One More Kill

Matt Hughes. PS, $28 (344p) ISBN 978-1-786363-02-2
Intriguing plot twists drive this page-turner from Hughes (Downshift). The unnamed narrator, a former U.S. Army Ranger now running a Manhattan travel agency, is shocked if not too surprised to learn from a doctor he’s referred to, Christopher Anselm, that he’s going to die of leukemia in five months, given that he’s lived with a nonlethal version of the disease for years. The next day, Anselm calls the narrator to say he wants to discuss a nonmedical matter that he can’t talk about over the phone. The narrator visits the doctor at home in Connecticut, where Anselm offers him an unusual way of making his remaining time more meaningful. Anselm displays newspaper clippings about 11 violent deaths that he claims to have arranged, all of people who evaded justice. The travel agent accepts his invitation to become his next moral avenger, starting with mob boss Little Tony Torres. After the narrator takes out Torres, he agrees to hit Deborah Curtis, who has “built up a leisure clothing empire on the backs of Southeast Asian kids who slaved 14-hour days.” That assignment takes an unexpected turn when the killer learns something surprising about Curtis, which leads him to start selecting his own targets, including a slimy banker who extorted a travel agency employee. Hughes does a masterly job of making a cold-blooded killer sympathetic. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Genre: Fiction
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