THE LONG KILL by Patrick Ruell


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For the first two-thirds of the book here, Ruell (Reginald Hill once again writing under his wife's maiden name) very competently handles a professional assassin suddenly confronted with myopia, a botched kill, a relationship with a deeply wary widow, and an awesome walking and stalking of the Fells--and then everything collapses in a dithering mess Of motives, insulin ampules, Polish politics, and bad guy/bad guy confrontations. After missing his last kill assignment, Jaysmith, the bleary-eyed hit man, calls it quits with Jacob, his mysterious controller, then house-hunts in the Lake District, where he finds: Miss Wilson's charming cottage, her diffident niece Anya, and Anya's Polish ÉmigrÉ dad Stefan Bryant--last seen through his telescopic gunsight! Jacob schedules another hit, calling on assassins-in-training Davey and Adam, soon horribly dispatched by Jaysmith, who's trying to understand why Bryant was ever targeted, lron Curtain shenanigans? Krakow subversives? K.G.B. engineered double-cross enacted by Polish girlfriend Ota? Or does it all hinge on the falling-off-the-Fells death of Anya's husband Edward'? Parental revenge, twice enacted, culminates in a horrific realization for Anya--and a dying plea for Jaysmith. Majestic scenery, plus enough gun expertise to tutor the Jacket Overall: better-than-average Ruell.

Pub Date: April 8th, 1988
Publisher: Countryman