The Darkest Day

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.


The Darkest Day
Sphere
RRP: £7.99
Released: November 19, 2015
Pbk

There is a new killer on the block, 'Raven' a female assassin who moves like a shadow and leaves no trace at the scene of her crimes. A rogue arm of the US intelligence services wants her dead and there is only one man for the job, 'Victor', a killer without a conscience or a shred of mercy. So begins a deadly duel between hired guns that comes to a head on a winter’s night when New York is hit by a blackout.

There are killers for hire and then there's 'Victor', a faceless, ruthless force of nature; a shadow with a gun and nerves of steel. This latest instalment in Tom Wood's popular series sees his anti-here face the greatest challenge of his career, an adversary as brilliantly brutal as himself.

Add the fact that he and Raven are forced into an uneasy alliance as the light go out across the Big Apple and the people who hired them turn out to have ulterior motives and the scene is set for some inventive mayhem.

Parts of this novel are undeniably formulaic; but who cares when the formula works as well as it does here. This is largely because Wood barely gives his readers time to catch their breath between one set piece of deadly chaos and the next. Each one is expertly choreographed, few writers working in the genre at present can rival Wood's fluency at creating action scenes.

In Victor he has created a genuinely enigmatic series character, a killer without a working conscience who manages, somehow, not to be an amoral monster. Far from it in fact, he seem at times to follow a personal code that touches on the chivalrous at times.

There is talk of Wood's first novel The Hunter being optioned by Hollywood, this latest edition delivers enough thrills to suggest why such interest is justified. Although it is debatable whether the things readers find so satisfying about his books will survive the compromises involved in being adapted for the big screen.

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