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The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning by Hallgrimur Helgason

The Hitman's Guide to HousecleaningReviewed by Teri Davis

Tomislav Boksic, better known as Toxic, is one of the best at what he does. As a hit man for the Croatian mafia in New York, his reputation and performance has been perfect. He kills quickly and efficiently with the minimal amount of attention during the actual “hit”.

Unfortunately when you’re at the top of your career, there is only one way to go and Toxic spirals down as his latest victim in actuality was an F.B.I. agent. He did exactly what he was assigned to do, so why was he blamed for this. Who messed up? Was this intentional within his organization? Why would someone set him up?

With all law enforcement and mafia associates searching for him, Toxic darts to the airport and looks for someone who resembles him, someone who he can kill and take his identity. He discovers a member of the clergy who he quickly kills while in the restroom, shaves his own head to steal the victim’s identity, and departs to whatever destination is on his ticket. So, what does a middle-aged, overweight, Croatian hitman to do while pretending to be a television evangelist in Iceland?
THE HITMAN’S GUIDE TO HOUSECLEANING appealed to me as this self-publication through Amazon has quickly turned into a best seller, thanks to Amazon marketing. Why this book as opposed to the many other possible selections? Very simply, is that this book is definitely different.

This novel paints a vivid picture of Iceland with the descriptions of the environment, people, life style, laws, along with the background of the Croatian hitman, making this book humorous and light-hearted while having a slew of eccentric residents with lengthy names filled with consonants. With vivid descriptions, the reader sees Toxic as more than a killer, a real person who definitely knows the difference between a killing and murder while learning of life in this isolated country.
The author, Hallgrimur Helgason is an artist who resides in Iceland and has shown his art in galleries in New York and Paris. Internationally, he is also a well-respected author whose books have also resulted in films.

THE HITMAN’S GUIDE TO HOUSECLEANING is his only novel currently published in English. With a hit man as the unlikely likable protagonist, this picture of everyday life in Iceland allows the reader to feel like they are sharing the body with Toxic. Viewing the world through this character, justifies some of his immoral and unethical behavior since you actually see that he has few choices while avoiding all law enforcement that is globally searching for him.

THE HITMAN’S GUIDE TO HOUSECLEANING is definitely a different novel which you cannot predict but will remember.

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