Wednesday, 9 September 2015



A Merciless Killer. A Beautiful Widow. An Innocent Child.

When Jacob Menten is murdered, the battle to take his place at the head of a brutal crime syndicate will be long and bloody. His innocent wife and child are caught up in a war of succession and a tangle of secrets and lies. Who killed the old boss? And how do they hope to gain from the death and destruction unleashed? It will take all of Smitty’s talents to fulfil the dead man’s final wish and keep his family safe. But then, Smitty is a hitman of exceptional talent... From the author of the Hahn/Morales detective stories, A Killing Kiss is a murderous tale as tough as they come.

"B.R. Stateham's Smitty is a classic hard-boiled noir creation." -Paul D. Brazill (author of Guns of Brixton)

"A Killing Kiss is a hard blast of pure noir... mixing Dashiell Hammett with an extremely real sense of danger." -Richard Godwin (author of One Lost Summer and Confessions of a Hit Man)

Another one of Number 13 Press’s monthly offerings, this a pacey tale of a skilled hitman – Smitty and his efforts to protect the family of his employer – a crime lord who has just died. Millions of dollars at stake, as well as a CD – with the disc containing the secrets of the organisation – who did what for whom. Information worth more than the money.

Five potential suspects in the syndicate. Which one has the nerve and ambition to try and reach for the top job and put down the old boss’s family? Smitty rocks into town and we don’t have long to wait to find out.

Smitty offers our would be criminal kingpins a bloodless settlement in return for the widow and child’s safety, but is soon rebutted. Add negotiator to his list of job skills. They’ll find out the hard way then.  

Fast and furious, Stateham writes a mean action sequence……plenty of gun play, but with some depth to the characters and situation so there’s more than just death in play. There’s a memorable scene that crackles with electricity where Charlene Menton, our beautiful widow wakes to hear her baby crying only to discover our death-bringer gentling and soothing her child.

4 from 5

B. R. Stateham has written plenty of crime, including earlier Smitty – Hitman tales. If time allows I will be checking them out.

B. R. Stateham has his website here. Number 13 Press can be found here.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of this from Chris at Number 13.


  1. It can be very interesting, Col, to go 'behind the scenes' in a crime syndicate. And it's nice to be reminded that a fast-paced 'action-y' story can also have some character depth to it. Glad you enjoyed this.

    1. Margot, I did enjoy this. I think because the author has established the character through other stories, he has given him the necessary depth to be interesting. Thanks!

  2. Sounds gritty, Col, and a good yarn too.

    1. Prashant, it ticked a lot of boxes for me mate!

  3. Replies
    1. Relatively short - 90-odd pages - so even splendider!

  4. Replies
    1. Get involved then Moira - any Number 13 Press offering seems to hit the spot!

  5. I may try something by this author. Lots on offer.

  6. Yes I think he has another series, but if I read more I'll probably stick to this character.