A review by lit_with_leigh
The Hit List by Holly Seddon

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