Jason Johnson’s thriller Aloysius Tempo is about an Irish-born freelance assassin living in Amsterdam. Tempo advertises his “hard solve” services on the dark web. He specialises in arranging “accidents” and the murders he commits are untraceable.
“The law needs a murder before a motive,” is his philosophy. He “cuts the truth in half, into quarters, slides it all away to places where it ’s too expensive, too pointless to look.”
Tempo is a scary character.
It took me a while to relax enough in his company to be able to enjoy the story. He is a careful operator and his clients are more than satisfied with his services. All his online reviews are five-star.
Imelda Feather is a patriotic civil servant working close to the Irish government. She appears to know a lot about Tempo. She is working on a “PR” assignment linked to Ireland’s 1916 centenary celebrations. But this is not public relations as we usually understand that dark art. What she has in mind is the cold, ruthless assassination of four of Ireland’s most despised citizens. She wants to recruit Tempo because he “barely exists” and his moral code is “haywire”.
As Tempo sets to work, he becomes involved in a dangerous game of international espionage where he is both hunted and hunter.
Aloysius Tempo is a gritty and gripping thriller and at just over 253 pages it’s a fast read.
Jason Johnson’s earlier works are Woundlicker (2005), Alina (2006) and Sinker (2014. Aloysius Tempo is published by Liberties Press.
[Disclosure: An ARC was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review].
If you like Aloysius Tempo by Jason Johnson you might also like Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent.