often beautiful prose and the often claustrophobic, tense narrative.
I really enjoyed this book. Totally addictive, intriguing story.
Along with some interesting characters! I absolutely love stories like these!
And Black did an outstanding job with this one.

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Head of Zeus|Aries Book,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my platforms, blog, B&N and Waterstone closer to pub date.

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Illusions Are Shattered…
A familiar premise draws the reader in - a weekend away in a remote lodge, a group of old friends, a reunion and murder. A premise, perhaps, well known to most readers of the murder mystery genre and perhaps most well known to aficionados of the locked room type mystery, of the whodunnit. Indeed, there are many such novels to the fore at this particular point in time. Well, this one is different. Within just a few pages, illusions are immediately shattered, with a bang, and the game begins in earnest. Because, this is a game. A well drawn and credible cast of characters, an atmospheric setting and red herrings aplenty populate a twisted and devious plot with often gut wrenching and grotesque shocks and surprises. This is a one sit read which delivers way more than its premise in droves and is, frankly and to use a well trodden cliché, impossible to put down until that final denouement. A strong stomach may be a prerequisite.

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#TheHunted #NetGalley
Loved it.
It's been twenty years since they were all at school together. So when a group of female friends gather at a beautfiul but isolated Scottish island lodge for a weekend away, they're looking forward to relaxing, sharing updates on their lives, and reminiscing.
The furthest thing from their minds is murder.
But even though they've known each other since high school, some of these women have secrets. Dark secrets that can ruin friendships, ruin marriages – ruin lives. Things you thought you knew and loved can turn out to be your biggest nightmares. And when recriminations start to fly, it soon becomes clear: it's not a question of when, but if, these old friends will ever make it home again...
I really enjoyed reading this book. it's awesome.
Thanks to NetGalley and Head Of Zeus for giving me an advance copy.

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A group of old high school friends gather together in a remote lodge in Scotland. Despite decades of friendship. these women share secrets as well as fond memories. What starts out as a trip down memory lane turns deadly when some of those secrets come to light. Reunions in deserted locations have become a popular vehicle for thrillers, Black rises above the crowd with this story with twists and turns that readers won’t see coming

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All I can say is 'Wow'!! Non stop action. Plenty of twists. Another book to stay up with until it's finished!! I will be buying this for my thriller loving daughter. In my opinion a book not to be missed

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Wow! What a wild ride this was!

Talk about action pact & thrilling! This is the type of book that will have you reading into late night and looking over your shoulder. What’s scarier than being on a remote island with a maniac?

I felt so many emotions towards the characters. I could not stand Debs or Toni and actually felt bad for Mouse and Leah. Loved the writing and the different personality’s of the characters.

Definitely recommend this thriller!

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Thank you NetGalley, Head of Zeus for allowing me read an advanve copy of P.R. Black's “The Hunted”

It was one very wild ride down a very dark and twisty road!

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The Hunted was a super pleasant surprise for a thriller lover.

I didn’t know what I was getting into or expected but boy did I enjoy the ride!

The pacing builds quickly as you whip through twists and turns galore. Some more predicable than others, this was a a twisty and honestly a bit bizarre/messed up thriller that could have bordered on horror if they went just a little darker.

Genuinely would recommend! 3.75 stars

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Thank you NetGalley, Head of Zeus and P R Black for letting me read “The Hunted” in exchange for an honest review.

A dark, dark cover. A single hut. I love it. The cover gives you a creepy feeling, which is always a good thing in my book.

20 years ago they were a group of friends - The Owl Society - in high school. Now they are supposed to meet again for a weekend at a lodge on a remote Scottish island. What was supposed to be a trip down memory lane turns out to be a nightmare. There are dark secrets that better stay hidden because when they come to light, they turn out deadly.

The group consists of five women, Shell, Debs, Leah, Toni and Mouse. The ladies are all very different to each other, at different stages of their lives. We have the artist, the mother hen, the social butterfly, the career woman, you name it. But what I liked was that they were well rounded and thought out.

The novel already starts with a bang. I had to think twice, like no, it can’t be possibly happening? Already? Now? Then the switch to another character, Leah. Keeping the suspense alive. Then it slows down again, we get to know the women better. Some of them you will like, some not so much. I had all kinds of crazy theories and none happened really. :)

I just adore novels taking place in Scotland. P R Black has a great, descriptive style of writing. You can just imagine the place. Is it a bit cliché? Maybe.

To sum it up… I LOVED the book. One of the best reads this year. So many twist and turns, really well written.

