The Killing Kind

US hardcover edition pictured (Mulholland Books, September 2015)

"This novel is so fast-moving, so expertly arranged, every piece fitting together with a well-oiled snap, that it feels weaponized. Read it. Or else."
-New York Times Book Review (An Editors' Choice)

Strand Magazine's Top Book of 2015

A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015

Nominated for a Barry, a Lefty, and a Macavity Award

Winner of the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Novel

Michael Hendricks kills people for money. That aside, he’s not so bad a guy. Once a covert operative for a false-flag unit of the U.S. military, Hendricks was presumed dead after a mission in Afghanistan went sideways. He left behind his old life—and beloved fiancée—and set out on a path of redemption... or perhaps one of willful self-destruction.

Now Hendricks makes his living as a hitman entrepreneur of sorts: he only hits other hitmen. For ten times the price on your head, he’ll make sure whoever’s coming to kill you winds up in the ground instead. Not a bad way for a guy with his skill-set to make a living—but a great way to make himself a target.

Named a Buzz Book 2015 by Publishers Marketplace! Click through to read an excerpt.

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(US): Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooksIndiebound


"Lean, brutal and riveting, Chris Holm’s THE KILLING KIND is the kind of novel you can’t put down but also want to savor. With sharply etched characters, knifelike twists and hardboiled energy to burn, it’s an utter winner, beginning to end."
-Megan Abbott, Edgar Award winning author of THE FEVER

"The violence in THE KILLING KIND is visceral, the writing is tight and tense, and the characterizations are more in-depth than usual for this genre. This is a fun spin on crime fiction by having a hero who may also be the villain. The unpredictability of the story will also have readers wondering what's going to happen next, if this is indeed the first in a series."
-The Associated Press

"With THE KILLING KIND, Chris Holm has created a story of rare, compelling brilliance... You won't merely read this book, you will inhale it."
-David Baldacci, New York Times bestselling author of MEMORY MAN

"Holm’s premise is irresistible... As a hitman who only kills other hitmen, Hendricks is a brilliant study in grey morality... the story morphs into a tension-filled game of professional killers hunting each other through a series of crackling, imaginative twists."
-Barnes and Noble (named a Top Thriller for September)

"Holm’s action scenes are breathtaking whirlwinds, and even when readers know what’s next, he builds an improbable level of suspense... it's clear he's a writer with a strong future."

" ultra-strategic cat-and-mouse game of mind-blowing proportions... Holm, an award-winning short-story writer and author of the fantasy-pulp fiction trilogy 'The Collector,' is terrific at rendering characters with empathy and humor... As the second half careers along with roller coaster speed and twists, meting out some seriously emotionally wrenching moments and showing that Hendricks is more than a match for MacGyver, you’ll want to go along for the ride—but keep that seat belt fastened."
-The Boston Globe

"I love Chris Holm. He can evoke a landslide of character in a single detail. THE KILLING KIND crackles with muscle and moxie and wit. I will read it again and again."
-Chelsea Cain, New York Times bestselling author of ONE KICK

"Chris Holm’s latest is exceptional in every way, with breakneck pacing, sensational storytelling, and razor-sharp prose. At its hardboiled core is an unforgettable antihero who inhabits a violent purgatory of his own making, but discovers there’s a piece of his soul he hasn’t lost yet. Dark, riveting, and instantly addictive, THE KILLING KIND is this year’s must-read thriller."
-Hilary Davidson, Anthony Award winning author of BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS

"Chris Holm loads an ingenious premise—an assassin who kills only other assassins—into a high-powered story that goes off like a rocket. His protagonist, Mike Hendricks, is an all-American anti-hero with his own code of justice, living on stolen time. THE KILLING KIND is sleek and smart, and will stay with you long after you've finished reading."
-Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of THE FIXER

 "Holm takes a one note premise and pulls the reader in with beautiful narrative and excellent pacing... If a movie deal hasn't been made, I'm sure there's one in the works."
-Huffington Post

"...a fast-paced thriller with high-octane action, gripping suspense, clever plot twists and a high body count. [Holm] has created an original plot with characters so vividly complex, even the good guys are fatally flawed, willing to bend the rules for their own ends."
-Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel

