Contract killers, also known as hitmen, have always been a popular subject in literature and movies. The gritty stories of assassins and their deadly missions have captivated audiences for decades. If you’re a fan of the genre, you might be looking for the best contract killer books to add to your reading list. Here are our top picks.
1. The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
This classic noir novel from 1952 is a must-read for fans of the hitman genre. The main character, Lou Ford, is a small-town sheriff with a dark secret: he’s a contract killer. The book is both a psychological study of Ford’s twisted mind and a tense thriller as he gets caught up in a web of violence and deception.
2. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
This 1971 novel is a masterful portrayal of a professional hitman hired to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle. The Jackal, as the hitman is known, is a meticulous planner who uses his skills to evade the authorities and complete his mission. The book was a bestseller and was later adapted into a successful movie.
3. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
This book needs no introduction, as it has become a cultural icon in its own right. The story of Jason Bourne, a contract killer suffering from amnesia, has spawned multiple sequels, adaptations, and imitators. The book is a classic thriller with a twist: the hero is also the villain, and he must unravel the mystery of his own past to survive.
4. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is not strictly a contract killer book, but it’s a must-read for anyone interested in the genre. The book tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg from the perspectives of several key figures, including Confederate sharpshooter James Longstreet. Longstreet’s deadly accuracy with a rifle makes him a kind of hitman on the battlefield, and his struggles with morality and duty form a central theme of the book.
5. A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories by Will Eisner
This graphic novel from 1978 is a groundbreaking work in the comics medium. It tells a series of interconnected stories set in a New York City tenement, including the tale of a hitman named Big Moe. The book is a powerful mix of social commentary and noir storytelling, with Eisner’s striking artwork bringing the characters and their world to life.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the best contract killer books out there, each offering its own unique take on the genre. Whether you’re looking for a classic thriller or a more literary exploration of the subject, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your reading cravings. Happy hunting!