After overhearing a conversation between a mob boss and his hired hitman, Monica Sable is forced into witness protection. She is sent to a nowhere town, lying low until the trial. Ex-marine Sam Bradford was taken in by the Agency and turned into a weapon; able to track, manipulate and kill. And the Agency has just sent him to kill Monica Sable.
122 Rules begins with Monica, as she is pressed into leaving her life behind, despite her arguments and several attempts to escape. It’s never completely explained why she’s so resistant, although to be fair the agents are pretty aggravating. Her frustrations with her new life and the almost grudging acceptance of the people around her are believably written. So is her reaction when someone tries to kill her.
The story then doubles back, taking up Sam’s story. Medically discharged from the army he joined to bring a sense of order to his life, and divorced, Sam’s depression and sense of rootless are easy to understand. It’s also easy to understand why he jumps at the offer to be part of something again when approached by a nameless man representing the Agency. He ends up doing some pretty despicable things in their employ, seemingly without qualms. But when assigned to kill Monica he begins, through an internal dialogue, to have doubts about what he’s doing, enough that he hesitates before taking a kill-shot.
The third act kicks up the action with Monica trying to stay one step ahead of the people trying to kill her and Sam tries to get to the bottom of his misgivings about the job.
It’s quite easy to imagine this as a film. The writing is very visual, keeping the story (and the reader) moving forward. I enjoyed it immensely. If there are any drawbacks, I would have liked to know more about the titular rules and the Agency but there’s a chance I’ll get that in the sequel. For anyone in the mood for a fast paced action thriller, this will be a great book to pick up.