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The Hunter

Questions, Ending & Explanations

See below for an explanation of the ending and other questions about The Hunter by Tana French. If you have other questions that aren't already covered here, feel free to drop a comment!

Where can I find a full plot summary for The Hunter?

Right here! You can find a quick recap and a lengthier version of the summary over here.

Where can I find book club discussion questions forThe Hunter?

Right here! Discussion questions are availble on this page (below the book review section).

What happens at the end of The Hunter?

When word gets around that there’s no gold, Rushborough winds up dead and Trey finds the body. Detective Nealon comes poking around to investigate the case. Trey tells him that a group of the townspeople are involved, hoping that the people that killed Brendan will get justice in this way.

However, Cal’s partner Lena convinces Trey that her plan won’t work and that the townspeople will point the finger at Cal (as an outsider) to avoid blame. Or if there’s no evidence and Trey is the only one who was seen with the body, Cal will just confess to protect Trey. Trey decides to give up her revenge scheme when she understands the situation she’s putting Cal in, and she instead points the finger at Johnny as the scapegoat instead.

Trey’s mother soon tells her in confidence that she was the one who killed Rushborough in order to prevent Trey from ruining her life by getting involved in the gold mining scheme. Trey and her mother come up with a plan to light their house and the surrounding area on fire to destroy any evidence of the murder, and Johnny skips town since he’s the most likely suspect for the murder.

Do I need to read The Searcher (Book #1) before reading The Hunter (Book #2)?

The Hunter is a standalone book and represents a separate story from that one in The Searcher.

However, there are elements of the plot in the Searcher that have a lot of relevance and add important context to the relationships in The Hunter. I think the Hunter still works if you haven’t read the Searcher, but it’s better to start with the first book if possible.

Why does Trey light their house on fire?

They concoct the plan to light the house on fire in order to destroy evidence. Trey knows that her mother is the one who committed the murder, and she doesn’t want her to be caught. As long as there isn’t much physical evidence on the body, then any physical evidence is either in or around their house and shed (where the murder was committed) or on that mountainside.

By lighting it on fire, they ensure the best chance that any evidence available is destroyed.

What happened to Brendan, who did it and why?

This is answered by reading the first Cal Hooper book, The Searcher.

Have more questions? Leave them in a comment below!

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