Two books of the hitman genre simultaneously hit (a-ha, pun) my bookcase. Both are solid entries from consistently entertaining authors and each features a male and female hitman duo.
Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong 2007 (480 pgs) & Patriot Acts by Greg Rucka 2007 (338 pgs)
From Armstrong, who normally writes fantasy, comes a new series with a totally difference voice. A serial killer believed to be a hitman is getting a lot of attention from the FBI. Bad business for the hitman community, so Nadia (cop turned vigilante turned hitman) and her enigmatic mentor Jack set out to track him down. The pace and dialogue are laidback and matter-of-fact, like 50s noir without the patter.
Rucka’s entry is a return to his Atticus Kodiak series, last seen in 2001. Atticus’s association with elite assassin Elena turns deadly. Again. When Atticus is mistakenly identified as one of “The Ten” (the world’s most wanted hitmen) he and Elena’s efforts to find safety may force Atticus to take that last step from bodyguard to hitman. This book by far the fiercer of the two, the action grabs you by the throat and never lets go. Laced with bitterness, the book explores more of the motivations and machinations of hitmen and those who would hire them.