I am not sure why I have never had B.R. Stateham on my radar before reading A Killing Kiss, but this book has put him squarely in my sight and I couldn’t be happier. A Killing Kiss, the 6th book published by Number Thirteen Press, is my kind of book; quick plot, engaging characters, and lots of violence and action.
When crime boss Jacob Menten is killed, his wife and baby son are left in the middle of a potential mob war, as Menten’s underlies battle for his vacated throne. In one of his final acts before being murdered, Mentan had reached out to Smitty, an old hit man with a moral compass that refuses to allow the thought of an innocent woman and child being hurt pass by without rectifying the situation, and asked Smitty to protect his family should anything happen to him. When he is found murdered Smitty comes to town to protect the innocent parties and to find out what happened to his old comrade.
This book served a few purposes for me as a reader. First and foremost, it kept me entertained and engrossed in a story that had a lot going for it. The book is well written and pulled me in from the very beginning. Secondly, it introduced me to a new author that has good writing chops and I am interested in seeking out some of his older works. I was happy to see that he has other works that have Smitty as a character. Lastly, this book further cements Number Thirteen Press as a publisher that clearly has its eye on the prize. They have put out nothing but topnotch books that prove size doesn’t matter when it comes to great books. If the plot is tight, the characters real, and the writer writes what they love, the book will engage the reader and reader can feel it.