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Witch Hunt (Jack Harvey #1)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  1,530 ratings  ·  108 reviews
She is an ingenious assassin, with as many methods as identities, a master of disguise with an instinct for escape.... She is Witch, and she makes for alluring prey, teasing her pursuers as she eludes them, hunting her victims with breathtaking creativity, beguiling the most powerful men in the world with her dark beauty and cunning. Witch is wanted by the world's most eli ...more
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Published December 1st 2005 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,532)
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A decent enough spy thriller that becomes better once the individual spy hunters start developing separate personalities, but nothing out of this world fantastic. Witch--an elusive terrorist who is linked to a string of bombings and assassinations by the barest of hints--is an engaging, enigmatic character that eventually falls flat due to the discovery of her ultimate motive. The team tasked with hunting her down are typical archetypes (the new guy looking to prove himself, the smartass, the ve ...more
Although a very old book, I first got my hands on this book at a bookstall while waiting for a flight from Amsterdam in 2002. I had not finished reading it and due to the arrival and customs, I misplaced and lost it for good. Although, I searched fervently, I could not get a copy of the book again. Recently, though I finally completed my quest.

As for the book, I would like to give it a 3.5 or so. When it was written, it was more of a newer concept. A female assassin. Especially one with a track
Peter Hall
Rankin is my favourite crime writer and having read all the Rebus (and lately Fox) novels set in Edinburgh I'm filling in some of the gaps in my reading of the back catalogue. Rankin wrote what he calls "Airport Thrillers" to keep the money rolling in whilst working on the Rebus series. This stopped when Rebus took off.
Witch Hunt was written under the pen name of Jack Harvey and published in '93. Whilst there are some differences in style there are plenty of the usual qualities of Rankin here.
Isca Silurum
Journey better than the ending. Clunky at times it feels like an earlier novel. Aimed at a teenage boy market, well men never grow up!
It started in the Video section of the Library could I resist a film called Rebus ...I love puzzles ... Enjoyed the episodes - different than our American detective shows .. then reading 44 Scotland Street, McCall referenced an author - Ian Rankin hummm familiar sounding name. Ah yes the videos I had watched now I am a fan ...apparently a lot of other people are also as I am on a wait list for the Rebus series ...
Barry Martin Vass
This was a disappointment. Witch Hunt is a stand-alone book seperate from Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series, and it just doesn't satisfy. It struck me as being very overwritten, i.e., where a few lines or paragraphs would have sufficed, thousands of words and a great many chapters are thrown at us. Remember those old sci-fi pulps where the writers were paid a penny a word? Yeah, like that.
This was a fast paced read, enjoyable but becoming a little dated as the case might have been solved a lot quicker with the help of mobile phones and the internet! It was written by a young Rankin who clearly thought anyone over 50 was OLD, I wonder what he would think rereading it in his 50's.
Rohit Ranade
finished it in one night(cause the book was due the next day,and till the previous day,could not find myself to read it).But the book started out really well, but slowly started losing its grip, till at the end, the whole plot seems too improbable.on the whole,a boring book.
This is the first non-Rebus Rankin novel that I've read (I tend to dole the Rebus novels out to myself sparingly, because I enjoy them too much to waste them on a binge). It lacks the intensity/claustrophobia of the Rebus books, but it has tremendous strengths of its own: some topnotch characterization (including a villain with whom, despite her cruelty and ruthlessness, it's easy to sympathize), a plot that rattles along at a great pace, with plenty of surprises, and deliciously smooth, stylish ...more
This is one of those books that I liked the title, cover, and overview and thought I would give it a read. I have had it for many years in my book case and the story was entertaining and kept me going but I didn't feel particularly connected with the characters this could be because now I had been watching "Game of Thrones" whose storyline is riveting and complex. Because of this show I think I may have wanted to read something that was a little deeper with a story line plus I was always reading ...more
By no means a bad book, Witch Hunt had a complex, well handled and well written plot. The fact that I was listening to it in odd choppy bits of time as work and my attention waxed and waned wasn't to it's advantage but neither was it the book's fault. The decision to name two of the main characters Dominic and Dominique for what seems to be no apparent reason was more than a little annoying. (It probably would have been less annoying if I'd been reading and not listening.) The story has suffered ...more
Over the last 20 years, Ian Rankin has not lost his edge. Yes, you have to pay attention, but his thrillers will keep you turning pages. In this exciting book, many law enforcement agencies in several countries are desperately trying to find as assassin known as 'witch '. She is female, attractive and very clever. Is she just an assassin for hire, or does she have a political agenda?? She has been the obsession of Dominic Elder, a retired British spy master. And she is well aware of Dominic and, ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sundarraj Kaushik
A book on terrorism by Ian Rankin. The book starts with the sinking of two ships along the channel, one on the French side and one on the British side by a lone female anarchist who has been labelled as "The Witch" by the British Intelligence. The secret agencies in Britain start their investigation. Before they can figure out much an Arab banker is murdered.

This brings into picture a key character who is a retried officer. His daughter has been killed in a terror attack plausibly launched by Th
After devouring three Agatha Christie books in three weeks, I was looking for a way to freshen up this year's August Mystery Month. My father recommended Ian Rankin. "It's certainly not great literature," he would say, but having grown up in Scotland, he was partial to Rankin's vivid descriptions of Edinburgh life.

