cover image The Killing Kind

The Killing Kind

Chris Holm. Little, Brown/Mulholland, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-25953-8

Former U.S. special operations soldier Michael Hendricks, the hero of Holm’s inventive thriller, was presumed killed in a horrifying attack in Afghanistan that left his unit destroyed. Informing neither the government nor his ex-girlfriend, Hendricks returns to the U.S., where he contacts the intended victims of organized crime hit contracts and, if they meet his standards for decency, offers to take out their killer, for a fee 10 times what the hit man was paid in the first place. A shadowy cartel of organized crime groups hires sadistic but effective hit man Alexander Engelman to deal with Hendricks. Engelman learns Hendricks’s background through devious means, which sets up a final showdown of hit man versus hit man. Holm (Dead Harvest and two other novels in his Collector fantasy series) carries off a preposterous plot with brazen aplomb, creating a diverting, action-packed story interspersed with excellent character vignettes. [em]Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (Sept.) [/em]