Hired to assassinate a microbiologist suspected of trading secrets, Hex finds that someone has beaten him to it, in the first in a series of action thrillers in the Bourne Trilogy mold
Joshua Thane, aka Hex, is a freelance assassin. His next target is Dr. Mary Wilding, a British microbiologist suspected of trading secrets. Breaking into her house, he discovers someone has beaten him to it—she’s already dead, and the hard drive he was ordered to steal is also missing. About to flee the scene, Hex comes face-to-face with Wilding’s teenage son. According to normal rules of engagement, Hex should kill the boy to protect his own identity and professional reputation, but turbulent memories from his past trigger a crisis of conscience. Bewildered by his actions, Hex allows the boy to live and flees; yet his nightmare has barely begun. With his own life under threat for apparently botching the job, Hex embarks on an international quest to find the real killer and redeem his soul. Using his old contacts, including crime boss Billy Squeeze, he unravels a criminal conspiracy to develop and detonate an ethnically specific biological weapon. Rogue state, terrorist, or organized crime, whoever has the information, holds the power to deal to the highest bidder—and the British security services want it back.
A massive thanks to Cutting Edge Press for sending me a review copy of this book.
I haven’t read anything like this, for quite some time. It surprised and enthralled me. It reminded me of James Bond and Jason Bourne. ‘Wicked Game’ is a mad, spy thriller with a dash of biotechnological menace and plenty of excitement. It is a reminder of how science can be used for both good and evil, as a scientist develops a biological weapon designed to cause widespread terror. We get double dealings, spy agencies across the globe, criminal networks and one assassin, with a dubious moral compass, trying to make sense of it all.
Chase has created a rather endearing anti-hero in Hex, the killer for hire. It is amusing that Hex seems to be developing a conscience and we follow where this takes him. He even has a love interest. I really started to care for Hex and wanted all of the agencies going after him to fail. It is a sign of pretty good writing, when that happens. I loved the opening scenes, where we meet Hex as he is going in for the kill. Only in this case, his intended target is already dead.
A very satisfying read!