Adrift in Cambodia and eager to side-step a life of quiet desperation as a small-town teacher, 28-year-old Englishman Robert Grieve decides to go missing. As he crosses the border from Thailand, he tests the threshold of a new future.
Dramatic irony, used sharply by Osborne, keeps the narrative edgy and gripping, but it is the meditation on luck, or chance, and the irrational, carried over from his previous novel, that gives Hunters its meaning ... Written with unfailing precision and beauty, Hunters in the Dark stakes out territory different from the many writers to whom Osborne has been compared.
“Hunters in the Dark is a novel of immersion, not suspense, shaped like a quiet dream. The reader can do nothing but float as if in a muddy river, going where it takes him, which will be back to a version of the beginning. As such, it’s an unqualified success, and I hope it enjoys a wide readership — which it might, if it’s shelved in the correct section of the bookstore.
Osborne's characters are distant, dispassionate human beings uninterested in much of anything — so when terrible things happen to them, it's hard to sympathize ... But that's a relatively small quibble in what is otherwise an elegant, dark, well-put together novel.