Author : Kurt Brindley
Published By : PROSOCHE
Year Published : 2019
Genre / Tags : Action, Suspense, Adult Fiction, Dark Fiction
Mood : Gritty, yet having the feel of an action flick.
Formats : Paperback, eBook
# of Pages : 404 pages (Hardcover)
A former Navy SEAL turned vigilante hitman already in the crosshairs of corrupt Russian agents finds himself in even deeper trouble after rescuing a sex trafficking victim against her will just as she is about to be delivered into the hands of an unscrupulous corporate mogul, an impetuous and dangerous man who will not be denied his purchase. . .
Content Warnings : Violence, torture, gore. A victim of sexual assault goes into heavy detail of her experiences on one scene late into the book. Coercion and rape, drug use.
Note : I received a copy of this book for the purpose of review. Also of note, this title is part of Kindle Unlimited if you use that service.
Remember how Robin Hood would steal from the rich and give to the poor? The main character of this book, Killian, is kind of like a millenial version of that. He kills the seediest of the rich to avenge the most exploited of the poor, which is probably far more relevant to the present day. He’s like a modern day Robin Hood-meets-Dexter.
This book is about an array of criminals. First of note are the ones Killian targets. Most of them have lives of grandiose opulence and maintain an involved sex trafficking network. Killian stalks and unleashes violent and righteous anger upon them. His kills are quite gorily described and ritualistic in nature. He has two notable goals. 1, To hopefully free the captives they’re keeping and 2, To quiet his own inner demons that have been haunting him since a traumatic event. That event took place while he served abroad as a Navy SEAL. A bunch of enslaved little girls were slaughtered. In a big way Killian’s obsession with justice has been influenced by that tragedy, and he’s been avenging them ever since. The fragility of Killian’s psyche combined with his tremendous physical abilities make for an interesting contrast.
Overall, I enjoyed the storyline and the cinematic feeling to the sequencing of events. If you’re one who visualizes your reads with skill, this one feels like a lengthy tv drama. There was massive build up and intrigue involving that aforementioned network of villains. We see into their world and thought processes in often meticulous detail. At times, the amount of effort put toward the villainous perspective seemed a bit much. I usually like that sort of thing for the nuance it brings, but these guys are often nauseating to read about. One of them in particular, Savage, is given enough time and space that he could almost be considered a main/major character in earlier parts. All that happens is relevant to the plot though, and contributes to the moral quandary of Killian being technically horrifying and depraved but working toward a cause that can be justified.
To make note of some other side characters- aside from the parade of villains we have two very sympathetic figures, R.J. and Toni.
R.J. is Killian’s childhood friend. She is super easy to like, grounded and relatable but with physical and emotional strength that makes her one of the healthiest voices in the book. Then there is Toni- one of the victims of the story who goes through a lot of trauma. Without revealing too much I’ll just say she’s searching for her sister and runs into some bad luck while doing so. Now as for the sister, Ruby, I didn’t like her characterization but delving too deep into it can get spoiler-ish so lets just leave it at that.
I do think the book could have benefitted from having a few more worthwhile side characters, maybe a few of prominence that are similar to Killian or have similar goals. One thing I noticed that is amusing and surprising for a book that exudes the sort of masculine energy that this one does, all of the male characters are just horrible and face-punch worthy except for Killian. I can’t think of a single named male character that stood out as decent or likable aside from him.
A spoiler-free note about the ending- it was good, and had an unexpected turn at the end that I thought was fitting and easy to appreciate. I’ll make note of it in my Goodreads review and link back here, since it’s easy to put clickable spoiler tags there.
The writing style goes for detail and description in ways that feel authentic. A drawback worth noting is that some of the dialogue felt silly- like catchy one liners in a movie or tv show- and clashed with the very dark themes. Overall, I recommend checking this book out if the premise intrigues you. It remains consistent throughout, no major dips in quality. If you like the beginning you’ll probably like the ending.
Overall Rating – 8.5/10
Why You Should Try It – Great if you’re looking for gritty adult fiction with some action, suspense, and intrigue that has a sort of cinematic feel to its proceedings. I really liked the mentioning of current events, while it will date this book in time, it adds a relevancy when reading it now in 2019. There are some fantastically tense moments, especially toward the middle. Killian is an interesting protagonist. This book is long yet remains consistent in quality throughout.
Why You Might Not Like It – Note the content warnings mentioned at the beginning of this review, as they may be troubling for some. Some aspects of Savage and Ruby didn’t hit the right note for me. Some dialogue can be a mixed bag. I love seeing villains given time and space to flesh out their motives, but it can get a bit much here.
Thanks so much for reading my review! Have you read The Good Kill and have any thoughts on it? Are you interested in reading it? I appreciate all of your thoughts.