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Three Assassins by Kōtarō Isaka


Three Assassins by Kōtarō Isaka
UK Publication: April 2022
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Random House UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

One word review – whacky


Suzuki is just an ordinary man until his wife is murdered. When he discovers the criminal gang responsible he leaves behind his life as a maths teacher and joins them, looking for a chance to take his revenge. What he doesn’t realise is that he’s about to get drawn into a web of unusual professional assassins, each with their own agenda.

The Whale convinces his victims to take their own lives using just his words.

The Cicada is a talkative and deadly knife expert.

The elusive Pusher dispatches his targets in deadly traffic accidents.

Suzuki must take each of them on, in order to try to find justice and keep his innocence in a world of killers.

My Thoughts:  Having read and loved Bullet Train when I saw the prequel was available I absolutely jumped at the chance to read it.

This is slower and less humorous than Bullet Train but it is still a good story. Whereas Bullet Train was basically all action and mayhem this book is more contemplative it looks at how ordinary people can get caught up in the criminal underworld and how that impacts them and those around them. It also examines the idea of friendship amongst killers as well as the role (or not) of conscience for a hitman.

I particularly enjoyed the supernatural element of this story and the way that things are never quite what they seem in fact the whole book could be open to interpretation but rather than frustrating me (as this usually would) I decided to embrace it and just go with the flow.

Who would like this? If you are looking for an entirely different look at the life and death from the point of view of hired killers and their victims give this a go. If you want a straightforward fast paced thriller look elsewhere.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Remedial Stitcher #

    As I was reading this, I thought there were some similar elements in Bullet Train. Surprise! I may give this a go. If I can find it. I really liked Bullet Train.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 17, 2022

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