Reprobate: A Katla Novel
Book one in the Amsterdam Assassin Series
by Martyn V. Halm
Katla is a professional assassin for hire, specializing in hits that
can't be traced. When the novel begins, she is taking out the owner of a
shop selling antique Japanese swords, with his own merchandise, when
she is interrupted by a blind man who has come to pick up his order.
Katla has a firm policy of not allowing witnesses to her hits to live,
but Bram is blind, and totally sexy. She lets him go, but can't seem to
stay away from him. So begins an unlikely but fascinating partnership.
How will a cold-blooded killer and a pacifist musician find any common
Meanwhile, American DEA agents are brought to Amsterdam
to help IPOL break up a drug ring run by a local gang. Katla is
unwittingly drawn in to a law enforcement sting operation by a
double-crossing client. There is some gory violence as Katla carries out
her hits, but the emphasis is firmly on procedure: descriptions of guns
and knives, techniques, and the autopsies and forensics afterward.
But of course, Devo Girl was way more interested in Bram. He is a
terrific character, very realistic and SUPER devvy. He's well-adjusted and capable, but
not superhuman. He plays the saxophone, practices shiatsu on the local
yakuza, and studies aikido. He's just the right combination of strong
and vulnerable, and it's oh so sexy. And Katla pursues him with the single-minded obsession of a dev. His blindness and the scars on his face and eyes make him more sexy to her. It's awesome.
There is also a second blind character who shows up in a small but great scene. And another character who is a DAK amputee, but that is very minor.
I also like that Katla is a tough, strong woman who
doesn't have trauma or abuse in her past. She's just good at what she
does. It's quite a trick to get the audience to root for the killer and
the police equally, but the author pulls it off. The Dutch setting is also unusual and interesting. I'm looking forward to
the next books in the series.
ETA: The sequel, Pecadillo, is even better than the first volume. A lot more Bram, too!
Read my interview with author Martyn Halm on Ruth Madison's blog.