“The Hit List” by Holly Seddon – Book Review

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)

ISBN: 9781409195511    ASIN: B089SML1NM    489 pages

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.  After growing up in the English countryside obsessed with music and books, Holly worked in London as a journalist and editor. She now lives in Amsterdam with her family and writes full time.

Follow Holly Seddon on Twitter, Instagram or via her website.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Page turners, Psychological thrillers, Secret Readers (Orion), Suspense and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to “The Hit List” by Holly Seddon – Book Review

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  3. Carla says:

    I was approved for the audiobook of this on NG, but it archived before I realized it, so now will have to wait patiently for it to come to my library or use next month’s audible credit to get it. I really like the sounds of it and enjoyed the other Holly Seddon book I read. Wonderful review, Lynne.


    • Thanks Carla. I hope you do get to read it at some point. I always download the books from NetGalley the minute that I realize I’ve been approved. That being said, I don’t download audiobooks, so perhaps they are different.


      • Carla says:

        I had to finish the book I was listening to in order to have room on my phone, when I had the room, it had already been archived. Only a couple days between approval and archive unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hate when they do that! Even worse, I hate reading a fantastic and positive review of a book only to search it on NetGalley and discover that it has already been archived. However… that is probably for the best given the state of my TBR at present.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m starting this one soon. I’m looking forward to it now. Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. great review, Lynne. definitely sounds like one i’d be interested in reading. now to find it…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pink Roses says:

    I’ve added this book to my list – I’m always on the look out for a good thriller! Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fab review Lynne, definitely agree that it’s a must read!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carol says:

    If I read thrillers this sounds like a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

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