Only The Hunted Run
In the doldrums of a broiling Washington summer, a madman goes on a shooting rampage in the U.S. Capitol building. Sully Carter is at the Capitol and gets closer to the shooter than police, witnessing the killer’s grotesque — but coded — handiwork. The shooter, Terry Waters, escapes. He is still on the loose when he reads Sully’s detailed account in the paper and becomes obsessed with Sully, luring the reporter into the streets of D.C. during the manhunt. Not much is known about Waters when he is finally caught, except that he hails from the Indian reservations of Oklahoma. His rants in the courtroom quickly earn him a stay at the city’s gothic Saint Elizabeths mental hospital, on the bluffs above Capitol Hill.
As Sully hits the road to see what he can dig up on Waters in Oklahoma, he leaves his friend Alexis to watch over his nephew, Josh, who is visiting DC for the summer. Traversing central Oklahoma, Sully discovers that a shadow lurks behind the Waters family history and that the ghosts of the past have pursued the shooter for far longer than Sully could have known. When a local sheriff reveals the Waterses’ deep connection with Saint Elizabeths, Sully realizes he must find a way to gain access to the asylum, no matter the consequences.
Drawing inspiration from the 1998 Capitol shooting that stunned the nation, “Hunted” rockets to a conclusion that is as bloody as it is inevitable.
Praise and Reviews
“Tucker’s depiction of how a crack investigative reporter works is spot-on, and the story he tells is fast-moving and suspenseful with an explosively violent conclusion. But the best thing about this novel is Tucker’s pitch-perfect dialogue and vivid prose that immerses the reader inside the action.”
“We can hear Faulkner, too, in stretches of Tucker’s rhythmic, acoustic prose and in the underlying message within this powerful thriller: ignore the pleas of the powerless, and awful things happen.”
“Shots ring out and the wounded are screaming in the opening lines of Neely Tucker’s new novel, ‘Only the Hunted Run’ Before we even can take a breath, this fast-paced thriller has dropped us into spitting distance of a mass shooter. It’s “the modern American nightmare” that all of us dread and a gripping start to this enthralling novel….a mesmerizingly sinister atmosphere…(but) It’s at St. Elizabeths that ‘Hunted’ comes to its dazzling finish. Like the rest of this thriller, it’s dark, ghoulish and dripping with blood and sorrow.”
– Carol Memmott, The Washington Post
“It is in these last pages that the hospital literally becomes a character in this astoundingly well-written thriller. In scenes that echo the creepiest moments of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island, the place pulses with the desperation of forlorn people locked in airless chambers…”
–Chris Beakey, New York Journal of Books
“What seems at the outset to be an exercise in formulaic “psycho killer” pyrotechnics becomes in Tucker’s hands an ingenious, expectation-trumping mystery that doesn’t scrimp on suspense or shock tactics. Those who have, after this novel’s two predecessors, (Murder, D.C., 2015, etc.), become enamored with the embittered but urbane journalist may find less of his complicated personal life here. But they will find plenty more reasons to admire and even like Sully Carter. Tucker raises the stakes and ramps up the darkness in this series and makes you wonder, and even worry a little about, what’s coming next.”
—Kirkus (starred review)
“Provocative…a terrifying thriller.”
“Tucker’s Sully Carter novels have quickly sneaked up on me as one of my favorite new series.”
–Sarah Weinman, “The Crime Lady” Fall Reading Guide. Editor, Publisher’s Lunch.
“Long live Sully Carter, reporter, detective and all around shrewd guy. Another of Neely Tucker’s brilliant tight thrillers, “Only the Hunted Run” finds Sully, having survived a Capitol building massacre, looking into the shooter’s history and motivations. The trail goes into the past and the future — and Sully’s the only one who can stop further carnage. Great fun!”
– Stephen Hunter, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, best-selling author of “I, Sniper,” “Point of Impact” (filmed as “Shooter”), etc.