Reviews

The Hit List by Holly Seddon

pinksy's review

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4.0

This was a great thriller book, even until the last few pages it was revealing it’s secrets.

Told from 3 characters perspectives before and after Marianne lost her husband and discovered that he was up to something on the dark web and her name appears on a hit list!

It was an easy read and gad me hooked from the first few pages!

kazza27's review

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5.0

Wow this book really shocked me what a read !

What starts off as a story of a woman grieving the death of her husband who was killed in a freak accident a year ago. Gradually becomes something so dark and terrifying that there were moments I had to check I was still breathing it was so tense.

Marianne is trying to move on with her life, she has a new boyfriend but can’t stop herself looking at Greg’s old laptop, just so she can read the old emails that he sent to her. Things had changed for them in the months before Greg’s death and Marianne doesn’t really understand why. He is moody and distant. It becomes apparent why later in the book.

On the anniversary of his death she decides to have another look. This time finds something that rocks her world, finding a browser that takes her to the dark web, she finds that she is on a hit list along with others.

Who are the others and how will she find out who wants her dead and why ?

The story is narrated at the start by Marianne and also the mysterious assassin Sam, who is trying to kill Marianne. There is a real twist part way through the book and the narrators change, which I will not reveal.

This is such a well plotted book, I was constantly thinking I knew where it was going only to find I was completely wrong. I really love that in a thriller.

This book has so many surprises and it is dark, human trafficking, blackmail, murder and organ trafficking. Although it is also about being so desperate you will do anything to save your life and your families. Also wrongly thinking you can reason with people who do these hideous crimes and the people who are drawn into this web of horror. Who are the people behind these vile acts and is it just about money ?

This is without a doubt the best audiobook I have listened to this year it evoked so many feelings in me, sadness, anger, disgust and empathy.

There is a cracker of a twist which I didn’t see coming at all. A totally immersive read and so well written, I loved it.

lit_with_leigh's review

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4.0

Writing: 5/5 | Plot: 5/5 | Ending: 4/5

THE PLOT

Marianne is grieving the loss of her husband, Greg, a year prior when she stumbles upon his Dark Web activities and realizes she's on a hit list he put together. Cool cool cool. Now it's a race against time to discover who Greg really was, and what he was really up to.

MY OPINION

OOOOHWWWEEEE!!!!! I LOVED this one. The synopsis sucked me right in—wife on a dead husband's hit list? Say tf LESS. A must read for me, even though I was on vacation. (Still read like 4 books though, normal stuff for us addicts.)

Anyways. WOW. The writing... *chefs kiss*. I am so TIREDT of closed caption ass writing, and thankfully Seddon didn't let me down with her beautiful prose. Now, if you're new to my reviews and wondering wtf is closed caption ass writing, let me explain. Here is an excerpt from The Hit List:

"Between those moments in the flesh, more words. Strings and strings of emails. Re. Re. Re. Re. Re. Re. Re. Re. Never ending. Until they did."

and here's the closed caption ass writing version:

"When we weren't kissing and hugging each other, we were texting on our brand new iPhone 13s or emailing via Gmail. We sent 63 emails and 450 texts each week. So many messages. But then it stopped when Greg died, because dead people can't message anymore. That made me sad."

You see what I mean??? Showing NOT telling.

This book is told in three parts from several POVs, but namely Sam (killer for hire), Marianne (wife to be killed), and Greg (charity worker who composed a hit list with his wife's name on it). It was a bit tricky to keep up with the secondary/third characters since I read this sporadically, tbh, but you get the gist in the end; bad people doing bad shit.

Seddon weaves and intricate web, masterfully bringing together several threads. This book isn't an in-your-face-thriller, which is the norm for authors who can actually write. It explores morality and that age old question: if you steal bread to feed the poor, should you go to jail? Greg, Paula, and Noah's stories exemplify this very question—it's up to the reader to decide how they feel. Since Greg's story is more explored than the others, you do feel for him; a man who wanted to do so good, he was vulnerable to corruption in the name of the greater good.

Yes, you have to suspend your disbelief for this novel. But I don't mind doing so when the writing is thought-provoking. Because yes, the plot itself is unrealistic (hopefully....) but the themes aren't. We deal with them everyday. How far are we will to wade into the grey area for the greater good?

This is a 4.5 rounded down—why you ask? I didn't like Marianne's inappropriate "relationship" with her former student (chill Brigitte Macron) and the vibe between Sam and their son Joe was uncomfy. What kind of son tells his mom how good her bod is looking thanks to the gym??

Anyways. Great job, Seddon. I'm definitely going to read her other books, and I look forward to her new novel later this year.

PROS AND CONS

Pros: Beautiful writing, intricate and well-executed story, thought-provoking exploration of morality

Cons: Sam and her son's relationship was borderline creepy AF at some points, also the ending was a lil much

zooloo1983's review

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4.0

I went into this book blind, I saw this was a “listen now” on NetGalley and thought why the heck not. I loved the cover and I briefly looked at the blurb. When you see the opening line saying someone wants you dead and there is a hit list, I was intrigued. I did not expect the journey down the dark web and the truths we would learn.

The narration done by 5 different people really brought the characters to life. It added to the story to have a different voice for them. This story, however, is really Sam’s story. Yes, we start our adventure meeting Marianne, who is at the anniversary of Greg, her husbands’ death or was it murder? We follow her and Sam in the first part of the book. The second part it’s Sam and Greg’s story and the final part is well just explosive.

It took me a while to get into the book, because well my reading mojo has gone, but the book kept its grips in me. I mean how would you feel if you ever found a way to get on to the dark web and then on a website, a hit list and find your name. Marianne then enters a world she is just not ready for. I know I wasn’t ready for it!

My heart broke for Greg, just a guy trying to do the right thing. His intentions are there but he is sucked into a dirty, lewd world that I did not see coming for miles. This was hard to listen to at some points, well mainly because you know he has died. But more, as you see who he is, what is trying to do, not how Marianne saw him and all the guilt he carries with him.

I love how everything was kept hidden from the reader. Holly slowly started linking the people and the storylines together. She teases it out slowly ensure you are hooked, ensure you are enveloped in the characters lives before she practically implodes their (and your) worlds.

Despite everything we learn about Sam, I have to say I liked her. Believe it or not, she had morals and she has a code. It is not until later on that we see the bigger picture of what her little missions impacted, but by then it is too late. But not only in what she is engineering but how her life outside of this has been impacted

The clanger in the final part, I did not have a scooby. Maybe I should have but I didn’t, I loved that I learned everything when Marianne did. Head blown. It is the cat and the mouse story, but do you even know who the cat really is?

This is my first book by Holly and I have a few more I will be checking out. The writing is engaging and it really does make you question, I mean what the frick would you do? As I said earlier, the audiobook was really brought to life by the narrators and I do love productions where we have more that one narrator. It gives the story a bit more oomph as the voices add their own spice to the story. I am looking forward to my next outing with Holly and her books.

mahen1991's review

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adventurous dark mysterious tense medium-paced

3.25

brightxmoon's review

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mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.5

jazw12's review

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.75

katymat18's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

spanish_chey's review

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adventurous funny mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

gwenchen's review against another edition

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dark sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0