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Wood, Tom - The Enemy
Paperback: 544 pages (May 2012) Publisher: Sphere ISBN: 075154535X

Victor is a former self-employed British freelance assassin but now is obliged to work for the CIA. His new boss gives him a hit-list of three names, three targets - but what promised to be a simple assignment plunges him into an international conspiracy where no one can be trusted - especially the people Victor works for. Usually, when he was freelance he was given perhaps two weeks' notice of an assassination date, time to plot the best location, best weapon and best escape but with his new boss he only gets perhaps two days!

He goes to Bucharest, Romania, Moscow then Washington to carry out his assignments and there is a great deal of detailed research obvious in the description by the author of the locations and the hotels, restaurants and general locale. There is a little romance, with Victor meeting his girl-friend but he gets her into a very dangerous location later in the story. It is very obvious that Victor loves his work and he has to constantly check that he is not being followed. He gets into a taxi goes a couple of miles then exits it and gets into a train and leaves it and changes platform and goes somewhere else and he does this throughout the book!

It seems that the CIA want to stop some international arms dealers from carrying out their deadly trade. One contract has Victor stopping a hit on one particular arms dealer but two weeks later Victor is ordered to kill the man whose live he saved earlier. There seems to be some double-dealing in the CIA and it causes Victor a great deal of confusion. Victor is constantly on the move, he is constantly chasing or being chased: it is not a book that you will get bored reading. Can Victor succeed in locating his targets before he becomes one himself?

This book is tremendously exciting and although at 544 pages it is quite long I just could not put it down and finished it in just over three days. There were elements of Tom Clancy, I felt in there, with long detailed descriptions of different guns and ammunition perhaps to cater for American readers, but this was not excessive. The author wrote an earlier book entitled, THE HUNTER about Victor and there is an ebook-exclusive short story called Bad Luck In Berlin with the same protagonist. All in all a very tightly plotted, very exciting and gripping book, which is marvellous entertainment and similar to books by Tom Cain, Sean Black or Simon Kernick. Well recommended.

Terry Halligan, England
August 2012

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 4/08/2012 18:07