When “Killing Eve” was on TV I was completely hooked by the two amazing lead characters. Perfectly played by Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, Villanelle and Eve are the most exciting women to hit the screen in a very long time. Finding out that the characters were based on a book trilogy by Luke Jennings was like Christmas come early.
Codename Villanelle is the first book in this series and sets the scene nicely. A group of twelve men sit around a table. A bag is passed round and each of them places a coloured stone in the bag. A death sentence has been passed by the Twelve.
Konstantin is the only one that Villanelle has contact with. He saved her, overseen her rigorous training and helped her to become the sophisticate that she now appears to be. But Villanelle is a hard cold killer. Without remorse, guilt or a conscience she follows her orders perfectly. She is the best of the worst.
Eve Polastri works for MI5 in London. She loves her job. Sharp and analytical she loves puzzles and working out where the next threat is coming from. When she loses her job after a judgement error Eve finds herself being headhunted for a secret undercover unit. Hunting the female hit man.
This is quite a graphic story at times with Villanelle’s “hits” described in the cold calculating manner that they are undertaken. However her complex back story and heartbreaking personal experiences make her a compelling character. The villain that you can’t help but have a soft spot for. Ultimately it has the kind of ending that will have you heading straight back to the bookshop to buy book two!
Supplied by Net Galley and John Murray Press in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication Date: June 29 2017. 224 pages.