Gray & Company, Publishers; Sep 1 2014, $14.95
After leaving Youngstown, Ohio for the military, Dominick Candiotti learned to kill in Viet Nam as a Phoenix Force Wet Work assassin. Decades later with no family living and calling himself Douglas, he works for the Brownstone Agency on a fee for kill of internal enemies of the country. His handler Og has one rule: complete the kill but never repeat the same M.O.
His current hit is Father Joseph Benveniste of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Philadelphia. Though he completes the assignment following his confessional, this assassination affects Douglas differently than his previous hits since going on commission five years ago. He wonders if killing a priest reminds him too much of the murder of his brother Father Richard (see The Strange Death of Father Candy) and besides there is no justification for murdering people like Father Joseph who were no threat to America. When Douglas informs Og he is retiring, his handler believes the one way a hired gun quits is in a coffin. Thus several of his peers come after Douglas.
Giving Cleveland detective Milan Jacovich a breather, Les Roberts writes an action-packed thriller in Dominick Candiotti’s second appearance. The hero reminds me of a composite of Charles Bronson’s The Mechanic and Sylvester Stallone’s Assassins. Although not for anyone with a squeamish stomach as the amount of blood flow would turn Lake Erie into the Red Sea, readers will enjoy this tense suspense.