Title: The Hit List
Author: Holly Seddon
Date of release: August 28th 2020
Narrators: Narrated by: Stephanie Racine, Damian Lynch, Chris Reilly, Tuppence Middleton, Perdita Weeks
Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
Congratulations, someone wants you dead.
When Marianne’s husband Greg is knocked off his bike and killed on the way to work, she must unpick the life he left behind. Numb with grief, Marianne consoles herself by scouring Greg’s laptop, finding comfort in reading his old emails and tracing his footsteps across the web. Until one day, she discovers that he had been accessing the dark web. Why was Greg, a principled charity worker and dedicated husband, logging on to a website that showcases the worst of humanity’s cruel impulses and where anything is available for a price? Marianne steels herself and logs on. After tentative searching, she discovers her name on a hit list.
In this fast-paced, powerful and exceptionally plotted novel, Marianne must figure out whether Greg was trying to protect her or whether he was complicit in the conspiracy for her murder. As she is pulled deeper into the depths of the underworld that Greg was seemingly hostage to, she gets closer and closer to coming face to face with Sam – the assassin hired to kill her. The dark truths that Marianne uncovers speak volumes about the dark underbelly of our society and forces us to question how far we would go to protect those we care most about.
When I heard of The Hit List, my brain immediately went to a Die-Hard like scenario, with a woman fighting for her life, chased by baddies who want her dead. I found it fun. Then I read the blurb and realized there would be much more than this in Holly Seddon’s book. I had no idea just how many more layers there would be!
Marianne is grieving. Her husband died a year earlier and she finds comfort in visiting his personal belongings, rereading the emails or checking the photos he left behind. The description of her broken heart, her current situation, the weight of life when death has colored everything grey… Everything was perfect and the beginning reeled me in instantly. It didn’t make me sad, it made me FEEL. There’s a huge difference.
Then slowly, as I was learning about Marianne, a bomb exploded. The dark web. Weird forums. Her own name on a hit list.
How would you react? I would freak out, this is for sure! I can’t blame Marianne for being shocked and bewildered! What was her husband doing on the dark web? Who put her name on a hit list? What is the connection? So many questions, and the one holding the answer is no longer around to explain…
Enters a second character, different life. Another bomb. A threatening message and a life taking a major turn.
The timelines are very important here. You get to follow both characters, as well as other protagonists involved in the how and why, at different times. Nothing is confusing, everything makes sense, and you can feel the tension creep into every chapter, every point of view. The stakes are high, the subjects are difficult, and the depth of The Hit List is brilliant.
Holly Seddon surprised me with a multi-story conspiracy taking its roots from the very emotions that eat away at us. Good intentions don’t always keep us on the right path. Appearances are fleeting images. Who and what to trust? How do you untangle yourself from a web of bad decisions or factors that put you on the spot?
The Hit List gave me a lot to think about when I was listening to those torn and tainted lives, and the consequences coming for payment. What makes a good person? Is doing one bad thing enough to turn you into a baddie? What can you forgive, forget? And what do you do with those toxic feelings running through your veins?
The narrators have done a marvelous job at breathing life into each character. Their performance made the listening of this audiobook an addictive experience!
What a gripping and entertaining novel!
A good listen!
Thank you to Alex and Orion for inviting me to be part of this audiobook tour. I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.