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Amber's Thoughts

Reviews and updates from Amber Foxx, author of the Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Series

 

 

Tale of Two Killers

Fundamental Error: A Katla KillFile - Martyn V. Halm

This long short story or short novella is one of the four of its kind that make up the Amsterdam Assassin Series along with three full-length novels. (I’m glad to know that a fourth is on the way.) One of the many things I like about this series is that Halm’s style is so unique and his characters so original that I can’t describe his work by referring to other books or authors. The protagonist is a professional assassin—a complex woman, strong and unusually intelligent, with expertise in many areas related to her occupation. In Fundamental Error, Katla’s skills with technology and explosives and her capacity for careful planning, self-control, and observation are central to the plot. There’s a deceptive calm to the narration that somehow raises the tension. The shifts in time and point of view are structured masterfully, shifting back and forth between the minutes before a terrorist’s attempt to blow up an Amsterdam shopping center and the weeks leading up to the attack. The target’s horrific goal makes this story less morally ambiguous than the others. I didn’t feel the “Oh my god, I’m rooting for Katla and she’s an assassin” amazement that has struck me as I got swept up in the novels and the other Killfiles. Not that I mind having that experience. In fact, it’s one of the marvels of this series. Halm somehow makes a woman whose job is unsympathetic—to say the least—into a riveting lead character for a series.

 

This review also appears on http://everywhereindies.wordpress.com