Of the six or seven Ian Ranking books on my parents' shelves, I chose Witch Hunt, not for any reason other than its size. I have a relatively long train commute each morning, and becau
I picked this up from my bookshelf after picking up John Deaver's THE EMPTY CHAIR when I checked that I have read this already.

I have fallen in love with Rankin's writing and this has not failed me. This particular book is good because it introduces a character that has no experience in police work but found the link that connects several incidents that involves the Witch.

This book is 'commenting' that police footwork is much better than relying too much on technology. The old schooler showing t
Classic Rankin. Although, I still don't get the Jack Harvey thing. A nom de plume, perhaps?

Anyway, I enjoyed the novel and the characters were well developed. It's interesting to read something by Rankin that isn't set primarily in Scotland. His grasp of the interactions between Europeans is refreshing instead of falling (solely) on cliche.

I would recommend it, like I would with all Rankin novels.
Abhijeet Dutta
I had read Ian Rankin's 3-4 novels earlier which i liked a lot. But Ian Rankin really disappointed me this time. This was one of the most horrible mystery thrillers which i read till now. Plot was absolute nonsense with a Female terriorist on a spree of killing and bomb blasts. Event sequence was Ok. When the suspense is revealed , I realized that it was entire wastage of time for no reason.
Sheila Asiedu
This book was on sale for 1 at Asda cheaper than a newspaper. Having read some of Inspector Rebus series I thought this was a bargain price. The book itself was a real page turner and I loved the the way it described the technology in use in the 80's, faxing things, modems, records etc. If you're struggling to finish books reading this one will definitely kick start you. ...more
Sanity Assasin
Sep 22, 2008 Sanity Assasin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of rankins works other than the rebus books
as i've found with ian rankin before... i enjoy his random stories rather than his inspector rebus novels. here it's no different. don't get me wrong as some of the rebus books are good! it's just this other story for instance has a broader range of characters and seems to be even better thought out plot-wise than usual. i thought the character of dominique... the french girl that rankin created was a great character. the idea of a female assassin as well... the characters were really thought th ...more
As crime thriller's go, this one was as good as any. Fast paced and intriguing, it keeps you hooked. I was not greatly pleased by the ending - kind of cliched. Still, Rankin wrote this in his rookie days, and evolved to writing the Rebus series, so it's understandable.
Not a Rebus book. The detective is rather Rebus-like, aging, angsty, complicated. Keeping all the characters straight at the beginning was difficult. The ending is good, Rankin leaves it to the reader.
Candy Wood
This is another good Ian Rankin title that isn’t part of the Inspector Rebus series. The main settings are London and Paris, and the action involves intelligence and security services as much as police. What I can’t figure out is why it’s labeled “Jack Harvey #1.” There are several characters I’d be glad to read more about, especially Dominic Elder, Joyce Parry, Michael Barclay, Dominique Herault, and John Greenleaf, but there’s no Jack Harvey in the book, not anywhere there. Quick Google search ...more
Quick fun read but little oddities kept it from being great: top international assassin carries a teddy bear & dumps big job to kill...whoops! Can't share that!
Very satisfied by this first non-Rebus book I've read. Although it now seemed a little dated in parts (I kept wondering why the characters weren't using their mobile phones for example) it was a great story of a female terrorist entering the country. Special Branch, MI5 etc all knew she'd come in, so it was a case of tracking her down before she completed her assignment. For me, it was lovely to read that she had holed up at Cliftonville (suburb of Margate) for a while, a setting I never thought ...more
Oct 11, 2007 Cecilia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller readers/mystery fans
Shelves: favorites
A very methodical, meticulous thriller, in the same vein as Frederick Forsyth’s espionage classic The Day of the Jackal. In this story, police and British intelligence are searching for an assassin called the “witch.” They have a feeling they know where she’s going to strike but they do not know when or how. Rankin does a great job of keeping a story like this moving…basically in the hands of a lesser author, it might be quite boring with the characters just plodding along. But, Rankin is able t ...more
This was interesting. I do enjoy this author's characters but this was all new. A little dry but I kept reading as there was an element of mystery that I was trying to solve. In the same writing style as Jack Harvey. Recommend.
John Martin
Ian Rankin, of Rebus fame, wrote this under the pen name of Jack Harvey when he was up and coming. Worth a read if you like action.
This was an interesting read, but by the end, I was reading it just to finish it. I felt there were a lot of red herrings that weren't sufficiently dealt with. It was interesting enough that I don't regret reading it and i will probably read another.
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Christine Jones? (spoiler) 1 4 Oct 25, 2013 04:45AM  
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AKA Jack Harvey.

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987; the Rebus books are now translated into 22 languages and are bestsellers on several continents.

Ian Rankin has been elected a
More about Ian Rankin...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Harvey (3 books)
  • Bleeding Hearts (Jack Harvey #2)
  • Blood Hunt (Jack Harvey #3)
Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1) Exit Music (Inspector Rebus, #17) Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8) Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2) Let It Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)

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