A Last Act of Charity: meet JJ Stoner and the Killing Sisters

The opening episode of the Killing Sisters trilogy introduces a cast of unique characters – three women who’ve made murder their business, and a world-weary warrior who’s had his fill of killing. Their paths cross in brutal, sometimes sensual encounters as we meet the underworld manipulators who support them, their victims who may not be entirely innocent, and the shadowy actors who give the orders.

Ideal for readers who enjoy Don Winslow, Trevanian or Derek Raymond, A Last Act Of Charity is a cinematic read – think True Detective meets Lisbeth Salander. Here’s what recent readers have said about it…

Blistering, raw, unapologetic and fierce are the words I would use to describe Westworth’s novel – as an introduction to his writing, this has definitely gotten me hooked.

Fleshing out JJ Stoner’s character immediately brings his contemporaries to mind, even if he is more Reacher than he is Bourne – the fact remains that Stoner is what Reacher and Bourne are not, which is effortlessly cool. Beneath this veneer, however, is the more layered complexity that I am looking forward to connecting with in the books that follow.

Westworth has juxtaposed the familiar comfort of pulp fiction against blockbuster storytelling in this first instalment of Killing Sisters. 25 pages in, and I was already visualizing this on screen, with an internal debate on who would play Westworth’s anti-hero. While you may struggle to like Stoner, there is no one else that you would want in your corner should the proverbial shit hit the fan. This is a man who has hardened himself by consorting with his own demons, looked them in the eye, and accepted who he has to be.

Westworth’s style is brash which suits the story he tells. Stoner’s world cannot be defined in any term other than grim, and one cannot help but wonder that there is quite possibly such a parallel that exists when we go to sleep.

This is a book to read if you want to challenge your perception of the typical crime thriller – love it or hate it, you will most definitely develop a strong opinion about Westworth’s debut novel. As a writer myself, Westworth has set the bar pretty high for a story that is not short on blood, guts, and gasoline. This is a book that I hope to one day see on screen, and it clutches the edginess of its rock n’ roll ethos close to the chest.

This book is swamp blues personified.
♥♥♥♥♥ AbdulQ

This is one of those books that rather fries the brain, but in a good way. The style of writing is very free flowing with none of the ‘Lee Child Terseness’ that has become de rigeur in action thrillers. Once you get a handle on it, it feels like the literary equivalent of a Robert Rodriguez movie – lots of sex, action and bloody mayhem (oh, and music).

I have no idea how long it takes to write one of these books but it feels like one of those 70s exploitation novels hammered out on a typewriter in a week by someone like Michael Moorcock, while doing lots and lots of speed. In case you doubt it, that IS a recommendation! Should be re-released with a lurid painted cover.

If you like Quarry, Parker et al I’d recommend giving this a go, but I can see it appealing to Killing Eve fans too as it has that sort of high-energy bloodlust and sly humour.
♥♥♥♥♥ DavidH

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A Last Act Of Charity by Frank Westworth is available as an ebook to download at Amazon, or you can buy signed paperback copies direct from the author

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