"Chris Holm's a thriller writer to look out for and THE KILLING KIND is a ripping, twisting yarn you can read in one sitting."
-Simon Kernick, Sunday Times bestselling author of THE FINAL MINUTE

"Who will best whom is by no means obvious in this fast-moving, witty tale of good guy versus bad guy versus worse guy."
-Kirkus (starred review)

"A high-octane, cat-and-mouse thrill ride, written with style and a flair for the spectacular. Chris Holm is a master storyteller, and THE KILLING KIND is his best work to date. Don’t miss it."
-Owen Laukkanen, Anthony, Barry, and Thriller Award nominated author of THE STOLEN ONES

" unusual but likable antihero... the wild and furious action, the unusual plot featuring assassin versus assassin, and the memorable characters all keep the reader racing through this skillfully told tale of vengeance."
-Library Journal

"Deftly written and with a blistering final act that begs to be read in a single sitting, THE KILLING KIND is the kind of novel ripe to push Holm forward as a new and powerful voice in thrillers."
-Los Angeles Review of Books

"THE KILLING KIND may remind some readers of the cat-and-mouse thrillers of Thomas Perry... that's high praise, because when Perry is working at the top of his abilities, he has few equals in the genre. THE KILLING KIND is the kind of well-wrought entertainment that builds an enthusiastic fan base."
-Maine Sunday Telegram

"Chris Holm's whip-smart tale of a different kind of professional killer moves as fast as the bullets fired by his hero, Special Forces vet Michael Hendricks, and with wit as dry as the Afghani desert where Hendricks allegedly died."
-Mystery Scene Magazine

"With a great writer, a great premise, and a great protagonist, how can you lose? With his unique take on the hitman thriller, Chris Holm claims his place amongst the best suspense novelists working today. It takes real talent to make a hero of a cold-blooded killer, and Chris Holm pulls it off with style."
-Stuart Neville, Los Angeles Times Book Prize winning author of THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND

"Chris Holm's THE KILLING KIND is my favorite thriller of the fall lineup. Here's a solid gold premise: an assassin who only kills other assassins... The cat-and-mouse game that follows is pure joy...This novel is so fast-moving, so expertly arranged, every piece fitting together with a well-oiled snap, that it feels weaponized. Read it. Or else."
-New York Times Book Review (An Editors' Choice)

"What makes the book sing is not some shotgun marriage of genres—this is a thriller, plain and simple—but its lean action, breakneck execution, and a nervy concept that's almost too perfect: Protagonist Michael Hendricks is a hit man who only hits other hit men... THE KILLING KIND is a brutal book about brutal people in a brutal world... For all its violence and darkness, though, the book has plenty of sly humor, sharp dialogue, and even the occasional yanked heartstring... relentless and breathtaking."

"Holm carries off a preposterous plot with brazen aplomb, creating a diverting, action-packed story interspersed with excellent character vignettes."
-Publishers Weekly

"THE KILLING KIND is mercilessly tense, wonderfully evocative, and so cinematic it should come with popcorn.  Chris Holm writes with swagger and wit and crackling intensity—I love his stuff."
-Marcus Sakey, bestselling author of The Brilliance Saga

"Hendricks is very good at his job... Holm (The Collector Trilogy) is good at his job, too. His prose is lean, his pacing brisk, the suspense high and his plot unpredictable... There's plenty of violence and dark humor, but heart as well, with Hendricks holding a candle for a love he can't forget. He's not just the killing kind; he's also the romantic kind."
-Shelf Awareness

"An adrenaline-packed read from start to finish, this first installment in what we hope is a new series is a must for thriller fans."
-The Strand Magazine

"When one devilishly efficient hitman is matched against another hitman of equally inhuman skills, what happens? The answer to the question is what the American writer Chris Holm’s freewheeling new thriller is all about. Bloodshed ensues of course, but Holm supplies the reader with a rooting interest in all the death and dying… The showdown between the two guys is long, inventive and specific in its ferocity."
-Toronto Star