Sweet Shot by Todd Love
A Short Tale of Retirement Byron Sweet wants out.
To get out, he needs to finish one last job. After this job is complete, Byron will be set free, with more money then he could every dream imaginable. Will the past death of his mother, by his own hands, distract him or can Byron heal and move on with his life? With his target in sight, will Byron be able to pull the trigger one last time?
5 stars for an unexpected twist that will leave you dumbfounded. A weapon you'll never see coming. I loved this so much!
I love a good "slow burn" and didn't see the ending coming, at all, quite literally, which hit me in the face like a gush of, well, you'll have to read the book to get the reference. I liked the style, the way the story flowed and the perfect ending to a tale of skill, brains, and retirement!
Byron is a hitman with, as Liam Neesom would say, a very particular set of skills. He wants out of the business and is taking one last job before calling it quits. But how he takes out his marks will blow your mind. And theirs. This is a slow burn that's well worth the read.
Byron Sweet is a killer with a signature style. Haunted by the accidental death of his mother, Sweet forged himself into a professional killer, but he's a killer with a conscience. But, like all assassins--and all men--inevitably do, he's reaching the point when he won't be able to perform. Planning to retire, Sweet is called into service one last time with the promise of a massive payday. Will this "sweet shot" be his last? Does this sound like a well-trod path full of tropes and stereotypes? Of course, it does. But Todd Love excels in subverting those tried and tested tropes the story leans into, by filling the interstitial space with so much creativity and sheer absurdity that no amount of catering to preexisting conventions could detract from the tale. Byron Sweet is no grizzled government assassin you'll find in the pages of pulp suspense novels or big-budget action thrillers. He's a man you'll only ever find in the realm where indie horror and bizarro overlap. While a sequel certainly isn't likely, I would love to read a whole series of novels focused on the life and work of Byron Sweet. I think you'll feel the same way after you've been turned inside out by his "sweet shot" too.
Just when you think you know where Love is taking you, he knocks you on your ass and leaves you gasping for air. His perfect execution of the style of short stories Bradbury wrote is admirable, while his content is in a new world. It is sick and twisted, perverse and strange, but this is what the story demands and he executes it perfectly. A totally originally idea!