Nobody Dies For Free is a contemporary spy thriller written by Aaron Smith. Although it is set present day, the story goes to lengths to distance itself from modern surveillance technology. So there are no gadgets beyond normal cell phones and laptops. The story is essentially one man completing a mission on his own, without backup. Sure the hero, Richard Monroe meets allies on the way who assist him with his assignment. But unlike many contemporary thrillers, he is not wired into a situation room, with techs there to support and guide him. There are no satellites tailing his enemy, and / or checking for heat signatures in buildings. The espionage is the old fashioned kind. One man – one mission, and I love that.
As the story begins, Monroe is a CIA agent stationed in Paris. His life is turned upside down when a sniper’s bullet kills his wife, while they stand in line for admission to the Paris Opera. After her death, Monroe falls apart and resigns from the CIA. But a man with Monroe’s skill set doesn’t just disappear. He reinvents himself, so he can find and kill the man who stole his wife from him.
In a round about way (I am trying not to spoil the story), his quest leads him back to the United States. He ends up working for a spy-master known only as Mr. Nine, who works outside the regular intelligence agencies. Nine gives Monroe an assignment. He is sent to find an assassin nick-named Simon Scythe. Scythe is no ordinary contract-killer. You see, he assists people in committing suicide. People pay him to kill them – one shot; quick, and clean. He is Dr. Death with a gun, and hence the books title ‘Nobody Dies For Free’. Monroe, eventually finds Scythe but the information the killer reveals leads Monroe on a more dangerous and personal mission. One that takes him back to Paris, to London, and then returning to the United States.
Nobody Dies For Free is a rapid fire thriller written purely to entertain, like a spy novel from the 1960s. If you are after a story that shows the true world of espionage – detailing trade craft, and modern surveillance techniques, this will not be the book for you. However, if you want to check your brain in neutral and be zipped around the globe, and pushed from one plot point to the next, then Nobody Dies For Free could be the tale for you.
For total transparency, please note, David Foster has work coming out from Pro Se Productions, the publishers of Nobody Dies For Free. The review copy of Nobody Dies For Free was also provided by Pro Se.