The debut rip-roaring, high-octane, and Missouri-sized crime series from Ryan J. Pelton, featuring newbie assassins Dexter O'Kane and John Wood.
Six months earlier, Dexter O'Kane buries his wife and child after a tragic car accident. While he mourns the loss of his family and hangs onto the threads of a failing antique collecting business. Dexter and his best friend John Wood witness a murder in their hometown of LeClaire, Missouri.
The local police of LeClaire aren't able to stop the serial killer as bodies pile up. In a chance encounter with a mysterious woman, Dexter and John are offered a business opportunity, which requires taking matters into their own hands.
Amidst losing his reason for living Dexter must discover a new normal. He must find a part of himself laying dormant. Will Dexter be able to walk the line of love, loss, and suffering, while stopping a killer… or die trying?
Hired Gun is chockfull of mystery, laughs, heart, and butt-kicking adventure. Dexter and John are a welcomed duo into the canon of crime novels.
For fans of: Joe R. Lansdale (Hap and Leonard), Elmore Leonard (Raylan Givens- Justified), Craig Johnson (Longmire).
What are others saying?
"Warning…when starting this book make sure you don't have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won't want to stop reading until you've finished it all." -Jackie Bryant (Indie Book Reviewers)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It started out with a good story filled with interesting information about pickers, from there it got better as the plot thickened and reached its best with the conclusion. Thanks for a good read.
warning…when starting this book make sure you don’t have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished it all. I don’t know why I was so pulled into this book because it certainly isn’t my normal reading fare at all, but I was in the mood for something a little different, and something just intrigued me with Dexter, his tragic loss and his special friendship with John… also because how clever and unique it is to have a MC who deals with antiques! That is a hobby as mine as well so I liked getting a glimpse in that world alongside one filled with the darker side of life – as in the worst! “Hired Gun” starts off with heart wrenching beginning and just keeps going through some crazy, exciting developments that I admit stretch the limits of credulity at times, but is still all in good fun. The characters of Dexter, John, Samantha, [and the others] were likable and believable even when acting in very unbelievable ways, and I think what I liked the most about this book was just the overall feel the author managed to create where it felt like we are really a part of the book, inside Dexter’s mind -this is written from his first-person pov- and feeling what he’s feeling, yet we are at a safe distance from the actual danger unlike him. Vicarious cheap thrills, if you will. It’s fun to be the ‘good’ anti-hero… who hasn’t wanted to exact revenge at one point on their life? (3.5 stars)
"Hired Gun” seems to have something of everything: heartbreak and tragedy, friendship, family bonds, crime, action, mystery, thriller and lots of ‘wtf’ moments right up to the end. It was an easy read that held on to my attention – despite some structure/editing weaknesses with punctuation and tightness. It will not be for everyone, but I thought it was a good book to just to get lost in and just enjoy the wild ride. Some parts were pretty uncomfortable, but nothing too graphic. Sometimes I thought some conversations felt too simple and almost artificial… lacking a genuine emotional depth, and the final climax and resolution seemed very rushed - almost glossed over. But I do think that readers who enjoy snarky, entertaining crime thrillers and flawed, morally questionable characters as leads won’t be too bothered by the book’s technical weak spots, and instead will just enjoy the rollercoaster ride and see where it takes them. I would be interested in reading more in this series. Recommend for ages 18+.
I read some of the reviews on Amazon before reading this book, and I have to say that I don’t think it is as bad as some of the reviews seem to suggest. This isn’t some serious, dramatic tome steeped in the gritty hardline reality of law, justice, and life… it has more sass and a rebellious attitude that makes these characters Dexter and Jon so appealing. They aren’t these perfect role models, and the book doesn’t try to act like something its not. After all he has gone through and is experiencing emotionally, mentally, and financially, it’s no big surprise that Dex self-medicates with booze and weed. This might be a stretch, but if someone wants to watch a show like “ER” or “Grey’s Anatomy”, but watches “Scrubs” – they may think its not a good show because it isn’t what they were expecting. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good show! This is more of a dark humor, noir-ish, pocket-mystery occasional slapstick sort of feel, but with intriguing storyline. I thought the storytelling was good (does need a good editor) and it kept my attention. Even if it is part of a series we are not left hanging, fortunately! I finished in the course of a few evenings and was genuinely surprised at a few things that happened. Entertaining and unpredictable, and not afraid to take chances by having people behave differently than the typical clichés of the genre and I liked that.