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Themes of Hunter's Secret by Jo Fenton

As we start a new series of Thursday Themes, I’m delighted to kick off by welcoming back a favourite guest.

Val Penny joins me today to discuss the themes of her latest novel in the Hunter series – Hunter’s Secret.

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today. I am so excited about the publication of my fifth novel, Hunter’s Secret. It is the most recent book in my Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series.

In the themes of Hunter’s Secret, I seek to explore the affect that keeping secrets has on individuals and the way some people treat those who are different to themselves. One of the common myths about a story’s theme is that it must also be the story’s “moral” or “message.” This is because themes always deal with fundamental truths that inevitably affect human morality, therefore it is easy to assume a story’s theme must always be specific and applicable to the readers.

This is not necessarily a false assumption. The themes are about raising questions and suggesting answers that make people think about how to live their lives more honestly and, perhaps even, morally. Throughout the series The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries explores the loyalty of main character, Hunter Wilson, and how he values being part of a team.

In this novel I am keen to explore the mental health aspects of keeping a secret. Hunter has a secret that he has kept to himself since he was a child. When he must confront it due to a modern murder, he relives his nightmares over and over. The reader lives through the issues this creates for Hunter and witnesses the resolution. Hunter is also keeping a modern-day secret from his girlfriend Meera. The predicaments Hunter experiences in relation to this secret are quite different.

The other main theme of the novel is the old one of ‘do as you would be done by’. Some of the characters display prejudice towards those who are different to themselves. The reader witnesses this in the way Bear Zewedu is treated by them because he is black. Another character is mistreated because he enjoys cross dressing, and yet more are abused because the are members of the LGBTQ community.

Hunter must strive to resolve his own demons while he and his team fight for the rights of those who are despised because they wish to be different. Hunter and his team must keep Edinburgh safe again.

About the Author:

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.

Her crime novels, Hunter’s Chase Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force and Hunter’s Blood form the bestselling series The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries. They are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by darkstroke This, the fifth novel in the series, is also published by darkstroke. Her first non-fiction book Let’s Get Published is available now.

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