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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's hard to warm to a hitwoman...
Nadia used to be a cop, but she got "retired" from the force when she took justice into her own hands and shot and killed a child-rapist. Now she makes her living as an occasional asassin, doing mob hits for a small-time "family". When a serial-killer starts using an MO that make's him look like a professional hitman, Nadia's sometime mentor Jack asks her to join a...
Published on 4 July 2007 by Caitlin Macdonald

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing...
Like others I am sure, I rushed to buy a new Kelly Armstrong novel the week it came out. I wished I hadn't rushed now. I didn't find the characters fleshed out and I think it is taking the easy route to do that in later books - the book must stand alone.
There was something curiously insubstantial about all the characters, including the killer, whose motivation...
Published on 14 July 2007 by J. Cooper


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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's hard to warm to a hitwoman..., 4 July 2007
Nadia used to be a cop, but she got "retired" from the force when she took justice into her own hands and shot and killed a child-rapist. Now she makes her living as an occasional asassin, doing mob hits for a small-time "family". When a serial-killer starts using an MO that make's him look like a professional hitman, Nadia's sometime mentor Jack asks her to join a "squad" of hitmen to take down the guy who's giving them all a bad name.

Like the title of my review says, it's hard to warm to a hired killer. Yes she's got history which makes it somewhat understandble, but nevertheless our heroine is a pretty cold individual on the surface. It speaks volumes of Armstrong's skill that I actually DID warm to her in the end, and will look out for the next book in this series.

Fans of Armstrong's "Women of the Otherworld" series be warned - this is NOT SFF. Definitely worth a look if you're into crime and a strong female protaganist though.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a new series!, 9 July 2007
This is the first in the new series by Kelley Armstrong (author of the bestselling 'Women of the Otherworld' novels - which starts with 'Bitten')and is a completly different genre to the other novels which she is known for. Nadia is an ex-cop turned hit women who finds herself searching for a hit-man turned serial killer. As another reviewer has said, it is hard to warm to a hitwomen but I found myself warming to Nadia straight away. Kelley has done a brilliant job with portraying Nadia and her voice and world seems real. The story is fast-paced and I couldn't stop reading it at all. I'd definitly recomend this to anyone else. The only reason it has only four-stars is because if I never give anything 100% :)

I actually warmed to this character faster than I did to the characters of her other novels which is surprising since I am a really big fan. Here's hoping the second book to this is brought out soon.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing..., 14 July 2007
By 
J. Cooper "Jude" (Hove, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Like others I am sure, I rushed to buy a new Kelly Armstrong novel the week it came out. I wished I hadn't rushed now. I didn't find the characters fleshed out and I think it is taking the easy route to do that in later books - the book must stand alone.
There was something curiously insubstantial about all the characters, including the killer, whose motivation remained confusing. In fact Evelyn, who was pretty unlikeable was the most vibrant character.
Another reviewer said that they looked forward to the next one in this series. I would hesitate before buying it. The question is posed - can you warm to a hitwoman? And my answer is; not yet. Nadia isn't drawing me in - she just seems a bit flakey. I also found that the characters didn't stay in mind - I read the book over a week and found that I had to refer back several times - something I very rarely do. I think that perhaps it could have been edited a touch more.
I have given 3 stars as the book is well written and I am still Pollyanna-type hopeful - I still buy LKH and she is a disaster these days...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my review, 20 Aug 2007
By 
Mrs. P. Frost "penny Hinckley" (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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No immmortals, no werewolves, but what a good book, a good old fashioned detective novel with a twist. A female assasin and perhaps? a bit of love interest? who knows, can't wait to read the next one and I am a confirmed fantasy reader!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a Half Stars, 4 Jan 2008
After Nadia Stafford took justice into her own hands, she had to leave the police force. She finally ends up becoming a hitwoman for a small mafia family, whilst at the same time trying to keep her tourist lodge solvent. However, when one of her hits is mistaken for the work of a serial killer, she joins forces with five other assassins to stop the killings before they are all exposed.

Nadia as a heroine is a bit of an enigma. Even though we're in her head, there are still parts of her that remain a mystery. And I liked this. I liked having to think about her motivations. As a hitwoman she's decisive and professional, but there's something inside her that's not functioning quite properly. I'm hoping we gradually find out more about her in upcoming books. I wonder, if she'll ever have to confront all the things she's denied.

Of the other hitmen - Jack, Evelyn, Quinn and Felix - we spend most time with Jack, who is Nadia's mentor, and Evelyn who was Jack's mentor.

...Jack said, "You saw my note, right? It said 'wait'."
"That was a note? I thought it was a haiku."

Jack brings new meaning to the word taciturn. Whilst he uses the minimum number of words to get his point across, and none if he can say what he wants to non-verbally, his presence looms large on the page. He remains a complete professional, focused on the job at hand, and yet there is a chemistry between him and Nadia that is almost tangible - probably moreso because the two of the them don't acknowledge it. Yep, I think I'm gonna be a Jack/Nadia shipper.

Kelley Armstrong writes characters who feel like real people, whether they're an ex-cop hitwoman, or the world's only female werewolf. In Exit Strategy this is emphasized in the 'victim vignettes'. Two or three pages we spend with the victims of the serial killer before they're murdered, as they just go about their daily lives. In just a few pages they become real people, not just red shirts. By the time you get to page 287 and read about Gracie and Cliff you'll be biting your fingernails.

