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Assassins Anonymous de Rob Hart

Assassins Anonymous (edição: 2024)

de Rob Hart (Autor)

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434595,141 (4.32)1
"Mark was the most dangerous killer-for-hire in the world. But after learning the hard way that his life's work made him more monster than man, he left all of that behind, and joined a twelve-step group for reformed killers. When Mark is viciously attacked by an unknown assailant, he is forced on the run. From New York to Singapore to London, he chases after clues while dodging attacks and trying to solve the puzzle of who's after him. All without killing anyone. Or getting killed himself. For an assassin, Mark learns, nonviolence is a real hassle"--… (mais)
Título:Assassins Anonymous
Autores:Rob Hart (Autor)
Informação:G.P. Putnam's Sons (2024), 320 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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Assassins Anonymous de Rob Hart


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Exibindo 4 de 4
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
Almost a year ago, Mark walked away from his old life and into a 12-step meeting. It's been a struggle for him—he's almost relapsed, he came close to suicide, and he's struggled every day. But with the support of the other people in his group, his sponsor, and a little orange cat who came into his life at just the right time—Mark is making it, day by day.

Then one day, Mark's cleaning up after the meeting and he's attacked by a Russian who moves like a professional killer. Mark fights back—incapacitating the Russian and escaping with a serious—but not-too-serious—wound of his own and a burning question: who sent the Russian? The search for the answer takes Mark (and his cat) around the world—into some very dangerous situations, and almost more temptation for Mark to relapse than he could've imagined.

You see, Mark's 12-step meeting isn't for Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or anything like that. As you'll guess from the book's title, it's Assassins Anonymous. Hitmen, Assassins, Serial Killers, and the like, who are tired of the life, who are tired of killing and want to try to live productive, life-affirming lives. They have to fight old impulses, old habits, old attitudes, they have to abandon adrenaline rushes (which are probably pretty addictive) and all the rest for a quiet life. Mark had been one of the best in the world (or the worst, depending on your perspective)—almost legendary—until he went cold turkey. But someone's apparently trying to warm up the poultry.*

* That's a metaphor I really shouldn't have tried to stretch.

Can Mark discover why someone game for him almost a year after he quit "the life"? Can Mark make them stop without having to throw away all the work he's done over the last (almost) 12 months?

Like many moviegoers, I love a good hit man movie. I can even enjoy a "just okay" hitman movie (sorry, The Whole Ten Yards you don't qualify as either). Mark, unsurprisingly, isn't a fan of most of them. Sadly, that's where most people get their ideas and information about assassins and hitmen from. So by character, actor, or movie title, they're brought up frequently—usually to Mark's dismay. He'll also just compare his life to those movies on occasion. I enjoyed this aspect of the character a lot—particularly one running bit where people kept expecting him to look more like a particular actor.

Other kinds of movies are used throughout the novel, too—they're a great shorthand way of revealing character. What movies he likes, what movies he refuses to mention liking, and so on are a convenient and efficient way of telling you a lot about Mark. Also, it's just fun to see characters talk about movies and whatnot—as people like Whedon, Tarantino, and Smith have been showing us.

As the book started to really focus on—and feature—things like the meetings Mark's attending, his recovery, and his working the steps, I started to get worried. Primarily because it was early on, and while I understood that Mark was flippant, even a wiseacre—was Hart going to be flip about the 12-steps? That feels like something you shouldn't touch—like a third rail, a skunk with a hair-trigger, or that Easter Egg you finally found in late June.

But no—the meetings, the steps, the attitude about recovery, and the way the characters interacted about their recovery were dealt with respectfully. Sure, there was a little bit of Mark's attitude (or similar ones) expressed in the meetings and whatnot—but not about the meetings or the program, just about each other or themselves. (much like I imagine happens in an actual meeting)

If anything, this is practically an advertisement for those kind of programs and the good work they can do. Because this is the heart of the novel—yes, there's the violence, the suspense, the twists, and whatnot—let's call them "The Thriller Aspects." Those aspects are what will draw readers to the book, they're what'll keep your attention and get you hooked on it. But Assassins Anonymous isn't so much about the "Assassins" as it is the struggle, the stumbles, and the victories associated with Recovery. In my book, we should get more of those—particularly honest books about the victories.

Imagine Martin Q. Blank, Jimmy Tudeski, and Frank Moses meeting up and trying to take care of business—non-lethally (I guess that'd be something like the pacifist version of The Expendables), and you'll have something like this book.

Let's start with The Thriller Aspects—Hart nailed them. Even—maybe especially—the more outlandish aspects of them (which are really the trickier part to pull off). There's a confident panache to the novel—as well as most of the characters—that lets you know right away that you're in good hands and are set for a great ride. Some twists you'll see coming, and won't care because of the way he executes them. But also,

The 12-Step aspect—well, see above—another win for Hart.

What about the comedy and narrative voice? Spot on—seriously good. It'd be easy to go overboard on the comedy—or to not use enough of it (we are talking about a bunch of people who have killed many others), but I think Hart hits the balance just right. And Mark's the kind of guy you can enjoy being stuck in the mind of for 320 pages.