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This felt like a very familiar concept and I went into it quite wary that I'd read it a million times before.......... I was 100% wrong! Yeah, it shares a similar plot line to some other but that's where the similarities end. This starts with such a massive bang that you're immediately just thrown in at the deep end and then you're just trying to keep up as you fly through this book. The characters are the usual friend group but they're so well written and so realistically created that, these are women you know! The lies and secrets and hidden motives are all so well written that you just never know what's coming next or who's really responsible. It wad just a sheer delight of a book and I loved every second of it. If you just read one book in the "old friends meet up and someone dies" type..... male sure it's this one

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I really like the the 'friends get together and people start dying' trope so I was keen to start this one after reading the blurb.

I thought the locations and characters were well-described. The characters all felt realistic and we got to know them pretty well through the course of the book. I like that the author didn't shy away from some pretty gory murder scenes.

The beginning and end of the book were really exciting. We start with a bang and the last quarter is unputdownable. I did feel like the pace lagged in the middle slightly, especially during the spin the bottle game which seemed to last for ages. My only other quibble is that I question the decision to name three male characters Ewan, Owen and Eoghan. I think it's easy to confuse them unless you read the book in one sitting.

Overall this was a good thriller and I would recommend it.

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The Hunted starts with a bang and keeps on going.
Old friends getting together after decades apart, bring their past and new lives with them.
On an island hilltop, no cell reception, and someone with a score to settle make this a fast read.

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Wow a non stop action packed thriller from the very start of the book.
I finished this book in two mammoth sessions, reader be warned set aside the time for this read.
My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

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what a fantastic read, thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. I could not put it down.

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I can't say this is quite what I was expecting after having having read this author's other books. This one definitely has a women's fiction vibe to it, and it takes a bit before the action picks up. A group of women who have been friends since high school are meeting up for a getaway weekend trip on a Scottish island. Four of the women arrive and begin to reminisce, while the fifth friend is delayed due to unknown reasons and terrible cell phone reception. Each woman has a distinct personality and place in the group. Leah is the mother hen type, who always looks out for everyone else first. Mouse is the quiet one who enjoys the outdoors. Toni is the competitive athlete who wants to win at any cost and Debs is the brash center of attention. Leah and Mouse are the only remotely likeable characters and even they can barely tolerate Toni and Debs.

They spend their getaway drinking and rehashing old stories and it isn't long before the friends start to grate on each other's nerves. Somehow every nostalgic tale manages to set one of the women off and arguments abound. Then. one of the married women has a fling with their guide from the island and it's about that time that things start going downhill. Husbands and partners come to the island lodge, worried that they can't get in touch with the women. But they aren't the only visitors that turn up uninvited. It becomes clear that whoever planned this getaway had one specific reason to get these woman stranded on a remote island. They are being hunted.

I enjoyed the story, even with the unlikeable characters, because they are realistically unlikeable, if that makes sense. We all know frenemies like these, sticking together even if they don't always like each other. The ending was fun if not entirely unexpected. It's worth a read and who knows - maybe after reading this book, your own friends won't seem so bad!

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A group of old school friends gather together in a remote lodge in Scotland. What starts out as a harmless gathering to reminisce soon turns deadly when old held secrets come to light.
I love a thriller with this sort of plot and location and there is plenty going on here to keep the reader absorbed.

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Fast paced, intesnse and gripping. Completely compulsive, I couldn't put it down and I didn't want too. It was twisty and unpredictable. A fantastic read.

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This was a fabulous read. Twisty and twisted. Sparks of eerie, chilling, and macabre weaved into this mystery thriller so perfectly. I couldn't put it down. Perfect summer read!

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This was a thrilling & intense read. I enjoy thrillers set in an isolated location where the characters are picked off one by one, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one! Admittedly, it was a little slow in places, but that soon picked up with the drama of old school friends getting on echo other’s nerves, and we start to see the cracks appear in their friendships. As the weekend progresses and the creepiness builds. It becomes obvious who is behind this, but I felt that this did not detract from the story - part of the excitement of this story for me was wondering how long it was going to take the characters to figure this out. There’s still a few surprises left after this, and it was a nail biting finish!

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Wow! A real heart pounder! I loved this book! It was thrilling, it had intrigue, suspense, and lots of heart pounding moments! Lots of twists and turns!! Definitely some jaw dropping moments! I highly recommend reading this book! Its well worth the thrill!

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3.75 rounded up
An eerie setting, a girls weekend and a killer on the loose.
These elements together make for a great weekend read. I enjoyed the atmospheric setting and getting to know the adult women's childhood in flashbacks. The book was a bit of a slow burn with a lot of development and lead up to the thrilling parts. It starts to pick up in the final part and then we are treated to a fast-paced, horror story which will make you want to keep reading. There was a twist which I didn't see coming, but overall I felt the why/motivation to be a little bit of a let down. Overall, this was a great easy to read thriller and I'll be keeping my eye out for other books by this author.

