The Killing Kind

The Killing KindThe Killing Kind by Chris Holm
Genres: Crime, Suspense, Thriller
Published by Mulholland Books on September 15, 2015
Pages: 320

 

To his ex-fiancé, his friends, and the US Special Forces, Michael Hendricks is dead. By the time of his ‘death’ Michael was struggling to cope with the bodies left behind by his covert-ops career. Needing redemption from his past, Michael turns to the skill he knows best—killing. This time though, he only kills other hitmen. However, it isn’t too long before he catches the attention of a dangerous crime conglomerate, the council. Tired of their hitmen being eliminated, they hire Alexander Engelmann to eliminate Michael. With nice suspense and an intriguing premise, The Killing Kind makes for a quick and entertaining read.

With nice suspense and an intriguing premise, The Killing Kind makes for a quick and entertaining read.

I have not read Chris Holm’s previous books, but I found the back cover blurb for The Killing Kind to tempting to pass up. “A hitman who only kills other hitmen winds up a target himself. Michael Hendricks kills people for money. That aside, he’s not so bad a guy.” I tend to very much enjoy vigilante heroes and this book seemed like it would offer a conflicted protagonist that is striving for a sort of redemptive justice. To a certain degree, Michael is this character, but in other ways he’s not.

While Michael is a likable character, he’s not as deep as he could be. Much of his backstory is condensed to a small portion of the book which somewhat lessens suspense and limits the reader’s connection with him. Though his past is a great influence on his present occupation, having it given by a third person and at one time lessens the emotional impact, keeping it distant and feeling disconnected. As a result, Michael grows very little and his character lacks the depth it could have attained had his background and its effects been shown more than told.

I very much enjoyed The Killing Kind’s plot. It’s not terribly complex, but it is fun.

I very much enjoyed The Killing Kind’s plot. It’s not terribly complex, but it is fun. The pacing is a little off in that the advertised premise is slow to develop. That doesn’t mean that the book itself is slow—it is anything but slow. However, by the time Michael figures out he is being hunted, there really isn’t enough pages left to allow for twists and turns. The cat and mouse portion of the book is intact, but the suspense is not quite as strong as it could be had the plot been given more space and time to develop.

For a book that focuses on killers killing killers, there is a relatively small amount of gore and violence.

For a book that focuses on killers killing killers, there is a relatively small amount of gore and violence. Obviously there is some bloodshed and a pretty descent body count, but I was rather surprised there wasn’t more. This is a general market book and there is some language and sexual content, but like the violence, it’s pretty mild compared to other books I’ve read in this genre. However, sensitive readers should still be aware, there are some graphic scenes.

I very much enjoyed my introduction to Chris Holm’s writing. I easily finished The Killing Kind in just a few settings. While it could have benefited from a little extra depth in both plot and characters, it kept my attention and made for fun summer reading. The ending appears to open the door for more books and I hope that is the case. I would certainly like to follow Michael through another book or two.

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