The first in the Hex series.
Hired to assassinate a microbiologist suspected of trading secrets, Hex finds that someone has beaten him to it, in the first in a series of action thrillers in the Bourne Trilogy mold
Joshua Thane, aka Hex, is a freelance assassin. His next target is Dr. Mary Wilding, a British microbiologist suspected of trading secrets. Breaking into her house, he discovers someone has beaten him to it—she’s already dead, and the hard drive he was ordered to steal is also missing. About to flee the scene, Hex comes face-to-face with Wilding's teenage son. According to normal rules of engagement, Hex should kill the boy to protect his own identity and professional reputation, but turbulent memories from his past trigger a crisis of conscience. Bewildered by his actions, Hex allows the boy to live and flees; yet his nightmare has barely begun. With his own life under threat for apparently botching the job, Hex embarks on an international quest to find the real killer and redeem his soul.
Killer twists and a rip-roaring narrative.
The first novel in the Adam Chase’s ‘Hex’ series is an exciting read. Hex is a freelance professional assassin and the hero of the series - a moral ambiguity that is quickly addressed. He attempts to take out his latest target, a female doctor/college microbiologist who has reneged on an illegal pharmaceutical deal. When attempting to murder her, Hex conducts a break-in, only to discover that someone has beaten him to the job; the woman, suspected of trading secrets, is already dead. And the hard drive he’s meant to steal is gone. Instead Hex comes across the Doctor’s teenage son whom he’d not factored into his plans. Hex should kill him but decides to spare the lad, leaving an eye witness alive and his own reputation in tatters.
After botching this job Hex looks to escape the wrath of his bosses and their demands. As He searches for the real killer he becomes embroiled with the search for the hard drive finding conspiracy all around. Not afraid to get his hands dirty his search for answers takes him to Spain. It turns out that the Doctor’s missing research was not only secretive but highly dangerous. Whoever has it, has a power, in the form of a biological threat, which many would pay and kill for. It seems the doctor, who may have been the victim of blackmail, was connected with disturbing research into bioweapons that could target ethnic groups. No wonder the crime is attracting the attention of the British security services, the Russians and the Mossad.
Early in the book a female MI5 agent called Inger McCallen joins the race. Inevitably she clashes with Hex but they share more than a physical attraction and this is a burgeoning romantic and working relationship that holds interest.
Hex uses his old underworld contacts, including the crime boss known as Billy Squeeze, to investigate matters his way and, as the true capabilities of the research unfold, the more deadly the encounters Hex must face.
The book’s pace is maintained and there’s room for Hex’s past to be revealed shedding light on this complex individual’s choice of occupation.
Packed with strong language and no shortage of wit, the tough, blunt, first-person narrative works well. Following Hex on his journey of espionage and action is a pleasure as he changes over the course of the novel whilst remaining dogged and brave.
As Malcolm Mackay showed with Calum Maclean - his hit-man for hire - it is possible to like a killer. Game Over, the next book in the Hex series, is now available.
About Adam Chase:
Adam Chase is a pseudonym of E V Seymour. She works as an editorial consultant, is married and lives in Cheltenham.