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A group of friends, well past friends ( it seems almost they are enemies now ) meet up for a reunion on a remote Scottish Island, the log cabin is luxurious though, the drink plentiful and it seems, pettiness aside, things will go well and a good time had by all
Until things start to go wrong
Not only have they bought long held grudges and not so secret secrets with them it seems there is someone else who intends to join the party, welcome or not!
I like a book that has good dialogue between all the main players and this does, although lots of characters to learn they are all distinct and I got to know them quickly, this alongside the tense, almost panicky atmosphere that was set after one of the best opening chapters read in a while made this an enjoyable, if shocking at times read, action packed and quick moving ( and scary 😎 )

5 Stars

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The Hunted is a compelling journey through the human psyche. A perfect story to see in the Autumn months.

The Hunted follows a very familiar premise – a group of friends have a reunion in a remote location. This follows a very different path, however, a path with treacherous signs, a path with whispers in the wind, creeping shadows edging into the periphery of your vision. What’s it like to be hunted? The fear, the anxiety, the resignation of the inevitable. Many of us will never know these feelings but Black takes us there, balancing on a knife’s edge. The visual imagery takes us there. It takes us to hell and back with the characters – strap in.

Leah and her friends, Toni, Debs, Mouse, and Shell head to the Scottish Highlands for a girl’s weekend away. It’s a reunion of sorts, their childhood group, known as The Owl Society, but all grown up. Leah is the narrator, and we get insight into her struggles, she’s married to Surgeon, John, and is a mother to a little boy, David, who after an accident ended up disabled. She’s a strong and courageous woman. This reunion puts her on edge, the differing personalities of the women clash, reminding each other of their faults and shortcomings, mix that with alcohol and it’s a dangerous mix.

The Hunted has a very real and unstable threat lurking in the murk. It’s watching their movements, their conversations, and the friction building between them. The more they argue, the quicker it will be to wipe them out one by one.

The story threatens to cut your throat from the very first chapter. I love how that initial shockwave remained at the forefront of my mind waiting for the bomb to drop. It didn’t disappoint. We have quite a few morally grey characters and we quickly see the seeds of jealousy, bitterness, and resentment start to spill out into the group like one mouldy piece of fruit in the bowl – it quickly spreads and infects the rest. Leah knows if they were in a more civilized area she would already have left. The author builds his plot around it, around that idea of helplessness. It made it easy not to judge the character’s actions but instead feel.

This is the first novel I have read from P.R. Black, but it will not be the last, I am a fully converted fan now. Not only did I love the bleak atmosphere – I adore the highlands and love exploring our natural environment, but we had a gut-wrenching sense of suspense mixed in to create a toxic potion that threatens to corrupt them all.

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This book came as a surprise. The premise is one frequently used. A group of people in an isolated location are being killed off one by one and is presented as a mystery to be solved. Here the basic plot is escalated by action and suspense to a blood-curdling, gruesome degree and morphs into a story of horror and terror. The reader knows the perpetrator before the characters figure it out, and the story becomes one of pulse-pounding dread. Who will escape?

The location is a scenic, isolated Scottish island lodge. It is the setting for a reunion of a group of women who were childhood and school friends 20 years ago. They now are at different stages in their lives. The reunion of five women has been planned where they can reminisce, share childhood memories, and catch up on their present lives and activities. No one is quite sure who was responsible for planning the weekend and the venue choice.

Shell, a stay-at-home mother, is on her way to the reunion with four friends. The first chapter startles with an early, shocking, heart-wrenching beginning. Then it suddenly moves on to the story of four women at the isolated lodge. At this point, the story becomes very slow-moving as the characters are introduced and established.

Toni is a competitive, wealthy career woman living a life of luxury, married to an equally successful man. She considers herself better than the others and rubs in her advantages in past sports events, scholastic marks, and present lifestyle. Deb is loud, brash, vulgar, and attention-seeking. She makes demeaning, hurtful remarks with the pretense that she is being funny. There is Mouse, who has now blossomed into an artist and a high-risk seeker of adventure and world traveller. Once considered the quiet one, she has gained mysterious new depths. Leah was the leader of the gang's childhood Owl Society. She has always had the reputation of a leader and a sensible peace-maker. She is resented as bossy and overbearing. There are snide remarks about Shell's absence.

