Forget James Bond. Forget Jason Bourne. Forget Jack Bauer. Meet Victor. He's an assassin - a man with no past and no surname. He lives alone. He operates alone. He's given a job; he takes out the target; he gets paid. He's The Killer. Victor arrives in Paris to perform a standard kill and collect for an anonymous client. He completes it with trademark efficiency - only to find himself in the middle of an ambush and fighting for his life. Pursued by determined enemies, a woman too beautiful to be safe, and intelligence agencies from both sides of the Atlantic, Victor will soon discover there is nowhere left for him to hide...and no one he can trust. But he is every bit as ruthless as those hunting him. And Victor will find out who wants him dead and why - one corpse at a time.
"A superlative fiction debut.... Nonstop action that veers and twists from one ferocious gun battle, double cross, and betrayal to the next.... Thriller fans will be eager to see more from this bright new talent." (Publishers Weekly)
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Book Review The Killer by Tom Hinshelwood/Tom Wood
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS A SPOILER
I saw this on the front page of Audible one day, and for some unknown reason, I have a bit of a thing for assassin books. I don’t really know why, perhaps because of the left over sadness of years of investigating crime while a UK copper. Perhaps reading histories of the middle and far east whence the lore of hashashin and ninja began.
It’s the motivation for killing which always escapes me. Yeah, I get that you can get mad enough for revenge or anger purposes to put out someone’s lights. In self-defence, no question, him or me. Killing for money or ideological purpose? Dunno, less clear cut. I’m also pretty certain that it’s a difficult profession, rife with very high risk and there are many fewer hit-folk around than popular fiction would have us believe, thanks be.
The Killer, Tom Wood’s first novel comes highly recommended by its reviewers on Amazon and Audible. Well written and performed.
There is quite a lot of Gun-porn, the naming and delineation of qualities of various armaments is mentioned, if not labored over. Fair enough, they are the tools of those who work around guns.
The writing is good, and the plot and narrative works well for the first half of the book. Character development proceeds apace, although we are not told a single thing about the assassin’s background.
At about 2/3rds of the way in, a, “Hemingway Death,” occurs, which totally throws off the narrative and the plot. Up to this point, the twin fulcrum of the narrative was the softening of the assassin and a growing bond between him and another. A very humanizing and sweet element.
The writer, by this death is painted into a corner and any mystery that the book might have had is removed and the reader now knows that we are to be left with a cataclysmic hung-up ending, which will leave us breathless for the next episode in what will be a three part series.
There’s no question. For an assassin like this, you’ve either got to kill him, or turn his actions into reasonable ones. Otherwise he is utterly without remorse or morals, and writing THAT character is too anti-sympathetic, it won’t carry a book. Who wants to read a tale of endless murders for money? No, people don’t. There has to be a spec of humanity there, and in this book, the writer killed it with the, “Hemingway Death.”
While I found the book readable and good work up to that point, afterwards it became mundane and the series of men chopping and fighting in Africa were boring and formulaic, the conclusion over-wrought to ridiculousness. Faugh. The direction was wrong, and the second half of the book could have done with some serious editing. There were longeurs. Up to 2/3rds of the way through, the book is compelling, vital and interesting. Afterwards, merely serviceable, somewhat boring fare you can read anywhere. For a writer with this talent, a poor outcome.
Writers, STOP killing your darlings for shock and plot movement! We readers invest in those characters, kill them at peril of losing our interest.
- brendanstallard "Retired and retiring old Oirisher/Brit who has now escaped first to Atlanta, now living in Bourbon country in Kentucky."
You Can't Help Pulling for the "Bad Guy"
When Tom Wood's "The Enemy" showed up as #2 in the series as a recommended read for me on Audible, I went back and bought The Killer and listened to it first. It was an exceptional novel, as good as Mark Greaney's "The Gray Man" but far less specific about the character's back story. It starts with a bang and keeps a fast pace through the entire novel. I could not wait to listen to this book all the way to the end. And as soon as I was done, I started on book 2. I hope this author gives us much more of Victor, the assassin in this series, because I have come to really enjoy his style of writing, and the cleverness of the character.