The Darkest Day

Victor the Assassin, Book 5
By: Tom Wood
Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
Series: Victor the Assassin, Book 5
Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (1,296 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

While carrying out a hit on a terrorist financier, Victor finds himself the target of an assassin who proves to be just as deadly as he is. Never one to let such a thing go, Victor sets about hunting down his attacker and those who sent her. She is Raven - a freelance assassin with a dark past and hidden agenda. If Victor wants to stay alive, he must find out who Raven really is and what she is truly after. Does she really want him dead, or does someone else want them to kill each other?

With the stakes growing higher by the minute - as a city-wide blackout plunges Manhattan into darkness - Victor and Raven must decide who is friend and who is foe before a deadly terrorist plot threatens to consume the city and them along with it.

©2015 Tom Hinshelwood (P)2015 Tantor

What listeners say about The Darkest Day

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Victor off his game. Victor has met his match!

This was nowhere near as satisfying as the previous Victor books. Mistake after mistake, Victor almost gets killed by a rival assassin and has to flee. This rival then manages to get the drop on him again and again. Then the cops and the CIA are after him and he is almost caught time after time, and each time runs away. There is so much running in this book, I became exhausted. He can't think, he can't shoot, he can't drive, he can't escape.

The premise for the conflict is a bit weak, and all too tidily explained by the bad guy at the end--not a strong literary technique. In previous volumes, Victor earned our respect, and even admiration, despite his conscience-less ability to torture or kill, because he seemed to retain some code of ethics. Although here he still does not just kill indiscriminately and concerns himself with collateral damage, those ethics just don't seem to be as strong. He is not likable nor worthy of much respect.

All in all, this is not a comparable book for the Victor series. If this had been the first book, I doubt I would have read the rest.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

The Author Has Run Out of Material

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I've enjoyed all the prior Victor the Assassin books and loved them. The author must be getting tired, because this one is different.

In the first place, Victor has stopped being a scary assassin and started being a smarty-pants. Perhaps more important, this book is very low on plot development, being comprised mainly of boring foot chases and car chases.These don't advance the story at all and only serve as filler to meet some word-count target.

I hope the author gets a second wind, but after this lame effort I'm not optimistic.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed (and I am a huge fan of the series)

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I wish the author would have focused more on an actual plot line and less on trying to force a story by having multiple gun battles. I immensely enjoyed the previous books in the Victory the Assassin series and was looking forward to this one. However, I was very disappointed. Had this been the first book that I read in the series I would not have read any of the others.

Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Wood again?

Absolutely. I will assume that this poorly written book was just a fluke in the series.

Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. His performance was good. I like that the publisher/producer keeps the same narrator throughout the series. One of the only things I enjoyed about this book was the continuity that existed by having the same narrator.

What character would you cut from The Darkest Day?

I would cut the entire book. I love that a new character with long-term potential was introduced in this story. However, the majority of this book was nothing more than Victor trying to get out of one city or Victor trying to get out of one location or another. There was minimal plot.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Less Humanity & Too Much Chase Scenes

I was hooked on this series in the first book. While Victor is a cold blooded assassin, in the first book we glimpsed pieces of his humanity. The result, we like him and root for him - he is a 'likable' assassin. We saw glimpses of his humanity in the other books along with humor. This novel lacks much of both. The result is a less likable Victor and a guy I didn't necessarily root for. If this were my first foray into the series I am not sure I would like or cheer for Victor. Victor is his usual paranoid, attention to detail, focus on survival, but as Raven says at one point - a robot or more accurately an Automaton . The story is rather sterile. The most fun character is Raven. The plot is rather convoluted and sorta works. As another reviewer said, lots of chase scenes both on foot and in the car. A little is ok but I think this went a bit too far. Overall, the story is just ok and could be skipped.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

VICTOR - The Thinking Man's Assassin...

Would you listen to The Darkest Day again? Why?

Maybe, if I had nothing else to listen to. It certainly is good enough for a repeat performance.

Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Rob Shapiro is Victor. I have listened to the previous 4 in the series and this one is right up there.

Any additional comments?

I think this has got to be the BEST Victor book yet! I don't think there is as much action as in some of the others but... there is a whole lot of tactical planning and scenarios that require life and death strategizing. Don't get me wrong, this is Victor the Assassin and he does his assassin thing but he is also very intelligent and although that's been established in previous books I think this one exemplifies this to the smallest degree.
The story is a good one and I think would work as a stand alone but is better as part of the series. Victor is now doing contract work for the CIA as an independent contractor. He's sent on a job and is ambushed. There is another assassin there trying to kill him. Neither is killed and Victor is determined to get her befor she can come after him again. There are many twists and turns and his enemy becomes his ally. Together they go after who hired her and WHY he hired her. Meanwhile by the time you hit the end - WOW! Totally unexpected, but I cannot spoil this for anyone.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
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Thank You.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Where'd the Fizz Go?

Okay, even paranoid schizophrenics have enemies. See, the thing was in the last four novels in this series that maybe Victor could escape the gunsights of skilled killers surrounding him. That was then when I believed he could and wanted to know how. In “The Darkest Day” I know he can, but… but… somehow I no longer care.

It’s as if Tom Wood’s left the cap off of a pop bottle and the fizz escaped.

Okay, Wood’s always found plot to be a pesky necessity to justify his mastery of action moments. But in those earlier novels he invented plotlets … mini segments of clever justifications for the next spurt of superman explosions. Which is what’s led to twin problems with “The Darkest Day”. Those plot points have become thinner than a Hollywood starlet. And Superman-Victor’s explosions are predictably dull. Andrew Miller stated that "a novel is a collection of anxieties held together, more or less well, more or less interestingly, by the chicken wire of plot". Victor is a knotted fist of paranoid anxieties but he needs that chicken wire and a cunning villain to string it.

Did Tom Wood get paid by the word? Fat segments of tedious car and foot chases didn’t need an editor so much as a liposuctionist! Wood got lost in pointless action that smothered me in boredom. And this time both the villain and his motives are so dumb they need to be watered twice a day.

I hope that Wood can recover this series and rebuild Victor away from his nasty edge as just an embittered, paranoid, crank. William Boroughs wrote that, “A paranoid is a guy who really knows what is going on.” I’m worried that neither Victor the assassin, nor Tom Wood any longer do.

Rob Shapiro does the best he can to brighten “The Darkest Day” but sadly endless action scenes are subject to the law of diminishing returns. There are only so many ways Shapiro can read the word “crunch”, y’know?

Start this series from the beginning then pass this one up.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite

I love victors character and the narrator is amazing. But this is my least favorite book of them. The story was kind of boring and the female character Raven was annoying.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I liked the others, this one is crappy.

Chase sequence unreal, most of story threads strain credulity and then falls back on the old saw of its the military industrial complexes fault. yea, right. Waste of a book credit.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Unlike after all the Victor books before this one, I was not left wanting more

Not only was our hero bested throughout the book, making several uncharacteristic mistakes, his behavior at the end went against the core logic of his character.

It actually felt as if this book was somewhat rushed out... Could that be so?


2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Far fetched

Total blackout ... Dirty bomb .... Endless escapes and never ending car chases. Needs more development is story less superhuman stunt car driver

5 people found this helpful