Here’s the blurb: “A killer can be a hero. If the assassin known only as ‘Victor’ once had a moral compass, it is long since buried, along with his many victims. But some men are so evil they must die for reasons other than just money. Like Milan Rados, a former war criminal who has escaped trial to become a formidable power. Tracking down and killing this brutal man will win Victor a reprieve for his own recent crimes on British soil. But Victor isn’t the only one who wants Rados dead. One woman will do anything to see Rados’ blood spilled on the snow of Eastern Europe. Now Victor has an unlikely ally – but an army stands between them and justice.”

I’m a big fan of the Victor the Assassin books and A TIME TO DIE is another great addition to the series.

Victor is the ultimate ‘lone wolf’ – he’s known as Victor but has many aliases, he changes his appearance regularly to put anyone on his tail off track, and he has no family or friends. He doesn’t trust anyone, and regards all he meets as a potential threat. He’s cold, calculating and by rights should be very difficult to like. Yet as a reader I find him strangely likable. Perhaps it’s because he’s so up front about how he is – there’s no pretence, he says what he thinks even when it’s not what someone wants to hear (for example, if they ask if he’s going to kill them and the answer is yes!). That said, he does some dreadful things, so I don’t think I’d actually want to meet him!

But reading about him is fantastic.

Tom Wood’s writing has a fabulously cinematic quality to it and in A TIME TO DIE Victor is both hunter and prey. His assignment is more dangerous than is usual even for him. He has to gain the trust of the elusive war criminal Milan Rados – a man with no conscious and a sickening love of the brutal and macabre – in order to get close enough to kill him.

But hard as that is, it’s complicated even further when Victor learns he has a price on his head – a throw back from a previous job – and he becomes the target of other professional assassins.

With some stunning action-packed set pieces, and a pace that whips along from beginning to end leaving you breathless, A TIME TO DIE is a must-read for thriller fans.

You can buy A TIME TO DIE from Amazon here

To find out more about Tom Wood pop over to his website https://tomwoodbooks.com/books/ and be sure to follow him on Twitter @TheTomWood

CTG Reviews: The Darkest Day by Tom Wood


What the blurb says: “He is darkness. She wants him dead. In a city starved of light, she might just succeed. She moves like a shadow; she kills silently: Raven.

This elegant assassin has been on the run for years. This time though, she has picked the wrong target. The hitman known only as ‘Victor’ is as paranoid as he is merciless, and is no stranger to being hunted. He tracks his would-be killer across the globe, aiming not only to neutralise the threat, but to discover who wants him dead. The trail leads to New York … And then the lights go out.

Over twelve hours of unremitting darkness, Manhattan dissolves into chaos. Amid looting, conspiracy and blackout, Victor and Raven play a vicious game of cat and mouse that the city will never forget.”

This series is really going from strength to strength.

Victor the assassin is a truly fascinating antihero. He’s cold, ruthless and brutal without remorse, but with it rather personable and engaging, which means that although he has no (few) morals, and a highly clinical approach to life, he is a character that I couldn’t help but want to spend time with.

In the latest book in the series – The Darkest Day – Victor finds himself the target of a talented female assassin with a flawless kill record. Rather than going into hiding after escaping her first attempt on his life, Victor vows to eliminate her as a threat. Alternately threatening or charming information from Raven’s associates, Victor discovers her background and tracks her to a safe house in New York. The clues stack up, and he has everything planned in perfect detail to neutralise her. Then the power goes out in New York City and everything he was so sure about starts to become hazy.

The pace is unrelenting, the danger ever escalating, and Victor is forced to abandon his usual preparations and safe-guards in order to keep out of his pursuers’ – both legal and criminal – way. It’s fascinating to see this character, who is always so in control, plunged into a sustained environment of chaos and having to react to a far more unpredictable set of circumstances than before. As the line between ally and enemy morphs and blurs, Victor has to rely on his own instincts and operating principles to navigate the danger. But as the true nature of the blackout and the shocking aim of the people behind it is revealed, Victor has to decide whether to get out while he can or try to avert the threat being made real within the City.

Action packed, adrenaline fuelled, thriller writing at its best – THE DARKEST DAY is a must read for all crime thriller fans.


You can check out my interview with author Tom Wood here

Buy the book from Amazon by following this link

And find out more about Tom Wood and the Victor the Assassin series by hopping over to his website at www.tomwoodbooks.com and following him on Twitter @TheTomWood


[With thanks to Sphere for my copy of THE DARKEST DAY]

CTG Interviews: Tom Wood about his latest thriller THE DARKEST DAY


Today crime writer Tom Wood – creator of the Victor the Assassin thriller series – has dropped by the CTG blog to tell us all about his latest book THE DARKEST DAY which is published today by Sphere.

