CTG Reviews: Wicked Game by Adam Chase

Wicked Game cover image

Wicked Game cover image

What the blurb says: “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. The portable hard drive he’s 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, he 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 organised crime, whoever has the information, holds the power to deal to the highest bidder. And the British security services want it back …”

An experienced and respected assassin, Hex finds himself facing a very different problem and playing a very different role to his usual ‘MO’. Taking up the mantle of investigator, Hex uses his underworld contacts to find information, and forms an uneasy alliance with MI5’s dynamic agent Inger McCallen.

The story twists and turns as Hex uncovers the terrifying capabilities of Dr Wilding’s research, and begins to unravel the web of dangerous people that surround it as it becomes the most sought after weapon on the market.

While Hex’s profession as a freelance assassin doesn’t immediately endear him to the reader, he certainly makes for an interesting and complex character. He’s straight talking, action orientated, and full of determination. As the story progresses, and Hex puts himself on the line in order to recover the lethal bioweapon, I found him increasingly empathetic.

This fast moving spy thriller cranks up the pace to rocket speed in the final third of the book. The first novel in the new ‘Hex’ series, Wicked Game is sure to be enjoyed by fans and newbies to the genre alike. Definitely one to watch.