cover image Assassins Anonymous

Assassins Anonymous

Rob Hart. Putnam, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593717-39-4

A legendary assassin joins a support group of murderers hoping to cure themselves of their addiction to violence in Hart’s nail-biting latest (after The Paradox Hotel). Mark, who works under the moniker the Pale Horse, has kept his murderous impulses in check for months, but his progress is threatened when he’s attacked after a meeting of Assassins Anonymous. His Russian assailant stabs him in the chest before stealing a notebook with the names of everyone Mark plans to atone to. With the help of his former medic, Astrid, Mark recovers from his injuries. When his apartment is blown up a few days later, Astrid joins him on the run, and the pair head to Singapore, where Mark hopes to track down an old contact and ferret out whether his ex-employers in U.S. intelligence are out to get him, or if someone connected to a former target has come for revenge. Mark’s continued efforts to stay “clean” from violence provide welcome humor to the otherwise breakneck proceedings. Strong characters and rattling suspense lift things further above par. Hart remains a formidable rising talent. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Literary. (June)