17 January 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Hawks - Andrew Grant

What: Hawks
Who: Andrew Grant
When: Published December 12th 1999 by Shoal Bay Press

Hawks is a tale of New Zealand's wild south-west, set during the early years of the venison recovery industry. This was a time when the cowboys rode choppers instead of horses and used semi-automatic weapons, not six guns. They lived, worked and sometimes dies in the most rugged and spectacular corner of this country - the vast Fiordland wilderness.
Hawks is a fictional tale but the fast action depicted here might very well have happened. It is the story of Gray, an enigmatic young man running from his past and the horrors of the Vietnam war. He returns to New Zealand's southern lands to find himself in a war of a very different kind - a dangerous war for the highest profits, set against some of the most inhospitable country in the world.
With the deadly skills he learned in the SAS, Gray becomes the top gun, the man every chopper pilot wants in the shooter's seat on his machine as the competition gets fiercer and men begin to take increasingly desperate risks. Some make mistakes and some die. Others are killed apparently having made no mistakes at all.
Gray's story encompasses life and death as well as love. Unashamedly robust, Hawks tells it like it really was, or could have been, as greed and jealousy and a woman named Mary combine in an explosive finale.

This is one of the best "ripping yarn" books that I've ever read. It's an action-packed tale with a great plot, realistic characters and good action.

Set among the wild New Zealand back country and the people of the helicopter deer recovery industry, we follow shooter Gray, an ex-army Vietnam vet with a few demons from his past along for the ride. Gray gets himself involved with a capture company and quickly becomes one of the best there is at his craft. Throw into the mix some superb aerial hunting action, crazy pilots, helicopter crashes, hard-core drinking sessions, some complex love interests and a bit of sex, hey-presto...we get a brilliant story worthy of so much praise.

An excellent read and the characters couldn't be any more apt. I know a number of people who have read this book and all have come away hugely impressed.

The real gem in this book is the Epilogue. While very sad, it is actually my favourite part. The mixture of happiness and bitterness that encompass Gray throughout the story all blend together to form a very satisfactory conclusion.

Andrew Grant (real name Grant Shanks) is a superb author who knows his subject matter well, and knows how to put it all together into a great story. Hawks is one example.

Read it.


Check it out at Goodreads.

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