Saturday, May 30, 2009

A HitWoman?

From the author of the acclaimed Women of the Otherworld series comes an exciting new heroine whose most secret identity is both lucrative...and lethal.

Regulars at Nadia's nature lodge don't ask what she does in the off-season. And that's a good thing. If she told them, she'd have to kill them. She's a hit woman for a Mafia family. Tough and self-sufficient, Nadia doesn't owe anyone any explanations. But that doesn't mean she always works alone. One of her contacts has recruited her in the hunt for a ruthlessly efficient serial killer cutting a swath of terror across the country. The assassin is far too skilled to be an amateur--and the precision of the killings is bringing the Feds much too close to the hit man community for comfort.

To put an end to the murders, Nadia will have to turn herself from predator to prey as she employs every trick she knows to find the killer. Before the killer finds her...

Title: Exit Strategy
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Nadia Stafford, Book 1
Start & Finished: 3/5/09- 3/7/09
Published: 2007
Publisher: Bantam Books
Pages: 480 (paperback)
Genre: Mystery- Crime/ Thriller

Job’s usually considered only for men have over the past few decades, opened for women as well. The traditional hitman however is still thought of mainly as male but Kelley Armstrong’s character Nadia- or Dee as she likes to be known on the job, is one of the the very few hitwomen in her chosen profession. When a fellow “co-worker” goes rogue in Exit Strategy, she teams up with her mentor and her mentor’s mentor to take him down.

"The idea for Exit Strategy came from me thinking 'If I was to write a thriller, what would I want to do?' I absolutely love crime thrillers. That is primarily what I read. My horror/ paranormal background goes back further but currently I'm more of a thriller reader," said author Kelley Armstrong in an interview about her book. She had planned for this series to be a bit of a back-up fail-safe in case her Women of the Otherworld series failed. Her paranormal series was wildly successful while her thriller didn’t garner much attention at the time. Recently, mainly due to fans, many people are giving Nadia the chance to let her story be heard.

Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld books are one of my favorite series but I was a little concerned about Exit Strategy since its not what I’m used to from this author. However, I can’t say I was really surprised that I enjoyed it and the characters, yet I was really in no hurry to finish the book. Naida being a hitwoman and essentially killing for money didn't bother me in the least though. She's not a bad person and she only kills criminals so I never had a problem with her job even if it is just a glorified form of paid vigiantilism. In a way, she's a bit like a toned-down female Dexter except Dee is a bit more “approachable”. More so than almost anyone else in her merry band of mercenaries even though I do like Jack a lot too.

The author doesn’t lay everything out about Naida’s story all at once but draws it out slowly throughout the course of the book (how and why she used to be a cop, her cousin’s murder, etc.) and some things aren’t totally explained in Exit Strategy either. For the most part though, everything you need to know about the characters is presented… just not everything you may want to know so I’m hoping the second book in the series Made to be Broken will answer more questions and give me another great adventure too.

Nadia Stafford
1. Exit Strategy (2007)
2. Made to Be Broken (2009)

~Note: Thanks to Carolyn Jean (aka Carolyn Crane) from The Trillionth Page for sending this to me!

Related Posts: Many Bloody Returns anthology, My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon anthology, Dates from Hell anthology, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, No Humans Involved
Links: Author Wikipedia, Nadia Discussion Board
Interview: McNally Robinson Booksellers, Mix- A Mixture of Hot Trends, Facebook (video), Bitten by Books

Picture Explanation:
Casino: In their search for the Helter Skelter’s identity Jack and Dee had to go to a run-down casino
T-Shirt: Nadia’s favorite sleep shirt, the place where she went to college.
Hot Chocolate: A night ritual when she can’t sleep which she shares with Jack during the case. Glock 33: Jack’s “present” to Naida when she accepts his offer to work on the “case”


  1. Oh, look! You read it! I'm so glad you like it. The Dexter comparison is an interesting one, and apt. ANd thanks for the background on this - I didn't know it was her failsafe. And you got the T-shirt!

    LIke you, I didn't find Exit Strategy as furious of a page turner as other genre books, but loved it. But if you did like it, the next one, Made to Be Broken, is even better.

  2. Stop by my blog when you get a chance, I have an award for you:)

  3. I love crime thrillers too! This book sounds right up my alley. I'm not sure what all that says about me.

  4. Hmmmm, very interesting premise for a book. I like the genre change too. Lately, for myself, I've been getting a bit tired of the gothic vampire horror that's pervading the shelves lately. This book looks really good. Thanks for bringing my attention to it.

  5. Hi LadyTink!

    I love Kelley Armstrong, and this sounds really good, different from her Others books, but good. I'll take a look for it, crime thrillers are a sweet change of pace.

    Dottie :)

  6. An award for you Jen :)

  7. Sounds like a good one. I like crime thrillers a lot.

  8. Ooo, I'm glad I read this because you reminded me about the sequel. I thought Exit Strategy was okay/good; took me a little longer to read because it seemed slow to me at times, but it got me curious enough to read the next one. Curious about the mentor, too.

  9. Sounds like a good read, thanks for the review. I think I have read Bitten by this author and enjoyed it.

  10. I enjoyed this one when I read it. I admit to being a little hesitant too because I'm so used to her urban fantasy novels. Still, I was drawn immediately into the story and had a good time reading it. I haven't decided though if I want to follow up with the next book in the series. Once you read and review it, maybe I'll be convinced to give it a go. ;-)

  11. Sounds like an interesting change from the other series. I have #2 from Otherworld on my shelf and hope to get to it soon. Maybe by the time I'm finished there will be a bunch in this series waiting for me!

  12. I loved Kelly Armstrong's books about Elena and liked, but didn't love some of her other Women of Otherworld books because they got a bit too romance for me.
    I was really excited to see a less romance and more thriller book by her. I'm also thrilled that her last couple Women of Other world have become more mystery/plot driven (?) while keeping the great character development!

    If you liked Exit Strategy (or the Others series), you might also want to check out the Jaz Parks series by Jennifer Rardin. Jaz is a government assassin teamed with a vampire. So far I've found them a good mix of adventurous plot with some mystery and interesting characters.

  13. Carolyn Crane/Jean: Thank you, thank you, thank you for sending it to me! I'm still waiting on Made to Be Broken to come in at the library.

    Bridge3420: Thank you!

    Bermudaonion: That says you have good taste :)

    Paxton: Yeah, sometimes it's good to switch it up before you get burned out. Too late for me though :(

    My Blog 2.0 (Dottie): She's such a good author that she could start writing historicals and I'd be a little more than tempted to pick it up!

    Wendy: Thanks!

    CarolsNotebook: I do too occasionally but I don't read that many anymore for some reason.

    Chelle: I certainly hope my library decides to get the sequel in soon.

    Jess: I've read just about all her books now and enjoyed every single one :)

    Naida: It was :)

    Wendy: Well, I really need to do that then don't I? Lol, my library doesn't have it so it may be a little while before I can get it.

    Darla D: It was but for some reason I could still tell it was her. I need to read a couple in the Otherworld series too since I let myself get behind but I'm almost caught up.

    BookWyrm: Elena is my fav character of hers. I do love that series, thanks! I'm a little behind in it but I did love it.



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