Hendricks, the protagonist of Chris Holm’s The Killing Kind, makes his living as a hit man who kills only hit men. As a former US military operative presumed dead after a mission went awry in Afghanistan, he’s specially suited for his work. When he hears a contract has been taken out on someone, he contacts the target and offers his services to remove the threat—but only if the target is someone worth saving.
The Council, an organization of representatives from every crime family in the world, isn’t having it. It hires a hit man named Engelmann to stop Hendricks from messing with the group’s killing plans. Also on Hendricks’s trail is FBI Special Agent Charlotte “Charlie” Thompson, who has a hard time convincing her colleagues that Hendricks even exists. Hendricks is very good at his job, but can he elude his pursuers, who also excel at theirs?
Holm (The Collector Trilogy) is good at his job, too. His prose is lean, his pacing brisk, the suspense high, and his plot unpredictable. He encourages the reader to care about characters that aren’t normally sympathetic, and if they’re not likable, they’re at least amusing. There’s plenty of violence and dark humor, but heart as well, with Hendricks holding a candle for a love he can’t forget. He’s not just the killing kind; he’s also the romantic kind.
This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.