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.
©2010 Tom Hinshelwood (P)2013 Tantor
"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)
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.
Yes, I would recommend this book to a friend! This is an action packed book that moves at a blistering speed an doesn't stop until you here the very familiar phrase, "Audible hopes you've enjoyed this program" telling you the book's over. the protagonist of the story is a paid assassin but he's a very likeable paid assassin who goes by the "code' name "tesseract". Some aspects of this book might seem cliche(C.I.A. double-crosses and the like) but I feel Tom Wood's strong character development(especially Tesseract) and the story arc in general overshadow any feeling I had that I might have read something like this before.
Tesseract(the assassin), I was actually rootin' for this guy to survive from page 1 of this book! Tom Wood's made me feel like Tesseract was just another working stiff trying to make a living, just like you or me. So what if he's a paid assassin, everybody's got to make a living some how, right? I thought you might agree with me. He's a cold-blooded killer but he has "principles" and that's good enough for me. This isn't just a book about one guy killing people, it's much more that but out of fear of giving too much of the story away I'll hold off on getting into any details.
I might have, I don't know but I can tell you he did a fantastic job with the narration on this book. I felt it was spot on and I'd definitely listen to another one of Rob Shapiro's performance again.
Yes, I would have liked to listen to it in one sitting but my god, it's 15+ hours long! I couldn't do it, I'm sorry.
This is a great, adrenaline filled roller-coaster ride of a book and I'll be keeping an eye out for other books written by Tom Wood. I'm hoping he's not a, "one-book wonder". If you're into this kind of, um, "subject matter" give it a shot, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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.
Victor just may be my top draft pick in my fantasy paintball tournament. Rapp, Hawke, Reacher, Wells, Allon, Ryan, Harvath, Malone. If you know these guys, you will like this book. Engaging from the start.
He's not a total sociopath. CIA over-powerful creeps get theirs.
The girl because she was smart but not perfect at everything.
The hilarity of his acyrologia. Prostate, indeed!
It's what I do.
He snuffed her just like that?
Can't wait for another book by this author. Keeps you on the edge of your seat.
BUBBA HE'S A LAB/PITBULL MIX 4YRS OLD
...in anticipation for book#2. What I love best about this book is I have nothing negative to say about it. The action never stops and has me wishing I was there. I must admit perhaps the reason I loved the book so much was because my hopes were not very high that it would be on par with Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Mark Greaney or Ben Coes. I cant help but feel Tom Wood is on his way. If this is your genre and you cant like if not love this book, then this isnt your genre!
I love a story that can make me wish for nothing but good fortune for a really bad person.
There was nothing not to like. His performance was beyond adequate.
Indeed, thinking of changing career.....
Cant wait for book#2 in what I hope to be a long series.
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