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The Killer Hardcover – April 13, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

(Starred review) British scriptwriter Hinshelwood's superlative fiction debut takes familiar suspense elements—a hired killer, a CIA traitor, a gorgeous operative, Russian spies, and an espionage coup involving advanced weapon technology—and whips them into nonstop action that veers and twists from one ferocious gun battle, double cross, and betrayal to the next. In a Paris alley early one morning, hired assassin Victor performs a routine job, shooting 58-year-old Latvian national Andris Ozols, then relieving the body of a small flash drive. When Victor returns to his posh hotel on the Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré, he unexpectedly must fight a gang of other professional hit men. Further attempts on his life raise the question: who wants him dead and what's on the memory stick? The action shifts from Paris and various spots in Europe to CIA headquarters and the coast of Africa, the scene of a final cataclysmic clash. Thriller fans will be eager to see more from this bright new talent.

From Booklist

Hinshelwood's first novel—a classic hunter-becomes-the-hunted thriller—crackles like the early work of Robert Ludlum. Victor works as a paid assassin and never questions why he is asked to kill specific targets. After completing what appears to be a routine assignment—kill a man in Paris and retrieve a flash drive from the body—Victor returns to his hotel with the data in hand and finds a professional hit team waiting for him. Barely surviving the onslaught, he runs from city to city across wintry Europe, trying to determine who wants him dead and to find a way to read the encrypted data hidden on the drive. Such plots have been done to death in film and literature, but Hinshelwood brings an appealing and enigmatic main character into the mix, creating a refreshing and relentless story line that seems new. Fans of spy thrillers and books with heavy action will find this a worthwhile read. --Jeff Ayers

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031255804X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312558048
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Tom was born in Burton Upon Trent in Staffordshire, England, and now lives in London. He has worked in a range of jobs and now writes full time. THE KILLER is his first novel.

PLEASE BE AWARE: THE HUNTER is the UK version of THE KILLER. They are the same book, but Amazon sells both versions.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Snailmedia on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I just read The Killer while on holiday (or rather on the flight there), and I have to admit to being surprised and delighted by the quality of the writing style and the material. The Killer is one of those books that you just plough through without putting down, full of dynamism and a good story arc, and without some of the cheesy detail about guns and equipment which stylise some of the authors peers. There is still enough detail for the layman to understand without nausea and to know that Hinshelwood knows his stuff without shoving it down your throat.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good engaging thriller or a book for reading by the pool (where I finished it) or on a flight. Totally immersive, fun, and fast paced. The chapters are just the right length for when you want to 'dip in' to the book quickly, and add to the pace of the action and the read.
A great first book, and a good romp across Europe with the excellent 'Victor'. I look forward to the next one.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By The Thriller Guy on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Hinshelwwod's Killer is just that, a cold, ruthless workman who's business is contract killing. If you're tired of thrillers where the characters sit around and yak, yak, yak to each other instead of getting on with business, this is the book for you. The author fires it up, slams down the pedal and doesn't let up till the end. Exhilarating. Exhausting. Terrific.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was put onto this book by a friend who had read the reviews although she had not read the book, as yet. The timing was perfect as I was looking for a book to read as my wife and I made our semi annual trek from our home in Tucson to our summer home in Maine by car. It is a five day, four night drive and a book that takes you by the lapels and brings you inside the cover is just what I need after all those miles before catching some shut eye.

The author did not disappoint which is a nice compliment for a first effort. The central figure of the book is Victor and Victor is most assuredly "a killer" in every sense of the word. He has been hired to intercept and kill a Russian turncoat who is selling the whereabouts of a sunken Russian submarine which is carrying some very sophistcated and highly desirable anti-ship missles which are more technically advanced than anything in the West. His employers are unknown, but they are willing to pay very well for the "flash drive" that the Russian is selling.

Completing the assignment was the easiest part of the effort for Victor, however as he returns to his Parisian hotel following obtaining the drive he finds that there is a team of killers at the hotel and they are looking for him.

Eight dead men left behind testify to Victor's accomplishments as a killer, but his problem is now, who were they, who were they working for and has he been double crossed?

From here on in the story gets very interesting and very complicated and if you want to find out how the matter plays out, I suggest you do yourself the favor of acquiring this book and settling in for a few nights of solid reading. You will be glad you did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reacher Fan 1909 on July 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tom Hinshelwood's first novel is a winner. This is an old-fashioned spy thriller that truly does remind me of early Robert Ludlum, as Publisher's Weekly noted, it even has the same short-comings. Ludlum could create a thrill a minute plot and pace it at a dead run start to finish, but other than Jason Bourne, he couldn't create memorable characters. That's the same problem here, and what kept the book from 5*. It also keeps it from the list of Best First Thriller, which is still held by Rain Fall by Barry Eisler. (To bad Eisler's taken a detour down soapbox editorial row on his latest book.)

The Killer, set in Europe and Africa, has at its heart the well used plot of turning the hunter into the hunted. Certainly not new or novel, but so well done you can't help getting completely drawn into the race to the death. The Killer, 'Victor at the start then 'Tesseract' about a third of the way into the book. Even at the end you aren't sure if it's his real name or not. It suits the character who has, in many ways, erased himself from life. No connections, no ties, nothing he can't leave and never look back.

An assassin for hire, Tesseract usually works through brokers so neither he no those who hire him ever know each other. The level of tradecraft is good and lends the story a suitably realistic atmosphere, though not quite as compelling as that in the John Rain books. After he does a job in Paris, everything falls apart in no time. A group of killers are waiting for him at his hotel. Eluding them won't be an option, so he must kill them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Luther on September 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is amazingly well put together. It is even more impressive that this is Hinshelwood's first novel.

The plot details are very tight. There are many instances where the plot elements get so intertwined that an author could drop the ball by failing to wrap up loose ends - Hinshelwood does not do that. He is able to wrap up everything in the book into a dense package filled with everything one wants in a complex and engaging thriller.

I did not see many technical difficulties with this book. Any grammatical errors were fairly minor. There was nothing in the writing style that took away from the overall story.

If Hinshelwood can make his next book anywhere as close to this good, he will be an author that should be on everybody's must read lists.
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