A WANTED WOMAN is the twenty-first novel by NYT Bestselling Author, Eric Jerome Dickie. Readers who are familiar with his Gideon series will most likely enjoy this book. It involves an assassin named agent MX-401, aka Reaper, who is sent to Trinidad to take out a local politician. Her employers, The Barbarians, were very explicit that the kill must take place during a rooftop party. As with many situations, the plan did not work out in her favor and Reaper was left with no choice but to flee. As a result, her contractors set up a second opportunity for her to make the kill—albeit in an even more difficult circumstance. Reaper succeeds, but at a terrible cost—one which angers her employers as members of Trinidad’s most violent gang, the Laventille Killers—or LKs for short—were killed in the crossfire. Knowing that the LK’s will pick up her trail, Reaper escapes to the island paradise of Barbados, where she resides in a safe-house set up by The Barbarians.

Despite fulfilling the contract, The Barbarians refused to pay Reaper, kept her in a filthy one-room dump which didn’t have any food, lacked a real bed, and was without air-conditioning. Those who have been to any inland area of St Phillip, Barbados know first-hand how uncomfortably hot it can get during the day, and that electric fans are useless. The only entertainment Reaper had was a view through a neighbor’s bedroom window—where the two occupants frequently engaged in loud sex.

The Trinidad assignment left Reaper with many unanswered questions—ones that a professional, such as herself, would only think of. The fact that she was forced to complete her task in the most inefficient and life threatening way raised many red flags.

Fortunately for her, she was joined by her Bahamian half-sister, Petrichor—an assassin who’s happily married to a Bajan while using her housewife status as a cover. Reaper’s assisted by Petrichor on various assignments The Barbarians gave her. However, each job raised more unanswered questions—ones which she believed were connected to the Trinidad assignment.  She enlisted the assistance of a local arms dealer to help her look into the dealings of the LK, considering that The Barbarians refused to give her any answers. As a result she inadvertently exposed herself—alerting the LKs to her location.

This isn’t your ordinary action-adventure thriller. The early chapters were very brutal—as the earlier scenes involved a rape followed by an even more graphic rape scene near the end. There were also scenes of torture that would make any man shield their genitals. Be warned that there’s a lot of graphic violence. Reaper’s not a woman you’d want to upset—as she’s demonstrated numerous times that she’s a very cold-blooded sociopath. To put matters simply, she’ll do a lot more to her victims than simply shoot them in the back of the head—execution-style—and walk away. These scenes will definitely shock some readers.

What I enjoyed about the novel was that Dickie took actual events from the local Bajan news and included them in the story. One item that was big news in Barbados was about a Rastafarian family who had squatted on land owned by Sagicor Financial Services for several generations before they were discovered.  Because of the laws, it was very difficult to get rid of the family. Despite some scenes in the third act that I felt were a bit overdone, the ending that resulted from the culmination of those scenes was very satisfying—and would appeal mostly to those who love a good tale of revenge.

The last chapter raised another unanswered question, one that will no doubt be answered in a follow-up to this story—one that I look forward to reading.

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