Book 33 of 2015: Frist Contract by Frank Westworth

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FIRST CONTRACT: A decade ago, JJ Stoner was a soldier. He killed people for a living and made no bones about it. On a scorching day in the Iraqi desert, when British blood stained the sand, he over-stepped the mark. Men died in compromising circumstances; too many men for an easy explanation. Faced with a dishonourable discharge and accusations of murder, Stoner accepted an offer from a stranger who represented an intelligence agency. Suddenly, Stoner found himself half a world away and about to execute his first private contract…
FIRST CONTRACT, a short story, introduces the central character from the JJ Stoner / Killing Sisters series.
The first full-length book in that series, ‘A Last Act of Charity’, is published in September 2014.
As well as a complete, stand-alone story, First Contract includes an excerpt from ‘A Last Act of Charity’ and a sneak preview of the second book in the series, ‘The Corruption of Chastity.’

First Contract is a short story centering on the main character in the book A Last Act of Charity. The short story is set before the events of the book and show how J.J. Stoner got into the hitman business.

As a short story, it wasn’t bad. It was fairly easy to get into and was filled with action. I understood why J.J. didn’t want to know what the circumstances were for the hit, but I feel as a reader, it would have been interesting to know. Honestly, I didn’t feel much for J.J. as a character or person.

He seemed too complacent and you don’t really get to see him at his worse or his best. Though a mistake is made in the story, he pulls through it and suceeds in his mission. This is a story about his first hit, but he didn’t seem to have any of the mental or emotional moments you would think a person would have. Though you do find a bit of his history, I felt he lacked personality.

That said, this is a prequel short story. I would believe the full length novel has J.J.’s personality. Really, the short story shows how he became a hitman, not how he is as a person. I am interested enough to see his personality in future works. He does seem like a character that it would take time to understand.

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