Better Off Dead

Written by Tom Wood

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


Better Off Dead
Sphere
RRP: £6.99
Released: November 20, 2014
Pbk

Anonymous, amoral; deadly, Victor is the ultimate killing machine, an assassin without fear or frailty.

Apart that is from the loyalty to the only person he ever cared for; this is what draws him to London on a mission to recover the missing daughter of a Russian gangster. A simple enough task for a man of his talents, until it turns out that seemingly every crook in the capital, along with a rogue element in the British secret service want them both dead.

This is the sort of book for which the term ‘high octane’ was invented and then turbo-charged, from the first page onwards Wood gives his readers barely a second to draw breath as the characters are thrown from one deadly situation to another.

He writes with the authority of having researched the subject intensively about the tradecraft of assassination and evading capture in a hostile urban environment. Wood is particularly adept at describing the bone crunching ballet of unarmed combat, more than once this reviewer had to put the book down to check if he’d got a black eye by osmosis.

The characterisation isn’t the deepest you’re likely to come across, sometimes people do things a little too obviously to provide a plot twist. This though is a small criticism of a book that does exactly what it sets out to do; Wood entertains his readers with a diet of relentless action and thrills in a world that although it sometimes stretches reality works brilliantly on its own terms.

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