Of the handful of titles I've read from Hunter Shea, I Kill In Peace easily stands at the top of the stack as my hands-down favorite. It's bloody, it's violent, it's mysterious, and it's wickedly entertaining from start to finish as Shea hurtles readers from one crazy kill to another.
A few hours before being fired, marketing analyst Peter gets an instant message from the strange AO warning him of his impending termination. In the hours and days that follow, AO continues contacting Peter via electronic means, ordering him to kill. If Peter refuses, he becomes violently sick and crippled with migraines. Forced to comply, he is given a fiery red Mustang and a scimitar to use in terminating his assigned targets.
Over the course of this novella, both readers and Peter are forced to grapple with whether or not Peter is an insane psychopath or merely a pawn a mysterious manipulator. I Kill In Peace is a quick read told through first-person narration, and how reliable a narrator Peter may actually be is questionable, particularly since he doesn't even know if he's afflicted with split-personality. And who, or what, is this AO that continues to mysteriously contact and compel him to tear a bloody swath through Maine?
There's a third layer to the story, which I won't go into details about, but Shea provides plenty of tantalizing teases as to what else may be happening around and outside of Peter, all of which congeals into a remarkable finale that left me completely satisfied. The way Shea strips back the layers of his big reveal is completely terrific, and I Kill In Peace may be his most masterful bit of writing to date.
[Note: I received a copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley for review.]