Endings: A Thriller

Image of Endings
Author(s): 
Release Date: 
April 6, 2021
Publisher/Imprint: 
Oceanview Publishing
Pages: 
336
Reviewed by: 

“a tightly woven, fast-paced, tension-filled thrill ride.”

The unnamed assassin in Endings receives coded text messages that read like this:

"49.256094 – 123.132813 49.283847 – 123.093670 ASAP. AD" followed by a person's name.

The first two sets of numbers indicate the location of the target's home. The second set of numbers indicates where the hit should occur. ASAP means right away, and AD tells her the death should appear accidental.

That's right, her. This hitman is a woman.

But she wasn't always a hired killer. Once she had a real job. She was someone's wife and someone's mother until a tragic fire turned her life upside down.

Don't think she gets some sort of pleasure from what she does. She doesn't:

"As much as possible, I want—no need—the people I hit to be nothing more than the scraps of information shared with me upon assignment. Then perhaps a few details I ferret out myself; just enough to get the job done. Anything additional makes those lives a little too real. . . ."

"I don't give him any warning and I don't give me any, either. Not much, anyway. Just before I plug three silenced shots into his chest, I think about my son, now gone. I think about my flat iron and the hair that didn’t actually benefit much from straightening on that day. I think about what I then had and what I do not now have. . . ."

The money is good, though. Money, or the lack thereof, is what started it all. After the fire, there came a time she desperately needed money at the very same time someone else was willing to pay to have someone killed. Someone who deserved to be killed.

After each hit, she hurries away undetected, back to her real life, her nonkilling life, where she is now so financially secure she doesn't have to worry about money. Ever.

The earnings bought her a modest old-fashioned house in the middle of nowhere, after which she created an anonymous persona. Baggy housedresses. Bulky sweaters. Outmoded eyeglasses and hair pulled back into a bun. Bland, unnoticeable, nondescript, the last person anyone would suspect of having such an unsavory occupation.

She didn't even have a gun when she began: "I went to a bad part of my town, large bills in my purse. I found a guy—a fairly random guy—and I told him what I wanted. I took a risk doing that, I knew, but by then almost everything I did was a risk. . . ."  She watched videos to learn how to shoot.

Her day to day routine is only occasionally interrupted by coded texts from clients. She gets away with it because she is careful and methodical, planning each hit step by step right up to her failsafe escape plan.

Then William Atwater comes on the scene. He's a serial killer of children, 16 so far, and still counting. When the police can't find him, she takes matters into her own hands. After a methodical search, she captures him, binds and gags him, and makes a plan.

"I've got a list of missing children here. We're going to go through this list together. You're going to tell me about those missing kids and where they are . . .

"Because I'm going to hurt you, William. If you don't tell me. I'm going to hurt you in ways you can't even imagine."

What follows is a tightly woven, fast-paced, tension-filled thrill ride full of surprises. Some readers will cheer on this killer for hire. Some won't like her one bit. Others will be ambivalent. But one thing's for sure. She won't be soon forgotten.

Once again, Oceanview Publishing brings readers an outstanding, brilliantly conceived crime novel.