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People Die

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  567 ratings  ·  28 reviews
JJ is a pro. He's quick. He's reliable. He's efficient. Murder by contract is his business--and each job makes JJ feel alive. He savors the sleek silence of the bullet and the graceful fall of the body, not to mention the quiet beauty of the corpse. Still, killing is an uncertain profession, and a shakeup in the company stirs grim shock waves. Minor people are being taken ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Kensington (first published March 7th 2002)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  567 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Quite simply Kevin Wignall is in a class of his own.
I am so pleased that People Die has been made available for the first time outside the U.S.
That it has not previously been accessible, more so as it is his debut novel is almost unforgivable.
I simply devour anything he writes, my interest having been stirred by listening to him a few years ago at a U.K. book festival in Bristol.
His writing is economical, full of personality. Not a word misplaced, a sentence too long or a chapter over written.
Terence M
Audiobook - 7:09 hours - Narrator: David John
Listened to: 5:00 hours; balance: 2.09 hours
This book had been highly praised by one reviewer in particular and I was so impressed by the review that I had purchased the Audible audiobook and downloaded it onto my iPhone within five minutes of reading the review.
This book simply dribbled along. I thought the key character "JJ" (Somebody Hoffman) was boring. At first I blamed the narrator, David John, but eventually I realised that the actual characte
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2002-reads
When you're a hitman, one killing is pretty much the same as another. The method may vary, but essentially, you're going in, catching someone by surprise and sending them on to the great beyond. It's all in a day's work, actually, most of the time. But every once in a while, there's something unique about the kill, something that stays with you long after the event. That's what William "JJ" Hoffman discovers after assassinating David Bostridge while in Moscow. When he made the hit, Bostridge was ...more
Sep 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On rereading, I bumped Wignall's first book up a star. The plot is a standard one among novels about hit men: what happens when the hit man is himself targeted. LAwrence Block and Tom Wood have made good use of that plot line. In this case, William Hoffman (AKA J.J.) is a non-ideological hired gun with a highly developed set of skills and a relatively low view of himself. How much moral self-esteem could a hit man have, after all? When his agent/broker, Viner, is killed, as well as anyone associ ...more
Brenda McHugh
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

This is a well written, unique story. You'll find yourself going against the grain and actually liking a hired gunman. It's a fast paced easy to follow story with likeable characters. Only downside - I wish I knew what the future held for JJ and Jem. I'm about to download another book by this author which, for me, is a high recommendation!
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb read

I have read a few kevin wignall books and loved them all so I wasn't disappointed by this either story was brilliant lots of twists simply put a superb read 5 stars from me
Feb 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very dark and violent book yet original in that you think of a hit man as being cold, calculated and uncaring. This story is told from the viewpoint of the hitman, and despite the person he is you can see that there is still a heart in there somewhere.
Protagonists in Kevin Wignall's books are always pretty damaged people, either by events (like Conrad Hirst) or by their personality and nature (like JJ in this novel).

JJ is professional hitman working for the assassin network (for a lack of better term) that is hired by all sides - governments, criminal underground, basically whoever has the money. Everything works fine until by sheer accident JJ finds out that one of the intelligence agencies that his network works for began the cleanup of all
David C Ward
Wignall’s first book; he got better so I’ll give it 3 stars but this doesn’t really work. A hitman with a conscience - supposedly - who mediates on life’s purposes, synchronicity and causation among other big thoughts gets targeted because of a job he did in Moscow. He solves the problem becoming friends with the family of the Moscow hit along the way. The action isn’t bad but the moralism that he’s somehow a good guy is fatuous. Emotionally the story from the first scene to the revelation at th ...more
barbara jones
I believe this was the first book by this author. I have read many of his other books before this one. I am glad that I did.

I found this book so slow. So boring. I cannot believe I even finished it. I expected more. I have bought another one of this author. I do hope it is better than this one. I do know that he has written some really good ones. Thank goodness. Otherwise he would be looking for another profession.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
Contract killer JJ's life is turned upside down when he himself is targeted for death. Backed into a corner and with nothing left to lose, he turns the tables on whoever is after him, determined to find and kill them first.

Sure, it's not the most original premise, but it's one that tends to make for excellent entertainment when done well - and Wignall does it very well indeed.
Michael Cotignola
I would have ranked this book with more stars if there wasn't the inappropriate relationship that developed between JJ and Jem, a man nearly thirty and a girl only sixteen. Not cool. Even though the author made the relationship a "close friendship," it started with something far less pure, and it was hard for me to read JJ's thoughts about Jem. They weren't graphic, but they were bad enough.
Mr Kenneth L Mullen
Great Story

Another great story by Kevin with plenty off action and good strong characters. Lots of different locations and again an unexpected ending. Looking forward to reading more.
Stephen D
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good first effort

I read this after reading The Traitor's Story and the development of the author is clear. Still, this is a worthwhile read with abundant character development.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not the best book of his that I have read but it was still good. His books strike a responsive chord in me.I look forward to reading all that he has written.
Nov 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel starts at such a breakneck pace that I never expected it to maintain the pace of the story. However, it hits the brakes so hard that I found it really jarring. When the story leaves a massive body count in Europe and heads to an idyllic New England inn, the tone changes with the pace, feeling like a completely different story.

Writing about hit men is difficult. In many ways, the hit man as written is the construct of fiction and the movies. So to bring something new to the genre and ch
Jerl Louk
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All, except my Grandma and the young
I read this book and instantly became a fan of the author. It was a great time for me to read a good thriller that wasn't 'over-the-top' with relatable characters. I've already recommended it to friends who enjoy thrillers and don't mind killing and some foul language (what thriller doesn't have that?)
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
on a scale of 50 shades of gray to slaughterhouse five, I think this book rates just below the exact middle. it is the Bridget Jones' Diary of quick thriller novels. with lots of kill scenes. it felt like the author was writing this as a movie rather than a book.
Jim Coughenour
Better than average thriller about a sensitive assassin-for-hire. Of course the premise is nonsense, but Wignall starts off with a bang (so to speak), and even if his hard-boiled hit man gets a bit soft toward the end, People Die should give you an entertaining evening or two.
G Lovell
I enjoyed this book. The writing is from a perspective different from my usual authors.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it liked it
A pretty good book about an assasin. What did I learn from this book? Ummmm if you don't have a badass evil character in your book, just create some Russian mafioso guy. Good to know I guess.
Katharine Ott
Sep 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
"People Die" - written by Kevin Wignall and published in 2002 by Simon & Schuster. Quite bad, not sure why I finished it.
Kathryn Ross

After 'discovering' Kevin Wignall I've been devising his books and short stories. Liked this one too but not as much as others.
Jan 23, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
01/22/08 rec via bookmooch
J. Duck
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Expected a lot more action from the synopsis on the back.
Dave Cozens
rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2016
Don Packett
rated it it was ok
Jan 09, 2014
Philip A. Grimm
rated it did not like it
Apr 03, 2016
Jacqui Ball
rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2018
Stephen Saunders
rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2019
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Army Child till age nine.

Settled back in a small town in the west of England.

Lancaster University - degree in Politics &
International Relations.


Also writes as K.J. Wignall

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