Last Hope For Hire by Matthew Wilcox

Book Description

Allen’s son is in danger. A rare form of epilepsy is damaging his brain and Allen’s insurance is cutting him off. To cover the costs, Allen returns to being a high-tech mercenary. Not exactly ideal for a father who enjoys carbs far more than stomach crunches. After his first mission back, Allen soothes his wounds before getting a message from Eamon Tor, America’s first trillionaire. Tor tells Allen about Eden Therapy. It treats terrible diseases but can also drive patients insane. Still, it’s exciting news–especially with the offer of complete care for Allen’s son as a reward. But Tor has a surprise. It’s a choice that puts Allen’s conscience, marriage, and abilities to the test, and sends his ragtag team on a dangerous operation halfway around the world.

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My Review

I was sent a digital copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Matthew Wilcox.

Set in Chicago, Last Hope For Hire is the story of a man who is so financially defeated by the American healthcare system that in his forties, and past his prime, he returns to a dangerous yet lucrative life as a mercenary.

His two year old son, Benjamin, is severely epileptic with daily seizures causing him to lose developmental functionality. Benjamin is unable to deal with the slightest of illnesses without hospital treatment and the bills are mounting up.

The main character, his father Allen, was once a highly sought after mercenary known as “Mystic’” due to his ability to leave no trace behind him when on a mission.

He was once college roommates with Eamon Tor, the worlds first trillionaire, who has kept an eye on Allen’s career and who has a job for Allen that would mean an end to all the bills and may even lead to a cure for Benjamin.

Such “offers you can’t refuse” tend to come with a price though, and this one will involve Allen destroying a newly developed cell-editing technology known as “Eden Therapy”, which has been shown to cure cancer and would seem to be the answer to Benjamin’s and therefore Allen’s problems.

Nobel prize winner Tor is asking a lot of Allen:

“Are you asking me to break into wherever this Eden Therapy stuff is and steal it for you? Then you’ll use it to help Benjamin?”

“No,” Eamon responded.

“I’m asking you to destroy it. Then I’ll help Benjamin.”

Allen’s team are keen to sign up for the mission, after spending a little time with Benjamin and seeing some of the problems the family has to surmount on a daily basis. They comprise Daryl, Allen’s ex-partner who originally trained him. Haley, Daryl’s daughter and Allen’s newest partner who is in her twenties. She is a rookie and this will only be her second mission. Haley’s friend Kyle is their remote support specialist, going by his online handle of “Meat Tank“. Their first job will be an intellectual property heist to get them the blueprints of the research facility in Greenland, where the Eden Therapy is being tested, owned by octogenarian Olivia Rusk, recently cured of cancer and now seen kick-boxing on a video feed.

Dr Sloan is the scientist working in the underground Greenland facility. He is not allowed to leave and has been tasked with stopping the side effects to Eden Therapy which seem to send patients into a psychotic rage resulting in multiple deaths.

Tor wants Allen to rescue Dr Sloan and destroy his work, then bring him to work for Tor instead.

There are plenty of exciting action sequences in this book as the team attempts their dangerous mission(s). In fact the story begins in the midst of Haley’s first mission as Allen’s partner and sets the scene nicely for the type of work they do. The story is peppered with hi-tech gadgets: Allen has a personal drone cycle, futuristic (but out of date to Allen) weapons, a data cloning device and somewhat outdated but functional high tech armour.

The slower-paced sections involving Allen and his relationship with his wife and son are full of heart and treated with care and just enough detail to be believable for the reader and for us to understand that the author is experienced in this subject. The social commentary on the dire state of healthcare billing in the US is telling, and probably only relatable to people living in this country, although it may act as an eye-opener to readers from other countries. Just how far would you be prepared to go to pay for necessary healthcare for your family?

The characters are all fully fleshed out and believable. Allen’s wife Kelsey is harried yet tireless in looking after Benjamin; Haley is excited to be on the team yet somewhat nervous about her inexperience. Daryl is concerned for his daughter’s safety, yet proud of her capabilities. Allen is a desperate man driven back to a life he had hoped he left behind for good.

All in all this was an intelligent and enjoyable book and I would recommend it to fans of thrillers with futuristic gadgets and dangerous missions.


About the Author

After graduating from film school, Matthew Wilcox worked in advertising as a copywriter penning everything from pickle coupons to national TV commercials. He eventually took a break from full-time work to focus on raising his kids and helping his son in his fight against epilepsy. In addition to writing ads, Matthew also studied comedy at a number of Chicago’s writing and satire programs. Some of his other completed works include online satire, several sketch revues, and a one-act play. He lives with his family in Chicago, Illinois


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