Killer Of Killers
By Mark DeRobertis
Master Martial artist Trent Smith is on a mission. He is a dealer of justice to killers who have walked away from murder charges. One problem, though. The men he kills are part of test group for billionaire Abraham Soriah who’s developed and promoting a drug to heal wounds and injuries faster and may reverse aging, but also has tragic side affects. Trent is also wary of a beautiful homicide investigator out of the San Francisco area who knows all about Soriah and would like to know what Smith is all about.
Verrrry interesting plot. There are hints of familiarity from other stories here, but this is something fresh for those who need something a little different.
Trent Smith: not his real name, master of martial arts, 5’9”, 195 lbs,
Josh Jones: Blond, handsome, drives a white Mercedes, played pro football, around 6’7” and 300 lbs
Samantha Jones: Josh’s sister, blonde, blue eyes, homicide investigator, around 5’7”
Silvio Gutto: Samantha’s Captain, middle aged, overweight
Amman Bey: Turkish, has a mustache and facial scar, drug dealer, owns a limo
Karl Manoukian: middle aged, dark eyes, wears glasses, graying black hair but going bald, former employee of Soriah, wealthy
Abraham Soriah: billionaire, elderly, white hair, long and thin face
Susie Quinn: black, stripper, long black hair, small nose, bisexual
Soriah comes across as a classic Bond villain, somebody who believes he’s king but over the top in doing so. There’s the ‘girls’ in Quinn andSamantha, the ‘hero’, of sorts, in Smith (even with a Bond-like sexual prowess), and a nice cast of side characters who pop up to provide some color and intrigue. The one character missing is the quirky baddie with the unique body feature or way of killing people. (lol) Not much physical description of Trent. And his decision at the very end, after all that he’d gone through, didn’t seem quite right.
Susie’s voice comes through. The book is not too long so conversations don’t wander to far afield. Some of the dialogue is a bit off. In one scene, for instance, Smith is being chased by the bad guys and people keep asking him, “Are you the guy they’re after?” What a goofy question. As if they really expect someone to answer with honesty: “Yes, I’m the guy causing all the problems, please report me.” This type of dialogue doesn’t happen often but enough for me to notice and wonder, Huh?
The action is quick, even in the longer fight scenes. A couple instances of profanity.
There is a bit of background on Trent and some recollections of his martial lessons throughout the years, but I wondered about the reason Trent left Japan. His motivation for coming back to America to start killing killers isn’t very solid. To mete out justice, I don’t think, is a strong enough motive. It should have been something that affected him on a deep person level. The minor explanation doesn’t make complete sense. Nor is it mentioned how he affords to travel/eat.
There are some good martial arts, martial arts training/reflection, and a ‘trick’ with diversionary smoke. That’s fine. A little razzle-dazzle doesn’t hurt, but the author needs to explain the trick, even if it’s a ‘Doc Savage hidden capsule in the lining of his shirt’ type of thing. Otherwise the reader doesn’t get to enjoy the fun.
There is some medicalese that is explained.
What isn’t quite believable is in one scene Soriah’s associate lets Trent know that Trent is better at killing because he doesn’t leave a mark. However, Soriah had to pay off a pathologist to falsify records so the external marks might not be apparent, but any good post-mortem doctor will find C.O.D.
Part of the ending scenes I didn’t understand. It went from a straight thriller into shades of Robin Cook with a metaphysical something-or-other from Trent that threw me.
It’s a good story, but confusing in some places. I hope sequels will delve into Trent a bit more, explain a bit more. The clean writing (no punctuation, spelling, capitalization errors), kept it from being ranked lower.