The latest installment of the Victor the Assassin series, The Final Hour, by Tom Wood brings our beloved hit-man face to face with someone from his past. Someone who is just as dangerous as he is and owes him a blood debt. Because in a moment when he could have killed her, he chooses to let her live.
And now the time has come for Raven to repay this debt.
This book was a bit difficult for me to read because I kept going back to a comment someone made on my review of A Time to Die, the previous book in the series.
In that comment, the person said “You hope for Victor to show his humanity. But don’t get your hopes up. Victor is Victor. He has no conscience, he has no humanity and he has no remorse.”
I disagreed with that commenter, but now, after finishing The Final Hour, I am not so sure that he was so wrong, after all.
And honestly, it hurt a bit. I wanted to see only the good in Victor, and while he does some good every now and then, the latest verdict is that he does it, but not out of feelings, a sense of right and wrong, or conscience, because he really has none.
He does it because and when it suits him, and when he can gain something from it.
It seems he is really incapable of love, even though at times he gives the others false hopes. Raven has learned that first hand and my heart closed down just a bit at the end of this book.
But now back to the story.
Victor is in the cross-hairs of many powerful enemies, whom he gained over the years of dealing with the CIA.
Now too many people want him dead and there is no escape for him. He has to die. But to do that, he needs Raven’s help. And Raven knows that helping him is the ultimate way to repay him.
The story is, as usual, action-packed, which leaves the reader with an impulse to turn the pages just to see what happens next.
I enjoyed “watching” Victor carefully plan his next step, and the next, until he achieved the goal he sought out to achieve. Every time.
He is always several steps ahead of everyone – the perfect chess player – and there are not many enemies who can sneak up on him even in his weakest moments.
And, by gosh, I was hoping that one of his weaknesses would be Raven … but he knows he can’t have any because weaknesses make him vulnerable, and that is something he can not be. Ever. So sadly romance is not in the cards for Victor, not as long as he wants to stay alive.
The Final Hour can be read as a standalone novel, however, having read every book so far, I do urge you to catch up with the previous stories. There are several characters (including Raven) which Victor has come into contact before and their relationships are better understood overall. Victor is better understood as well (although this book almost made me feel that I didn’t know Victor at all … ).
Since Tom Wood has written about one book in the series per year, I expect a new Victor the Assassin story next year. In the meantime I’m left with reading other series in this genre, catching up to Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher novel, Mark Dawson’s John Milton series, and Mark Greaney’s Court Gentry/Gray Man series.
These are all series well-worth picking up if you crave more assassin/hitman thrillers until a new Tom Wood novel comes out.