My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Victor the assassin is back; the first antihero protagonist. The Game starts off simple enough with Victor tasked by CIA to take out another of his brethren from his profession. Victor being the apex predator that he is completes his assignment with elan in spite of some of his plan gone awry.
Thinking on his feet is a Victor trait - we see some of the highly rated situational awareness shown by Victor when he sniffs out people on his tail, a highly professional tailing unit of 8 people. Being in the most dangerous profession and being the apex predator of that profession for more than 10 years is a hallmark of a person who is relentless in his pursuit of observing life around him just so that he can wake up the next day. Not as glamorous as envisioned eh?
Sabotaging his stakeout, Victor is given a new assignment by the boss leading his failed stakeout - the mission to audition for the role of his last contract to infiltrate and foil the latest plot. Post his audition Victor shifts base to Iceland, identifying a new base to lay low and modifying it to be a bunker above ground.
Victor wins his audition and then meets his team - a psychopath he encountered in Belgium, a sniper, a remorseless killer, a broker and his moll. The plan is for Victor to blow himself for kingdom to come to assassinate the SVR chief. A plan Victor has a problem with as it involves Victor being dead. An idea Victor staunchly opposes.
Victor being his resourceful self finds a way out of the mess and proceeds to rain hell on all those who conspired to bring forth his destruction in true Victor style.
Our antihero also shows a small albeit significant glimpse of his humanity when he sets forth to save/rescue innocents trapped into this plot due to Victor masquerading as someone else.
My respect for Tom Wood as a writer is growing by leaps and bounds. What started off as an experimentation with the antihero genre is now a successful franchise with each book coming out better than the past and each dealing out a small morsel of information about our favorite antihero.
The plots are good, the suspense is good enough and the action is the best, every action and reaction given by Victor is thought about and his ability to think on his feet is explained.
I would rate this one a solid 5 star. There are not many imperfections in this story and what there are can be explained as a flaw of being human
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