Places To Be, People To Kill
by Martin H. Greenberg and Brittiany A. Koren (Ed.)
Review by Barry Newton
DAW Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756404178
Date: 05 June 2007 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Stories of death—deliberate, precautionary, or just incidental: this collection of stories about murderers, executioners and assassins is (wait for it. . .) to die for. The breadth of concepts is impressive, from Tanya Huff's brother-and-sister assassins, to Jim Hines' Romanian lesbian witch, to John Marco's phantasmal ninja. These are only three of a dozen stories, linked only by death.
Vree and Bannon, the sibling assassins in "Exactly", are members of an elite corps attached to an army. Often, murder of the right individual can avert war, or bring about surrender with minimal loss of (other) life. Huff keeps her tongue in close proximity to her cheek when writing these tales, and this is no exception. The primary mission is not murder, but espionage. Only the most unavoidable eliminations occur. . .
Lady Sable, a Guild assassin on vacation, is forced to take an assignment when the client holds the lives of her children forfeit; a very dangerous game indeed, in "Money's Worth".
The Romanian Valerica is pursued by her father, who needs familial blood for his own eternal life—and no, there are no vampire stories in this book.
The Lady Kita pursues her target across the oceans, and returns successful. But the victim in this story may not be who you'd expect. Japanese honor demands justice, even beyond the grave.
There are no straightforward motivations in this book, nothing as simple as it appears. Just very different characters with different places to be, and people to kill.