Tuesday, 11 October 2016

BLOG TOUR: I Kill (André Warner, Manhunter Book 2) - Lex Lander

For my stop on the I Kill blog tour, I have an extract from the book.  It was actually a very memorable scene from the book and I couldn't have chosen a better extract myself.

My review is posted after the extract so you can read what I thought of the book.

Lizzy, now in Warner’s custody and staying at his house in Andorra, is awakened by a prowler and calls out to Warner.

I hurtled out of my bedroom and into Lizzy’s with all the finesse of a rampaging rhino. Her light was off. Moonlight streamed through a foot gap in the drapes, projecting a white zone across the bed, now empty. Lizzy herself was by the window, her back to me, staring out across the terrace. Not a panic situation after all.
‘What is it?’ I demanded, uncertain, hovering in the doorway.
Her stare swivelled to me. She let out a squeal and dived for the bed, pulling the sheets over her head.
Bemused but relieved that she was obviously okay, I crossed to the window and stood where she had been standing, wrenching the half-drawn drapes aside to do a sweep of the moonlit terrace. Nothing was stirring, not even the tips of the huddle of elephant grass, planted by Maurice a year ago and already taller than a man.
‘What was all that about?’ I said, perplexed at being rudely awakened for a non-event. I moved towards the bed and contemplated the human form under the sheets.
‘Was it a nightmare?’
‘No ... no ... I don’t know.’ Her words were muffled. ‘I heard voices outside.’
Convinced it was no more than a bad dream, I sighed and returned to the window. The landscape was bled of colour by the August moon, and lifeless apart from a pair of yellow pinpoints of headlights descending the road into La Massana. At this hour even the crickets slept. A feather of breeze twitched the drapes and chilled my skin. I strained to hear – a footfall, a suspicious rustle of bushes, any hint at all of a presence. The stillness was absolute.
‘Nothing,’ I announced. I closed the shutters and switched on the ceiling light. I considered doing a tour of the house and yards. If Lizzy insisted on it, I would. But when I turned from the window to ask her, she was still under the sheet. ‘It’s safe.’ I told her, jumping to the wrong conclusion. ‘You can come out now.’

‘Not bloody likely!’ came the retort. ‘You’ve got nothing on.’  


Racked by guilt over his accidental killing of a young Italian girl, contract killer André Warner has effectively retired himself from his ‘profession’ and taken to drink and other palliatives, while sinking slowly into a mire of depression.

A contract in Tangier to assassinate an Arab drug trafficker lures him out of retirement and self-pity. Soon after his arrival he encounters attractive American widow, Clair Power, and her precocious sixteen year-old daughter, Lizzy, who bears such a striking resemblance to the girl Warner killed that his waning anguish is instantly rekindled. He attempts to assuage it by embarking on a fling with Clair which brings him into conflict with a mysterious Dutchman named Rik de Bruin, who also appears to have designs on her.

The contract on the drug merchant is cancelled with no explanation given, but Warner, now seriously involved with Clair, is more relieved than disappointed. Their budding romance is not destined to blossom however. Clair disappears and Warner is landed with the role of de facto guardian to Lizzy.

In tracking down Clair, Warner crosses a line that brings him into conflict with the local police and he is deported from Tangier with a distraught Lizzy in tow. Back at his Andorra villa she slowly recovers from her mother’s disappearance and launches an assault on Warner’s good intentions. Her increasingly provocative behavior disturbs yet excites him, and when Rik de Bruin pitches up in Andorra and begins to take an interest in Lizzy too, Warner gets possessive the only way he knows.

Too late, alas, to save Lizzy from an unspeakable fate.

What did I think?

I hadn't previously read the first book in the series, End as an Assassin, and I don't think it was necessary to do so as I enjoyed I Kill without knowing anything about André Warner. 

From the opening pages, we are launched straight into the world of an assassin as André relives his real-life nightmare of shooting an innocent girl and is haunted by her face and final words.  When a job comes up in Morocco, André hopes to take his mind off the dead Italian girl by focusing on a new bad guy.  He adopts a new persona, that of Alan Melville, and meets an American widow, Clair Power, whilst staying at the hotel in Tangier.  He is struck by how much Clair's daughter, Lizzy, resembles the dead Italian girl - he really can't escape his nightmares.

'Alan Melville' isn't the only man showing an interest in Clair Power, creepy Dutchman Rik de Bruin seems to be everywhere she turns.  So when Clair goes missing, André knows he had something to do with it and as he delves a bit deeper he thinks that Clair perhaps wasn't the intended target after all.  Then de Bruin turns up in Andorra and it is clear that he does not intend to leave without his prize, even if he has to go through André to get it.

I Kill is such a fast-paced book that I could barely draw breath between chapters.  As André follows the trail from Tangier, past his doorstep in Andorra, through Paris and onto Amsterdam, the dark and twisted underbelly of the pornography business is revealed.  I felt my heart racing as André in his Porsche chased de Bruin in his tacky red Rolls-Royce through the snowy streets of Amsterdam.  It was certainly a car chase that James Bond would have been proud of.

I'll definitely be picking up the first book in the series, End as an Assassin, to read about more adventures of André Warner.  The writing is so vivid and descriptive that I felt as if I was watching a film as opposed to actually reading a book.  I Kill is a superb thriller.

I received this e-book from Authoright in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About Lex Lander
British-born thriller writer Lex Lander was raised in France, earned his degree in French and Italian in New Zealand and currently lives in Montreal. Lander is the author of political thriller ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER JACKAL, published by Kaybec in 2013. Vol III in the series, THE MAN WHO HUNTED HIMSELF, will be published by Kaybec in the autumn. The first two volumes in the André Warner series, END AS AN ASSASSIN and I KILL by Lex Lander (published by Kaybec 1st May 2016) are available to buy online from retailers including amazon.co.uk. and all good bookstores including WHSmiths.

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