Title: Old Wounds (Chance Assassin: Book Four)
Author: Nicole Castle
Length: 212 Pages
At a Glance: This series will forever go down as one of my all-time favorites. It’s quirky and perfect in its imperfect, character driven madness, and one that I’ll gladly revisit over and over again.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Partners in life and partners in crime, Frank and Vincent always had each other. They were ready to take on anything as long as they were together. But now the world Vincent knew, the world Frank taught him, has changed. The war has come to their doorstep and no one is safe.
Things once taken for granted may no longer be dependable, alliances will be questioned, but their vows still ring true: In sickness and in health, until death do them part.
Review: I have to admit I never gave much thought to the difference between an assassin and a murderer until I started reading the Chance Assassin series. The only difference between the two, it seems, is a paycheck. If you’re making bank, then dealing in death is just a job. Do what you love and love what you do, I guess. That pretty well sums up Frank and V, from the moment they locked gazes and recognized the killer behind each other’s eyes, and their combined fate was sealed.
I’ve been in an unreasonable amount of love with this series since the moment a sixteen-year-old kid named Vincent Sullivan staggered onto the scene, bleeding out from a stab wound he’d acquired in a robbery gone wrong, and reminisced about the time he found a dead body in a ditch behind his trailer park. You wouldn’t think I’d have spent so much time after that laughing my way through the rest of the book, and the series, but I did. Nicole Castle does dark humor and aberrant people so, so well—from pretty and petty and shallow V to his dark and deranged and deadly husband, Frank, to their patient handler, Joe, to Bella (whose shoe loving potty-mouth speaks to my inner bitch) to Casey (dear, sweet, sane…ish…in a non-murdery way Casey…) to Miko (the man-child assassin who’s turnt off by the sight of blood), this series has been a tour de force of hilarity, death, questionable alliances, and backstabbing mayhem. Sometimes frontstabbing mayhem, even. Talk about an inappropriate heart boner.
In this, the final book of the series, Castle leads us into, through, and out the other side of the Assassin War—that’s what Vincent calls it because drama queen effect—and gives us the motivation for everything that’s happened: the whats, whys and hows of Frank getting to where he is now, and the reason he’s hell-freaking-bent on revenge with his loving and totally narcissistic psychopath of a hubby by his side, and sometimes even leading the way. These guys take turns meting out death the way normal people take turns taking out the trash. Only, unlike mundane chores, Frank and V love killing people. Sometimes in slow and messy ways. Like, in a ‘Grab the umbrella, kids, it’s raining blood. And watch out for those stray eyeballs. They’re squishy!’ kind of way. Sure, things get a little gross at times, but that’s a job hazard these guys seem to relish in. Knee-deep in gore is their happy place. Just don’t anyone splash brain-matter on Bella’s shoes, okay, or there will be hell to pay.
I know they say that normal is just a setting on the dryer, and labels are for clothes not people, but come on. These are the most functionally dysfunctional people I’ve ever had the pleasure to adore. The only thing ‘normal’ about them is their capacity to love so hard that they’d willingly cut off body parts—their own or someone else’s—to prove how much they mean to each other. Seriously, nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like a death pact, and when it came time for Frank and V to put theirs to the test, I won’t lie; I got a little weepy (see: heart boner). Do who you love and love who you do, with everything you have to give.
My definition of romantic is probably about as twisted as Frank and V’s relationship, honestly, but that’s the beauty to me of this series—these people love in whatever way they have the capacity to do it and yet still be coldblooded killers. Castle translates this contradiction—that Death is an abstraction to these characters until it comes for someone they care about—so cunningly. Because then, it’s personal.
This series will forever go down as one of my all-time favorites. It’s quirky and perfect in its imperfect, character driven madness, and one that I’ll gladly revisit over and over again. I’m a huge fan of something a little different and offbeat, and that describes the characters and their situational murder business just fine. It’s a lot offbeat, truth be told, and I dig it in major ways.
You can buy Old Wounds here:
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