The Hit List by Holly Seddon
English | 2020 | Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 2.9 MB
What would you do if you found your name on a hitlist? And your late husband put it there?
When Marianne’s husband Greg is knocked off his bike and killed on the way to work, she must unpick the life he left behind. Numb with grief, Marianne consoles herself by scouring Greg’s laptop, finding comfort in reading his old emails and tracing his footsteps across the web. Until one day, she discovers that he had been accessing the dark web. Why was Greg, a principled charity worker and dedicated husband, logging on to a website that showcases the worst of humanity’s cruel impulses and where anything is available for a price? Marianne steels herself and logs on. After tentative searching, she discovers her name on a hit list.
In this fast-paced, powerful and exceptionally plotted novel, Marianne must figure out whether Greg was trying to protect her or whether he was complicit in the conspiracy for her murder. As she is pulled deeper into the depths of the underworld that Greg was seemingly hostage to, she gets closer and closer to coming face to face with Sam – the assassin hired to kill her. The dark truths that Marianne uncovers speak volumes about the dark underbelly of our society and forces us to question how far we would go to protect those we care most about.
Marianne leaves in the late afternoon before Noah’s daughter, Daisy, gets home. For all Marianne’s growing hopes, it’s early days for all of them and she is yet to meet his five-year-old. It’s made easier by her maternal grandparents’ desperation not to lose their only grandchild as well as their daughter. Daisy stays with them every Friday at least, while Noah and Marianne pretend they’re unencumbered lovers, feeling their way in their own time.
‘I wasn’t ready for anyone new until you,’ Noah said, the very first Friday that she stayed over.
‘Neither was I,’ Marianne replied, choosing an easy lie instead of a complex truth.
Now, in the dimming light, Marianne sees her whisked-up reflection in the black curves of her little car. Her curly brown hair hangs wild and unbrushed. Her blue eyes shine back, new lines feathering their edges. Even her leather jacket is battered and scuffed. She licks her finger and wipes the tide marks from under her eyes, then fumbles for her car key.
The front door re-opens and Noah jogs over on the balls of his socked feet. He has a good foot of height over her; his shoulders are probably a foot wider too. A bear of a man. He hugs her tightly and Marianne feels his heart booming through his thin T-shirt. So very alive. ‘I’m here if you need me,’ he says, releasing her and heading back inside. ‘But I won’t pester you.’
The stereo reads 17:37. As she reverses out of Noah’s drive, Marianne tries to picture what she would have been doing at this exact time a year ago. The memory is blank, the black box recorder removed for her own good.
A little after seven, Marianne rattles the door key in the sticky lock and shoves her way into her Hackney flat. After an empty night, it smells like the opposite of life. Not quite death, more like the blank space between the two.
They’d bought this place as a first step on the ladder, seven years ago. The best they could get on their salaries. A teacher and a charity worker, their mortgage broker had audibly sighed. Greg’s parents offered to contribute, but Marianne’s pride shot that idea straight down.