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The Big Thrill Discusses HUNTED with Simon Maltman

Book Cover: HUNTED by Simon MaltmanMichael Walker – former IRA soldier, turned MI5 informer—is living in hiding in rural America.

A robbery at Walker’s home leads to his rare copy of the Irish Declaration of Independence being sold online. This proves to be the first link in the chain leading to his location being revealed.

Walker’s life is plunged into peril, as an IRA hit squad—led by Marty Sullivan—is dispatched to eliminate him. Sullivan, a former comrade, is out for blood.

Against the political backdrop of a struggling peace process back home, Walker goes on the run across the state of Pennsylvania and forges unlikely allegiances to survive.

Walker seeks help from his former British handlers, but he should have known that any assistance must come at a price.

Walker will not just remain a victim. He must fight back.

The hunted must become the hunter.

Author Photo: Simon Maltman

Simon Maltman

Author Simon Maltman recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest adventure thriller, HUNTED.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?

The character of Walker formed gradually in my head over a number of months before I started writing the book in earnest. I wanted a character who could really handle himself- not quite Reacher, but more so than characters I’ve written before. He is ex IRA, he’s been a turncoat for the British too and hates himself for both of those things, but not completely. He is full of conflict and has been living in virtual isolation in America, a lonely fish out of water. As his life is placed into peril, he also feels more alive that he has done in years. He loves Irish literature, he loves Irish football, he loves his family, though they want nothing to do with him after becoming an informer. I wanted him to also have a moral compass, albeit one that might be different from yours or mine.

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?

As soon as I had the rough idea planned out, I was excited. The main character and some of the other key ones felt much more real to any I had written before. I learned from every one of those seven books before and this time it felt more natural and more enjoyable.

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?

I always have a key musician or band in mind when I’m writing a book, I don’t know why! I do think it helps set the mood for me as a writer if not also for the tone of the book at times. I always name the sections after their songs and the actual music pops up in different places. This one is my Neil Young book.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

I’m almost finished writing book two in this series and I’m starting to plan out book three.


Simon Maltman is the author of several crime thrillers, including Killer Casting and The Wolf Is At Your Door. He lives in Northern Ireland.

To learn more about the author, please visit him at Simon Maltman Crime Fiction.