A Quiet Man is number nine in the Victor the assassin series by Tom Wood. Victor is lying low in a small Canadian border town, and in just a few days he’ll be gone without a trace. At the motel where he is staying, posing as a fisherman, he befriends a young boy, Joshua, and promises to take him fishing. His mother, who works in the motel, is rightly suspicious but eventually agrees to go along as well. When they don’t turn up, and can’t be found anywhere, Victor makes it his business to find out why.
A Quiet Man reminds me of the Jack Reacher books in some ways – and having read them all, this is a much stronger story than some of the more recent ones. In his search for the missing mother and son, Victor comes up against a corrupt local businessman, a meth-dealing biker gang, gangsters from Chicago (looking for revenge as Victor had just assassinated their leader), and bounty hunters sent by Joshua’s wealthy grandparents to kidnap him. Overwhelming odds you would think, but Victor can handle it.
Victor should not be an engaging character considering what he does for a living, but he is and that is down to the skill of the writer. In A Quiet Man, Tom Wood has written a slightly different kind of story than usual, though it is still immensely enjoyable as Victor may be a hired killer, but he retains his moral compass and humanity. Here we get a bit more insight into his past, and a glimpse of his more human side; Joshua has somehow reminded him of his own childhood.
The action builds to an impressive finale, and I could definitely imagine it as a movie on the big screen. This is one of my favourite series, and I look forward to Victor’s next adventure. A Quiet Man works fine as a standalone, but I recommend that you start at the beginning and read all the others to get the best experience. Thanks to Sphere and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.