Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Book - 2018

Villanelle (a codename, of course) is one of the world's most skilled assassins. A catlike psychopath whose love for the creature comforts of her luxurious lifestyle is second only to her love of the game, she specializes in murdering the world's richest and most powerful. But when she murders an influential Russian politician, she draws a relentless foe to her tail.

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FICTION/Jennings, Luke
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Subjects
Genres
Thrillers (Fiction)
Suspense fiction
Published
New York : Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company 2018.
Edition
First North American edition
Language
English
Item Description
"Watch the hit tv series adaptation Killing Eve starring Sandra Oh"--Cover.
Physical Description
219 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780316476720
9780316512527
Main Author
Luke Jennings (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Unrepentant murderess Oxana Vorontsova was plucked from a brutal Russian prison by Konstantin (the death broker for a cabal of powerful businessmen) and reborn as the elite assassin Villanelle. After years of killing beneath the radar, Villanelle becomes visible to a worthy adversary when she assassinates controversial Russian political agitator, Viktor Kedrin, in London. In the assassination's fallout, Eve Polastri's failure to accurately assess the threat to Kedrin results in her dismissal from MI6 and leaves her determined to catch the killer who destroyed her career. Eve is hired by a covert government task force hunting Villanelle's shadowy employers, and she jumps on her nemesis' trail with zeal. In the meantime, Villanelle continues eliminating her employer's targets in Shanghai and Odessa, where she takes thrill-seeking risks that could come back to haunt her. Detailed portrayals of Villanelle's globe-hopping hits and Eve's strategic hunt create strong suspense, but character-driven readers may find the key players predictable. Still, this is a promising series setup, especially if the coming episodes add layers to these deadly femmes. An upcoming BBC America series based on the Jennings novels may spur interest. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Superior prose and a cracker jack plot lift this exceptional spy thriller and series launch from Jennings (Beauty Story). Assassin Oxana Vorontsova, who was once a linguistics student at the University of Perm, is employed by someone she knows only as Konstantin, who works for a secret international organization called the Twelve, a dozen men who decide which evildoers who threaten the stability of the world should die. Three years earlier, Konstantin rescued Oxana from the Dobryanka women's remand center in the Ural Mountains, where she was serving time for murdering three gangsters. After a year of intensive training, Oxana now goes by the code name Villanelle. After carrying out several assigned killings, she guns down Russian political theorist Viktor Kedrin in London, which brings her to the attention of former British MI5 agent Eve Polastri, who was in charge of protecting Kedrin. Eve slowly begins putting together the pieces of the Villanelle puzzle. The wide-open ending points to more to come in the struggle between these two resourceful antagonists. Readers will eagerly await the sequel. (July) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The breakneck thriller that inspired TV sensation Killing Eve, starring Sandra Oh, "unlike any other spy drama you've seen" (Daily Beast). Villanelle (a codename, of course) is one of the world's most skilled assassins. A catlike psychopath whose love for the creature comforts of her luxurious lifestyle is second only to her love of the game, she specializes in murdering the world's richest and most powerful. But when she murders an influential Russian politician, she draws a relentless foe to her tail. Eve Polastri (not a codename) is a former MI6 operative hired by the national security services for a singular task: to find and capture or kill the assassin responsible, and those who have aided her. Eve, whose quiet and otherwise unextraordinary life belies her quick wit and keen intellect, accepts the mission. The ensuing chase will lead them on a trail around the world, intersecting with corrupt governments and powerful criminal organizations, all leading towards a final confrontation from which neither will emerge unscathed. Codename Villanelle is a sleek, fast-paced international thriller from an exciting new voice in fiction.