During the weekend, they reminisce about some hurtful actions and regrets. Dangerous secrets from their past are exposed, leading to tension, jealousy, and resentment, with remarks made to shatter their self-images. They mostly come across as highly unlikeable. It seems improbable that they could have been past friends. Now they are together and barely tolerate one another. Adding to this disharmony, the island is taking on a creepy vibe. They feel they are being watched. Two sea-plane pilots brought them to this place and arranged some activities. One is a sleazy, womanizing character whose sexual approach does not go unappreciated by a couple of the married women. He has been warned about this behaviour by his more business-like partner.

It slowly dawns on the women that a dangerous maniac is stalking them. There are no phone connections, and several of the men, sensing problems, come to the island looking for their wives. The story becomes action-packed and riveting and proceeds at a rapid pace with gruesome, brutal murders, chases, and attempts to escape. The story kept me up late at night, dreading the conclusion but unable to put the book aside. Some mind-boggling twists were unexpected.
Highly recommended for readers who enjoy an explosive, intense, and dark story. Thanks to NetGalley, Aires Books and Head of Zeus for an early copy. The publication is set for August 2.

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Remember your mother warned you not to pick up hitchhikers? After the first chapter of The Hunted, you’ll understand why.

That chapter lets you know that this familiar plot is going to be handed differently…very differently. A group of school friends has planned a reunion weekend on a remote, atmospheric island. There’s an overly friendly pilot/activities director, some odd island residents, a lot of alcohol and no wireless service. All are recipes for disaster which soon occurs. A lot of true confessions happen between the women and the reader begins to suspect future problems. However, that makes the violence no less surprising and horrific. We wait to see who, if anyone, will survive this girl’s getaway.

The Hunted could be the screenplay for a Grade B slasher movie. However, it is so intense, well-written and faced paced that it a simply unputdownable thriller. I read it in one sitting, flipping pages as fast as I could. Enjoy The Hunted but don’t read it if you are alone at night! 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Head of Zeus and P.R. Black for this ARC.

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The Hunted by P.R. Black is a fast, interesting thriller.
It's been twenty years since they were all at school together. So when a group of female friends gather at a beautiful but isolated Scottish island lodge for a weekend away, they're looking forward to relaxing, sharing updates on their lives, and reminiscing." seems like a description of a pretty typical of a certain type of mystery.
But P.R. Black nods to that and then leaves them in the rearview mirror.
With intriguing and flawed characters the story pulls you in and gradually reveals the cast of characters.
I thought I had the culprit figured out fairly early but then as I begin to learn more about the characters I hoped I was wrong.
An intense and thrilling story.
Thank you to #NetGalley, #HeadofZues, and P.R. Black for the ARC of #TheHunted.

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When a group of female friends gather at a beautiful but isolated Scottish Island lodge for a weekend away, they're looking forward to catching up, sharing updates on their lives, reminiscing....
But some of the women there that weekend have secrets. dark secrets that can ruin friendships, ruin marriages - ruin lives. And sometimes that old friend isn't such a good friend after all....

The pace builds throughout this twist filled read. Some twists you will see coming, others not so much. This is such an intense read. As the weekend progresses, the eerie creepy atmosphere builds. We learn of the five women's childhoods in flashbacks. The characters are all flawed. I liked the authors writing style. It became obvious who was at the back of what was happening, but this doesn't spoil a book for me. I just loved the way the story ended. This is a gripping read that held my attention throughout.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #HeadOfZeus and the author #PRBlack for my ARC of #TheHunted in exchange for an honest review.

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Shell is driving to meet a group of female friends for a weekend away. They are all travelling separately to an isolated Scottish island for a catch-up, but Shell is hesitant. It's been a while since they were all together & things have changed for all of them, especially the friendship between Shell & Debs. When she is almost there, she is flagged down by a female motorist whose car has broken down by the side of the road. She gives her fellow traveler a lift, but lives to regret it when they suddenly pull a knife on her.

The rest of the group have now arrived at the lodge where they will be staying; Debs, Mouse, Toni, & Leah are surprised Shell isn't there yet, & even more surprised when they receive a message telling them that she has been held up & won't be joining them until later. Their guide for the activities is Steve, a forty-something who still dresses like a surfer dude & thinks he's a ladies man. As they begin their weekend, their friendships start to crack due to the secrets that they are all hiding from each other & their penchant for trying to get one over on each other. Leah notices that they seem to be being followed by someone but can never catch a glimpse of their stalker, but when one of them is attacked, all hell breaks loose.

This is one of those where nearly all the characters are rather unlikeable, I would say Leah is probably the nicest but even she has a past. It's well plotted but I must admit, it's rather easy to work out who is behind & why. I kept expecting a unseen twist, but things panned out pretty much as I expected. It's definitely fast-paced & keeps the reader's attention well, but I just felt there should have been something more. 3.5 stars (rounded up)

My thanks to NetGalley & publishers, Head of Zeus/Aries, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

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