One of the most memorable scenes for me in Bitten (Otherworld Bk1) has nothing to do with werewolves. It's the scene where Elena is pursued by a killer through an airport parking lot. You were there with her, and Exit Strategy has a similar feel. Would I recommend this book to everyone - no. If the reason you read Kelley Armstrong's books is for the urban fantasy element, then this one might not be for you. If on the other hand it's for her dialogue, and the way she makes characters come alive on the page, then give it a try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes a little effort, 18 May 2009
By 
Claire Mill "Cem" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'm a big Kelley Armstrong fan, I love most of her Otherworld series and I'm enjoying her Darkest Powers trilogy too. This book is really different though. It took me a long time to get in to it, I didn't warm to the characters too quick and I found the plot a little slow and jarring at times. That said, it gets better. By the halfway point I was hooked and didn't want to put it down. I find Nadia a really interesting person to try and get to know, because honestly, she keeps a lot of her self hidden. Makes it harder for readers to get in to the book maybe, but personally I found it worth it. She's really pretty compicated and I find it fun trying to figure her out.

Eyeln is a tad annoying, but mostly I find her verging on evil. She's dangerous and I don't think she's really on Nadia's side. Quinn is a bit of lighter fun, but I can't take him to seriously. Something about him, just can't really buy the sexual interest between him and Nadia. Jack. I love Jack. I can see why some reviews think he's not all that great, too much like a stone wall, but I am really caught by him. I want to know more. I want to see under the cover he hides under so well. The real him, not just the him he's become through being a hit man.

Overall, 3.5 stars really, but I'm rounding up because the second one is much better. Worth the effort getting in to the start of it for the second one alone.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect the paranormal, 29 Aug 2007
By 
Wyvernfriend (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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If you're reading this book for a paranormal character or an urban fantasy stop now. You won't get that here.

If you're reading for a kick-ass female character who knows guns and works in a man's world, then you're reading the right book. This isn't typical Kelley Armstrong fare, this is a mystery. A "chase the hitman serial killer" type of book. Fans of Jeff Lindsay's Dexter might like this story, the female lead, Nadia, is an assassin. She used to be a cop until she killed a guy who got away, she got into assassination because her B&B was having trouble getting started.

The story is about a group of assassins who decide that the serial killer who is taking out innocent people in the style of a hit man is threatening business and needs to be stopped, so they band together to stop him. All with different motives and all nervous about this teaming up thing.

It's interesting, it does have holes that would unravel if you pick at them but I enjoyed the ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, but doesn't compare to Armstrong's supernatural series..., 13 Feb 2013
By 
finalguy (Newport (Wales)) - See all my reviews
This is my first foray into Kelley Armstrong's writing, and overall it was an enjoyable one. I had assumed when buying it that it was another supernatural focused series but once I had started, it actually turned out to be a tale of hitmen and women going after one of their own who had gone 'rogue', and was becoming more and more similar to a serial killer.

The story was interesting, and the dynamics between characters enjoyable, if a little under-developed, and the situation and plot of the novel interesting and mysterious enough.

I liked the lead character, although her story (ex-cop turned semi vigilante killer) isn't original, the character was likeable enough that it didn't bother me too much. I enjoyed the concept of retired hitmen like Evelyn wanting to get back into the business, and the idea of a gun-toting granny definitely gave me a few chuckles.

The thing that lowered the score for me on this was the romance, which isn't featured too much in this one, but you can see it coming. There's the slightest inkling of a love triangle happening here involving Jack and Quinn. Now, Quinn is introduced late and is just what our heroine needs, which probably means he will be disappointed. The problem is that there is almost no suspense to the romance as so much effort and time is spent concerning Jack and Nadia that it's clear who the author favours in the end....and I just don't get Jack. He's supposed to be this older, brooding, practically mute, sexy hitman but in all honesty he just comes across as bland...Edward from Anita Blake he is not. So that's what let this down for me, the inevitability of a boring final love interest. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'd like to be, but it's clear from the way both love interests are developed who is going to win that particular battle.

I will be reading the next in the series though, so I guess I shall see where it goes from there.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining new series, 18 Sep 2007
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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The latest tale by Kelley Armstrong that's not set in her Otherworld setting. Now whilst I do love her work I did feel a little disappointed by her latest offering to the readers in that series feeling that she'd let the principle antagonist out of the box without bringing a lot of her trademark quips. This tale though, lent a complete freedom to the author and restored my faith in her talent, not that the other tale wasn't good but I did feel that I had a different grasp on the situation to what I was presented. Here Im on an even footing and as such just couldn't get enough of this novel, feeling quite sad at the conclusion as I really could have done with a bit more. Exciting characters ooze throughout the novel and as such will keep the mystery moving at a fast clip right up to its conclusion. Just warm up that hot tub as I need to relax after this roller-coaster of a novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars an enjoyable read, different from her fantasy books, 23 Nov 2009
By 
PD (London, England) - See all my reviews
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4 and a half stars
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book because of the mixed reviews. I love Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series though, so I thought I'd give it a try.
Nadia Stafford is a great character, serious and complex, although she does take a bit of time to grow on you. Her fellow hitmen/women are believable and the plot is action driven. I was kept gripped by the story and can't wait to read the next one 'Made to be Broken'.
My only (slight) gripes with the book were: the lack of relationship action, too slow-obviously to be covered over the series, but annoying for the reader! Also the motives of the serial killer were quite confusing for the reader.
I would recommend this book but only if you like serious stuff, the closest Otherworld books are probably Personal Demon or Bitten but beware that there is not as much relationship stuff in this book.
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