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The Final Hour by Tom Wood – Victor the assassin #7
Synopsis:

From bestselling author Tom Wood comes a unique and gasp-inducing Victor thriller that turns all your expectations on their head . . .

Former CIA agent Antonio Alvarez has been tracking a vicious murderer for years, a nameless hitman responsible for numerous homicides.

Once, the Agency deflected him away from his search, but now promotion has given him a second chance to right the past.

Only problem is, the killer has vanished.

Thousands of miles away, the professional known as Victor has stopped working – recently he began to care; he made mistakes. But there’s another assassin, Raven, who needs his help – and she is hard to refuse . . .

My Review:

A ruthless hitman and a female assassin, this is one kick ass novel!

I was really looking forward to this novel and it was practically calling to me from the book shelves. Despite having a mountain of a TBR pile, I decided to give in to temptation. I am so glad I did. The novel is action-packed and grips you from the start. It had moments it reminded me of Kill Bill the movie and Hitman the game. Thanks to my big brother, I spent many hours watching him navigate the various missions on Hitman. The world of professional hired killers, is always going to be intriguing and this novel does not disappoint. Not on one single page!

The novel opens with a man in a rural church in County Cork, Ireland. It is a small village community but this evening a man walks in to make a confession. . .

‘Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It’s exactly one year since my last confession’

The unknown man confesses to multiple murders. It is at this point I started to wonder if the whiskey drinking priest, would make it out of this chapter alive!

In alternate chapters we are introduced to a woman, in hospital over-coming a recent neurotoxin poisoning. Brought in, dead on arrival she has had to claw her way back to life. She is weak and suffering physical pain due to effects of the poison. We come to know that this woman, isn’t just any woman. She is Constance Stone aka Raven a former government operative turned rogue agent. Raven receives some flowers marked with the phrase ‘We’ll always have Coney island’. She knows they have come from the man who offered her a lifeline. She also knows escape from the hospital is her only option. . .

The novel has characters with great character depth. From Raven’s determination to stay alive and keep fighting to the details of Victor being accomplished in MMA. The author has formed some brilliant detailed charters that stay with you.
As Raven deals with the Canadian police officers Heno and Willitz. We learn from her internal thought about the ‘consensus’ a group of rich powerful, morally bankrupt and utterly ruthless individuals. They form a shadow government. Meanwhile in Ireland a shaken priest stares into the dark eyes of Victor.

‘He saw no conscience in Victors eyes to appeal to; no humanity; no mercy; no pity’

The novel jumps forward to a year later. With Alvarez forced to quit an operation. He is angry, and his anger sets him on a path for vengeance.

Victor and Raven are both approached for potential jobs. But when you’re a hired killer who can you trust? It suddenly becomes clear that for life as professional, paranoia keeps you alive.

Raven is still struggling with her symptoms, even a year after the poisoning. When she is threatened, suddenly the hunter becomes the hunted. . .

‘You need to know that we’re never going to give up. You’re never going to be safe. We’re going to keep looking and we’re going to find you again’

Raven responds with threats and it becomes crystal clear, that this assassin fears no one. Faced with the threat of death, she is forced to form her own investigations. Raven has her own unique sassy style, which makes her a brilliant character to follow.

‘I’m a regular Sherlock Holmes in high heels’ – Raven

The plot is far too complex to go fully into and I am wary of leaving any spoilers in my reviews. But faced with secret intelligence services, scrupulous handlers and plotting at every turn. Victor and Raven are backed further and further into a corner. Whilst the writing gets more and more intense.

‘Victor had never fooled himself into believing the actions of governments were any more just than those of private individuals, even when he had wore a uniform. Killing was killing, however it was marketed. Defence, regime change, intervention were all terms used to make the unpalatable less so for general consumption’

Victor and Raven have a dramatic reunion but for more unusual reasons, than you could first assume. The writing style is perfection. I often like to add quotes in my reviews, with this novel I was literally spoilt for choice. I personally think the structure of the authors descriptions is possibly the best in the genre. It must be tough as an author to convey a world of hired killers and corrupt governments. Tom Wood makes it look all so easy, with cleverly weaved paragraph after paragraph.
I will leave you with one of my favourite.

‘In a life-threatening situation, whether terrorism or a rockslide, what kills most people is slowness to react. Regular lives are so safe, so eventless, that there is a lack of comprehension when faced with death. It’s not necessarily shock. It’s disbelief. It’s dismissal. Civilians say to themselves: I’ve got this wrong; this isn’t what I think it is…’

The ending sets the scene perfectly for the next novel in the series, Kill For Me. There is even an extract available at the back.
Buy this novel, you won’t regret it! 5*

TW
Tom Wood
Website
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Coming soon. . . .
26th July 2018

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Kill For Me by Tom Wood
Synopsis:

For years, two sisters have vied for the turf of their dead crime boss father. Across the streets of Guatemala City, bodies have piled up; the US Drug Enforcement Agency, operating far from its own borders, is powerless to stop the fighting.

But now one sister has a weapon that could finally win the war – a cold, amoral hitman known, fittingly, as ‘Victor’.

Freed from previous employers the CIA and MI6, Victor is a killer for-hire whose sense of self-preservation trumps all else. Yet as betrayal and counter-betrayal unspool in the vicious family feud, Victor finds himself at the centre of a storm even he could be powerless to stop.

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