An Initial Countdown

A Haszard Narrative

Fiction - Mystery - General
324 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

An Initial Countdown: A Haszard Narrative is written by Kevin E. Hatt. Haszard is a registered operating theatre practitioner, but when his and another car are forced off the road, there is nothing to do but wait for the emergency services while the scoundrel responsible sped away. The more he reflected on the event, the more he was convinced someone had driven the other car off the road deliberately. Regardless, it was a month until Christmas and he was determined not to get involved, but fate had other plans. News reached him about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the vicar of Frinton. Aside from the intrigue he had no real interest, not until the discovery that the driver of the other car had been from the same place, and died on the same day. Then alarm bells started to ring. Mr Haszard has a skill for discovering answers to the impossible, and before he knew it he was promising the vicar's widow that he would help to discover the truth. Little did he know the path it would take him down, nor how dangerous it would prove to be.

An Initial Countdown is the ninth book in the Haszard series and reads perfectly as a stand alone novel, filled with a great cast of deep and vivid characters with their own distinctive personalities, making it easy to become invested in their lives. Suspense and twists will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, unable to tear their eyes from the page. As for the writing style, wow, talk about immersive. The perfect combination of dialect and description with a very distinctive and entertaining narrative voice. This is the first book I've read by Kevin E. Hatt, but I am seriously considering picking up some more of his work.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Kevin E. Hatt writes another entertaining mystery in An Initial Countdown. With Christmas drawing near, Haszard and his friends are looking forward to celebrating the holiday. However, the notion of a carefree Christmas disappears when Haszard and Sabrina are involved in a hit and run car accident. Their accident and the bizarre death of a local vicar occur within minutes of each other. With his weird brain in hyper-drive, Haz is compelled to solve the mysterious connection between the two incidents. After all, his reputation for solving the odd, the strange and the impossible is at stake. But, the deeper he digs, the weirder things get. Soon the murder toll reaches four, and all clues point in one direction - a new age cult commune. What’s really going on out there in the woods? This Christmas would prove to be one Haszard and his friends will never forget.

British humor and wit run rampant throughout Kevin E. Hatt’s An Initial Countdown. The mystery is written in first person, allowing you into the head of its main character, which at times is a very strange place to be. The protagonist is an amateur sleuth who has an uncanny knack for solving puzzles, making him restless and somewhat reckless at times. Nonetheless, the narration is insightful, a bit bizarre, and ordinary all at the same time. As Haz tells the story, he reveals hints of things to come, and prepares the reader for memorable and unforgettable moments without giving anything away. The cast of characters are regular people, (well, except for Grace, who is a mystery all by herself), with regular jobs, but have the propensity to get involved in out-of-the-ordinary situations. One minute they are hanging at the local pub, the next solving a murder mystery and running for their lives, all while trying to maintain relationships, careers and prepare for the holidays. The conflict deepens in this narrative, as the group is betrayed by one of their own, creating an unexpected twist within the plot. Needless to say, there is never a dull moment in a Haszard narrative.

Rabia Tanveer

An Initial Countdown: A Haszard Narrative by Kevin E. Hatt is a nail biting mystery that takes the reader on a journey with the lead character. I believe this is the second novel in the series about Haszard, a man who solves mysteries on the side. One night, Haszard and Sabrina are driving when they are almost hit by a car. Barely surviving, they travel just a little way ahead to discover that the driver has hit another car on the way, killing the person inside.

The victim is Colin Masters, a drug addict who has been missing for a year. Soon after his death, Haszard discovers that Colin lived in Frinton where the local vicar burnt to death in a locked church. The deeper Haszard looks into the death of the vicar the more he realizes how wrong things are in Frinton. The community in this small village is not as peaceful as they appear to be. Haszard has to do something quickly or else more bodies will pile up.

The novel is laden with dry humor and suspense that lead to a very well-written mystery. The story arc is well thought-out and so are the characters. The search for the killer is intense and entertaining. Hatt handled it well with the subplots and ensured that the plot does not deviate from the original story line. Altogether, Haszard is a believable character, a detective who is really good at solving mysteries. This is truly a spellbinding, entertaining mystery that will have you reading non stop until you have reached the end!