Greg Heywood was killed in a bicycle accident in London. As his widow, Marianne Heywood, goes through his belongings she discovers, to her shock and chagrin, that he had delved into the ‘dark web‘. A bookmarked site on his laptop that leads her to discover this message:
Then, when going through his day planners and notebooks, she notices that a page has been torn out near the middle of the book. She gets out a pencil to discover what had been written on the page only to find that it is a list of names. A hit list! With her own name at the bottom…
Why would anyone want her dead? She is a schoolteacher in her mid thirties. Marianne goes about trying to discover information about the other names on the list only to find that at least a few of them are dead – all young – all died recently…
Flashback to Greg Heywood. He works for a humanitarian charity organization who attempts to rescue illegals who have been brought to Britain for purposes of slavery and sex work. What more noble endeavor could he pursue? Yet, they say “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.
Wow! What a fast paced and engrossing thriller! One of those astounding novels that is very hard to review without leaking a few spoilers, though I will do my utmost not to…
There are really three protagonists here. Marianne Heywood, the person who is tasked with her murder, and, in flashbacks, her late husband Greg.
This is a book that examines how far we will go to protect those we love and also to protect our own reputations. It showcases profound moral dilemmas, ones you never want to experience. It touches on the dire topics of illegal immigrants, human trafficking and organ harvesting.
The assured writing ensures that the reader is invested in the outcome, though while reading, I couldn’t imagine what that might be. Riddled with plot twists and plausible red herrings, this story of extortion, exaction, and intimidation was a roller-coaster ride of suspense. The characters were in such dire emotional predicaments that the reader could feel their panic and fear – their overwhelming feeling of being trapped in a life that they have no control over, with no end in sight. Even the villain was a character that I felt absolute sympathy for. How could this possibly end well for anyone involved?
All I can say is that you MUST read “The Hit List” to find out. A splendid thriller that I highly recommend to all fans of the genre!
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Trapeze/Orion Publishing via Secret Readers/Quantified Reading.
Publication date: August 28, 2020
Publisher: Trapeze (an imprint of Orion Publishing)
Holly Seddon’s first book, TRY NOT TO BREATHE, was published in 2016 and went on to be a bestseller in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Australia. Her second novel, DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES, was published in July 2017 in the UK, USA and in many other countries. LOVE WILL TEAR US APART was published in June 2018.
She is one half of the Honest Authors, co-hosting a fortnightly podcast on the realities of life as a published author.
She is a member of International Thriller Writers.