The first chapter gives you everything you need to know about this novel—it's such a well-written chapter, too. Voice, character, action, comedy. If you read it and aren't hooked, you're probably going to feel that way about the rest of it. If that first chapter works for you? Kick back and enjoy.

Sure, this novel is right in my wheelhouse—I'm practically its target demographic incarnate—but I think even if I wasn't, it would've won me over. I strongly encourage you to pick this one up. I can't tell you what's keeping me from giving it the final full star, but something is (and since I'll have to round up almost everywhere I cross-post, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it)—but, boy howdy, you're in for a great time when you open this one up. ( )
  hcnewton | Jun 1, 2024 |
4.5 Stars!

Really, the blurb says it all. Mark is this close to his one year anniversary of not having killed anyone. However, a brute of a Russian makes an attempt on his life which spurs him to discover the whys of how he’s become a target after disappearing from the life of being the best assassin for over the past decade. If he wants to continue his recovery, Mark needs answers, but things quickly spiral out of control as complications pile up.

Know that the plot is quick, the thrown wrenches hit hard as this alternates between Mark in the present trying to figure things out and the past showing how he arrives at his current predicament. I was not once bored. I loved the struggle Mark goes through, seeing his world through a lens of paranoia and situational awareness, fighting a deeply ingrained instinct to kill to easily solve life’s problems. The ingenuity he comes up with to avoid falling back into old patterns was entertaining to see as he’s basically operating with one hand tied behind his back.

So yes, this had plenty of violence, fights, chases, shady agencies, and rival assassins, all entwined with a plausible existential crisis about the moral dilemma that is Mark’s profession. I love me an assassin/mercenary story, and unlike most of these sorts of books, Hart brings a different perspective to his anti-hero that makes him very likable and sympathetic despite his deadly skill set. Though this is serious in subject matter with some very tragic fallout, the best books that I enjoy the most always have a touch of fun factor and humor to them (and believe me, there's plenty of grim dark books regarding this genre who have none of that) which makes this stand out amongst the masses.

Peppered with pop culture references, Hart knows how to lure the reader through his propulsive writing. So, if you want a slightly less flashy John Wick-esque tale full of action, suspense, betrayals, reveals, and the hope for some peace and redemption, then this right here is the answer. Rob Hart is officially on my radar now, and I’ll be checking out previous and future works to come!

Thank you to the author and GP Putnam’s Sons via NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review ( )
  A_Reader_Obsessed | May 30, 2024 |
In Assassins Anonymous, by Rob Hart, Mark has stopped being an assassin for almost a year now. He attends a recovery group that similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, which is working to rehabilitate people who have spent their lives as some sort of killer and don't wish to to so any more. At the end of the meeting one day a large unknown man appears and attacks Mark. Mark does everything he can to survive and not kill the man and barely escapes with his life. As he searches for the man and why he attacked Mark, a larger plan is revealed and Mark has been pinpointed as the key to it being successful. Maybe with some help, Mark can thwart this plot and survive at least until he reaches a year without killing.
Hart has knack for writing characters with dry wit and lots of sarcasm. The reader sees Mark's constant struggle to make the right choices and can't help but pull for him because everyone is trying to be a better person. The colorful array of supporting characters that surround Mark are wonderfully unique and keep Mark guessing whose side each of them are on. The reader is pleasantly lost as to who to trust the whole way through the book. The action sequences are particularly fun, not just because they are well written, but because the reader looks forward to how Mark is going to get away/survive without killing anyone. The ending shocked me and I didn't see it coming, but at the same time it was totally believable.
Exciting, funny and enthralling from beginning to end, I recommend ASSASSINS ANONYMOUS to any reader who wants a fast read that is full excitement and surprises the whole way through.
Thank you to Penguin Group Putnam/G.P Putnam's Sons, Rob Hart, and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  EHoward29 | Feb 6, 2024 |
sly-humor, satire, assassins, assault, spoof, pet-cat, friends, escape, action, twisty, thriller, target*****

A 12-step program like the offshoots for clutter, bulimia, and others, but this one is to stop killing people for money or conviction (one is a serial killer). It's action plus engaging characters and all tongue-in-cheek. Loved it!
I requested and received an EARC from PENGUIN GROUP Putnam/G.P. Putnam's Sons via NetGalley. Thanks! ( )
  jetangen4571 | Dec 2, 2023 |
Exibindo 4 de 4
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"Mark was the most dangerous killer-for-hire in the world. But after learning the hard way that his life's work made him more monster than man, he left all of that behind, and joined a twelve-step group for reformed killers. When Mark is viciously attacked by an unknown assailant, he is forced on the run. From New York to Singapore to London, he chases after clues while dodging attacks and trying to solve the puzzle of who's after him. All without killing anyone. Or getting killed himself. For an assassin, Mark learns, nonviolence is a real hassle"--

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