So, let’s get straight to the questions …

Your latest thriller – THE DARKEST DAY – featuring Victor the Assassin is out today. Can you tell us a bit about it?

The latest book sees Victor targeted by a rival assassin named Raven, who comes perilously close to succeeding in an attempt on his life. He doesn’t know why she came after him or who she is working for, but as Victor is a pragmatic soul he deems the best way to deal with the threat she poses is to kill her. His hunt takes him to New York City, where he slowly realises there are powerful forces at work and he’s put himself in even more danger by going after Raven.

Victor is a fascinating character – ruthlessly brutal, yet also rather charming – what was your inspiration for creating him?

I grew up preferring the bad guys to the good guys, so Victor was the inevitable protagonist I would end up writing about. He’s probably a coming together of multiple antiheroes from cinema and literature, but when I first wrote about him I just wanted to write about an assassin who wasn’t going to have a crisis of conscience whenever he killed someone. He then grew out of this concept—an antihero who wasn’t conflicted or troubled.

Like you, Victor practises the martial art Krav Maga – are there other similarities between the two of you?

I haven’t trained for a while after breaking a bone in my right hand, so I think we can safely say that Victor is a lot tougher than I am. I would like to think we’re very different—considering he’s a professional murderer—but I suppose we do have similarities. We both pay a lot of attention to our surroundings; we both notice things that maybe other people don’t. But he does so because he’s in constant peril, whereas I tend to do so out of boredom. Also, we both agree that littering is unforgiveable.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process – do you take a Victor-esq approach and plot everything out in advance, or do you dive right in and see where the story takes you?

About half and half on average. I think you have to have some planning for a plot to work. I think you can always spot a book that hasn’t had any planning because the ending is a big letdown—the writer writes themselves into a corner. I always start with some overall idea—Victor on the run; Victor undercover; Victor as a bodyguard etc—but the approach is different each time. When writing a series I think the key is for each book to be ‘the same, but different’, which is one of those classic Hollywood-esque oxymoron, but has a little merit. I want every story to be different from the last whilst retaining characteristic of the series and staying faithful to the character. No one wants to read about a week in Victor’s life where nothing happens, for example. One of the ways I attempt this is to vary how much I plot and plan from book to book, so if the writing process is different and interesting for me in each time out then hopefully that will translate into the reading experience.

Tom Wood (c) Charlie Hopkinson

Tom Wood (c) Charlie Hopkinson

I know that I mustn’t give away the ending – OMG that ending!! (it’s a corker of a twist) – but had you always planned for that to happen or did it happen organically?

I wrote the final scene long before the book was finished, but I hadn’t planned it in advance—it just fell onto the page nicely because I understood the characters so well. Even though I didn’t know exactly the route the story would take to reach that finale, I knew it was the right ending. I can’t really say anything further about it without spoilers, so I’ll say that it almost didn’t make it into the book because weeks and weeks after writing it the file became corrupted on a cloud storage—thanks Microsoft!—and the scene was lost. I was suitably enraged, but also terrified of rewriting it from memory and the scene losing out as a result. Mercifully, I managed to rewrite it without too much trouble, but I argued a little with my editor about how it should play out. He would have preferred it to be more ambiguous, but I disagreed. Several of my books have story threads that are not fully wrapped up as it often seems too contrived otherwise, but also a cliffhanger ending feels disrespectful to the reader.

Can you tell us what’s next for Victor – is there another series book planned and, if so, what details can you reveal?

I’ve just delivered the sixth book, titled A Time to Die, which sees Victor hired by MI6 to kill a ruthless Serbian war criminal who has been in hiding after escaping justice years before. It’s probably darker in tone than the past books, whilst staying faithful to the series as a whole—classically the same, but different. Normally, after delivering a book, I hate it and think it’s terrible after spending months and months thinking about nothing else, but I’m very excited about this one as the story came together easier than it ever has before.

And, finally, looking forward to next year, what does 2016 have in store for you?

A Time to Die will be out in April, so the first couple of months of 2016 will be spent frantically editing and polishing. Then I’ll no doubt begin work on my seventh book, whatever that proves to be.


A big thank you to Tom Wood for dropping by and telling us all about his latest (brilliant) thriller – THE DARKEST DAY. To find out more about Tom hop on over to his website at www.tomwoodbooks.com and follow him on Twitter @TheTomWood

You can buy THE DARKEST DAY from Amazon by following this link

And be sure to pop back here next week to read my review!