Thursday 29 January 2015



For fans of Breaking Bad and the bestselling fiction of Don Winslow and George Pelecanos, Max Austin takes readers back to Albuquerque for another action-packed thrill ride inDuke City Hit, as an elite assassin takes aim at—well, everyone.

According to Vic Walters, the secret to happiness is low overhead and few demands. Living rent-free in a modest bachelor pad behind his boss’s house, he has no debts, no entanglements, and no expensive relationships. He works just a few days a month, but his bank accounts keep growing.
Vic is a high-priced hitman with a legendary record of success. That is, until someone starts eliminating his marks before he can get to them . . . until his manager puts him in the middle of a vicious drug-cartel feud . . . and until a young man walks into his life with a big .45 and a startling revelation.
For Vic Walters, it’s time to step out of the shadows. Which means it’s killing time in Duke City.

Praise for Duke City Hit
“An action-packed, adrenaline ride.”—Book Nerd
Duke City Hit is the kind of book you want to settle in with when there’s just too much going on around you.”—No More Grumpy Bookseller
“Just plain fun.”—Tales of a Book Addict
“He strikes a great balance between brevity and description and I definitely stayed up late to finish the book.”—Reading to Distraction

Another fast-paced action read which ticked a fair few boxes for me. I read the first in Max Austin’s (AKA Steve Brewer) proposed Duke City trilogy back in December and was expecting a follow-on with the reappearing characters, which wasn’t the case.

Disappointed? Not really, I was soon absorbed in the life of a loner hitman, Vic Walters. Can you warm to a guy who cold-bloodedly kills for a living……err, yes I can.

Vic’s life is fairly straightforward……, sleep, kill…..repeat……..obviously eating and sleeping a few more times than actually killing. He’s no family to worry about, no close attachments or friendships – the closest thing is his manager, Penny; the only one privy to Vic’s career choice. He’s ultra-professional, he’s careful in his approach to his assignments and he is content with his life.

All of which is the cue for an approaching storm cloud on the horizon. A couple of Vic’s assignments are compromised and suddenly the hunter has become the hunted. Who is killing Vic’s intended targets before he can? And more importantly why? Vic’s uncomplicated life just got complicated.

A satisfying read, plenty of action, a decent twist in the plot, probably not too much in the way of emotional depth to our characters, but that’s alright.

Did I like the people involved, did I like the storyline, did I enjoy the action, did the resolution work, did I turn the pages quickly enough, was there something else I would rather have been doing or reading, would I go back to the author for more…..yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, no, yes….enough said.

Roll on book 3!

Duke City Split review is here.

Steve Brewer/Max Austin’s website is here

4 from 5

I got access to this one via Net Galley   


  1. The Don Winslow comparison is promising for me, but maybe too violent....

    1. Possibly.

      I suppose because there's no connection or empathy to the victims I can kind of gloss over the fact that it's people being killed, lives affected, families destroyed - and I read on duly entertained.

      I don't mean that in a negative sense in respect of this author especially, its more of a general observation I suppose. There are other books, perhaps with more depth where death haunts me - OWEN MEANY for example.

  2. Glad you liked this one, Col. I like the setting, and it sounds as though there's more than one plot twist in the story. Not sure it's up my street, but I'm glad it worked for you.

    1. Possibly a bit superificial or shallow for you Margot. I don't mean that in a negative sense, there is a place for the BIFF, BANG, BOSH - SHOOT 'EM UP reads in my timetable. Was I entertained? YES! Next.....

  3. I think this one goes beyond my comfort level. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. No problem Tracy, maybe the 3rd installment will be the charm!

  4. Sounds good, Col. I like reading fast-paced action killer-thrillers.

    1. I think it's up your street Prashant, I hope you get the chance to try it or the last one or even the next one!