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Wednesday 15 September 2021

‘Hour of the Assassin’ by Matthew Quirk.

Published by Head of Zeus,
3 June 2021.
ISBN 978-1-80024345-3 (HB)

Nick Averose’s military background fits him for his work – testing to its limits security arrangements surrounding important officials and politicians.  His current job is to check on the security protecting a former director of the CIA.  His success in doing this does not have the result he expected and he finds himself caught up in a long-term conspiracy, which began with a murder, but is now focused on winning the Presidency.

Nick realises that he has been framed for murder, and as he tries to understand what is going on, he becomes aware that he has to be very careful whom he relies on – old and trusted friends are not what they seem and danger is everywhere.  A girlfriend from his past re-appears asking for his help, only to suddenly disappear.  His relationship with his wife becomes strained.  The conspirators have deadlines to meet if they are to acquire the huge financial backing they need for the presidential campaign and Nick’s death is an important part in their plans.  But, gradually they begin to doubt one another.

This is the sort of book that fans will read in a sitting as its fast-moving plot is revealed.  As often with high-action books, the hero’s strength and durability in the face of violence and continuous stress can stretch belief, but the storyline’s momentum captures the reader’s imagination. The end resolves the twists and turns neatly, with elements of regret and sadness.  The reader is left with the feeling that, though the good guys have overcome this time, the dark underbelly of Washington politics has not changed much.

Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood
Other books by this author:  apart from Hour of the Assassin and The Night Agent, which are both stand-alones, the author has two series:  The 500 and The Directive feature Mike Ford and Cold Barrel Zero and Dead Man Switch feature John Hayes

Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he spent five years at The Atlantic reporting on crimes, private military contractors, the opium trade, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

Jo Hesslewood.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.

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