cover image Hit


Delilah S. Dawson. Simon Pulse, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2339-7

Patsy Klein is a teenage hit woman assigned to kill 10 unfortunate souls who can't pay their debts to Valor Savings Bank, a corporation that has just bought the United States by paying off its debts, and has drafted legislation allowing debtors to be "legally killed in recompense." Patsy is in this situation because of her mother's own debts, and she accepts her horrific mission with a combination of bravery and self-loathing. She begins picking off the people on her list until a handsome companion shows up to accompany her on these dark endeavors, complicating matters (she killed his father). Dawson's (Servants of the Storm) social commentary on corporate finance and its intimate ties to the government is sharp and shot through with irony. She takes this intermingling to the extreme, without losing a playful touch, even as Patsy's story becomes more disturbing. The wit is biting, and the banter between Wyatt and Patsy entertains in a dark, violent story that would pair well with the financial dystopia of Alex London's Proxy and Guardian. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (Apr.)