Monday, March 16, 2015


Confessions Of A Hit ManConfessions Of A Hit Man by Richard Godwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Reviewer's note - My review does not show as a 'verified purchase' on Amazon because my review copy was a gift from the author. This in no way has any bearing on my review. Those who know me know that I will not review a book I have not read, nor can I be induced to provide a review that is not honest. Thank you. vmls) 

Richard Godwin brings in Confessions of a Hit Man, not a psychopath... the protagonist 'type' that predominates much of his work (The Apostle, Mr. Glamour, Meaningful Conversations, and a good body of his shorter stories)... but a character who is both more human and humane.

A point Richard makes in all of his stories, besides the more obvious ones relevant to a particular tale, is that we... regardless of class or upbringing... all have more than a tinge of sociopathy to our psychological make-up. We are all to some degree 'damaged'. Even the much-written 'everyman', humankind's 'anti-hero hero'.

In Confessions of a Hit Man, Richard's protagonist, Jack is no exception. Ex-Royal Marine commando (someone, I can't recall who now, once said that anyone who serves in the military, for patriotic or other reasons, is a sociopath. To a lesser degree than some, but sociopathic, nonetheless), Jack has a 'skill set' that makes him well-suited for a person whose 'life-view' has been altered by the realities of the world, but who still believes in certain fundamental principles of a civilised and progressive society.

Jack tells himself at first that it - the 'hit' - will be only the once and that the ends justify the means. Jack has, you see, an underlying philosophy. He believes in justice more than he believes in the law. He sees justice as black and white, and the law as having shades of grey. Paedophile, necrophile, murderer, sadists, psychopaths all... may have escaped the long arm of the law, but they'll soon enough meet their maker. Jack, you see, doesn't follow the 'niceties' of the law. And with each hit, Jack's proficiency only grows, adapting to each new situation as needed.

But, unfortunately, Jack and his little 'enterprises' have not escaped the attention of some very corrupt people in very high places. And when a woman, the first in a long, long time that has touched a place in Jack's heart he had thought lost forever... things get more a bit complicated for Jack. Dames will do that.

Confessions of a Hit Man is told in first-person narrative (Richard 'humanizing' a character some would consider a monster), a narrative that is tight and well-written, fast-paced and brilliant. Richard's writing, with its plots and sub-plots running like a fine-tuned engine, pulls the reader in immediately and keeps them there throughout, often at breakneck speed, building the suspense in true Godwin fashion.

With his characteristic wit, turn-of-phrase, and insight to the human condition, Richard brings to his audience another sure 'hit', if you'll pardon the pun. His spot-on psychology of a professional assassin does make one wonder though. When he's not writing, what exactly does Mr. Godwin do with himself? Hmmmm...

Once again, Richard Godwin brings his imprimatur to that dark place known as noir... and the reader is not disappointed!  I recommend this book without reservation!

Thank you,

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
(Writing under a large mushroom, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest)

View all my reviews