I am jumping into this series that is already well underway. Here are the preceding books in the series: 1st The Killer, 2nd The Enemy, 3rd The Game with a novella released titled Bad Luck in Berlin. This installment is released in Australia and New Zealand as Better Off Dead. Studiocanal is buying the rights for film and putting together a director and producer. Pierre Morel, director of TAKEN movie starring Liam Nielson, is on board as director. Victor the Assassin may soon be on the big screen.
Here is what we know about Tom Wood, he was born and raised in Staffordshire and now lives in London and his real name is Tom Hinshelwood. Before taking up writing, he was employed as a bookseller, cleaner, factory worker, laborer, supermarket cashier, and video editor.
Copyright: September 2014 (Signet) 512 pgs
Series: 4th in Victor the Assassin series
Sensuality: Some swearing, lots of violence with some graphic parts
Mystery Sub-genre: Thriller
Main Character: Victor (no last name) an orphan--now one of the world's best assassins
Setting: Modern day, London
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Victor suspects he is being set up when a Russian mob boss he once worked for asks to meet him. He naturally comes to the meeting and disables several of his mobster guards expecting trouble. But rather, Norimov asks him to save his estranged daughter from what appears to be a ruthless attack by a competitor, but he isn't even sure where the danger originates.
Victor has never been a body guard, but for the sake of the girl's mother, who Victor fondly remembers, he vows to keep the young lady safe. In London he must find her, because she has either been taken already or is in hiding. Thus begins a rocket fast ride.
Victor is a well-dressed man who dislikes swearing and is regimented in his safety routine because he has made many enemies. He sleeps maybe 4 hours at a time. His cold assassin's mind occasionally turns to such things as relationships, but he has been doing the job too long and would only put somebody else in jeopardy. He is very detached when he kills. Gisele is the step-daughter of a Russian mob boss, Aleksandr Norimov, whose life is in danger. She offsets Victor's coldness with her caring for others. She can be naive, a little spoiled, and hates her step-father for his "career choices". The Russian mobsters are a wildcard thrown into the mix, just how loyal can they be? The woman apparently behind everything is somewhat a mystery until further in the story when Victor and Gisele piece together what is happening.
London is portrayed with familiarity and detail. The sense of place is finely tuned. The pacing is rocket-fueled and lets up only occasionally for a breather. I do have to note that towards the last fourth of the book, I was struck by how improbable a prolonged fight scene was with broken ribs and a damaged ankle, yet Victor is doing round-house kicks etc.
The plot hinged on two things, an assassin caring enough about a kind woman to risk his life to save her daughter, and the hardened assassin's humanity in the first place. The likelihood of either in reality is slim, but that aside - Victor is a unique anti-hero who you actually end up cheering for.
The climax is appropriately intense, and even personal as Victor fights for Gisele's life after a few twists and many injuries. The wrap-up completes the remaining story threads with a surprise there too.
Comparisons are being made of Victor to Jason Bourne. They have enough differences so Victor doesn't appear as an imitation of Bourne, yet both involve fast action and intense fight scenes with highly skilled killers as the main character. The Bourne series incorporates much more internal angst while Victor's emotions are very buttoned down. If you are wanting to read a well plotted, heart-racing thriller, then definitely give this series a try.
Rating: Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list.
Entry for this giveaway lasts until Sunday September 14th, 6:00 p.m. (MST). U.S. entries only please. The publisher will ship one copy of No Tomorrow to the winner.
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