Review: Writing is tight and tense in 'The Killing Kind'

AP News
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Posted: Sep 22, 2015 10:31 AM

"The Killing Kind" (Mullholland Books), by Chris Holm

Chris Holm takes an interesting spin on the anti-hero scenario with his new novel, "The Killing Kind."

Mike Hendricks was a soldier with a fiancee and a wonderful life waiting for him when he returned from his overseas deployment. But the horrific results of a mission make him decide to declare himself dead, and he now spends his days as a hitman with extreme skills.

What makes him unique from other killing professionals is that he only hits other hitmen. Hendricks learns who is being targeted and who is after that person, then approaches the potential victim. For a fee he will save that person from certain death.

Criminals who have been hiring the best assassins are upset that they are being killed without any pattern or evidence left behind. A group called The Council hires a ruthless killer named Engelmann to find the hitman and eliminate him. Engelmann relishes the challenge, and the chase is on.

Meanwhile, FBI Special Agent Charlotte Thompson has been chasing someone she calls The Ghost. She's figured out that someone is responsible for murdering some really bad people, but she has no idea how to track him down. The Council's attempts to bring down Hendricks will put Thompson in the crosshairs of a battle that threatens not only the two assassins but innocent civilians as well.

The violence in "The Killing Kind" is visceral, the writing is tight and tense, and the characterizations are more in-depth than usual for this genre. This is a fun spin on crime fiction by having a hero who may also be the villain. The unpredictability of the story will also have readers wondering what's going to happen next, if this is indeed the first in a series.