And we’re now back to the first of the two Hitman novels. This is Hitman Enemy Within by William C. Dietz, released in 2007. You know, I actually like this one. I read it multiple times and every single time I enjoy it thoroughly. I also really like the character of Mr. Nu and I wish he was given screentime in the actual games. I guess we got a similar character later, but Nu was way superior in my opinion. By that I mean – he isn’t a complete idiot, but actually an intelligent man. Back to the book though. There are some parts that I’d argue with, but those are minor and not completely character breaking. Just small missteps I could count on the fingers of one hand. So what about the story? Is the book even worth reading? Yes. I’d say so. And it’s exactly why I’ll only be mentioning major plot points this time. Because you should go buy it and read it. Here, I’ll help you out. Oh, and all of this down below? HEAVY GREEN TEXT. I’m not doing it because I don’t want to ruin your eyes completely, but keep it in mind.
The novel begins with a meeting of two very important and powerful men in the Rhine River Valley in Germany. Aristotle Thorakis – a Greek international shipping magnate wishes to borrow money from Pierre Douay during an expensive lunch. Thorakis isn’t keen about eating in public. His personal chef accompanies him wherever he goes as the magnate has a severe allergy to nuts. Fortunately, this time, he doesn’t have to worry about it. Douay is the first to start to topic of finances. Thorakis wants to borrow “about 500 million euros” (reasonable enough, I guess), but Douay’s also interested in something the magnate has access to. Information. Douay’s involved in a group called Puissance Treize – a direct enemy of the Agency and since Thorakis is affiliated with the latter, Douay asks him for a simple favor. “I want to know everything you know. Especially whatever you can tell me about the man called agent 47.”
We travel to USA. Yakima, Washington, to be exact, where an assassination is about to take place. 47’s target is a man called Big Kahuna – a leader of the local motorcycle gang involved in drug trafficking. I sense a trend of drug trafficking in this universe… 47 disguises himself as one of the mobsters – Mel Johnson, also known as the Grim Reaper to infiltrate the gangs meeting place. Johnson has recently been released from prison so his fellow gangsters shouldn’t be able to recognize him. There is someone who can though. Marla Norton – a dangerous woman with bright green eyes blows agent’s cover. It appears that she was tasked to protect Big Kahuna and 47 has no other option than to shoot his way out. He manages to eliminate the target and get out relatively unscathed, but he isn’t the only one as Marla is still alive.
Marla is soon revealed to be an agent for Puissance Treize. She failed her mission is now about to confront her supervisor. A Russian woman called Mrs Kaberov presents her with another task – guarding someone called Ali bin Ahmed bin Saleh Al-Fulani – and a gift – a polished bullet caliber .45 to remind Marla that if she “fucks up again she’ll get the second one right between the eyes.”
In the meantime, 47 heads out to eat his breakfast when a man catches his attention. The man seems to be wealthy and 47 senses danger similar as to when he faced Marla. The man isn’t an enemy this time. Quite the opposite. He works for the ICA and he introduces himself as Mr. Nu. As part of the Board of Directors, he’s more than interested in recent events, suspects a mole in the Agency and wants 47 to investigate. Starting with the only other person alive after the Yakima massacre.
47 carries out his task almost immediately. He traces Marla to Seattle, Washington and finds out she lives on a houseboat. He sneaks in, waits for the Puissance Treize agent to come back, attacks her and attempts to get information from her before making a mistake that lets his target escape. Or so she thinks running away from her houseboat now covered in flames. 47 hopes that she’ll lead him up the food chain.
Aristotle Thorakis and Pierre Douay meet once again to discuss business. The magnate is worried that Puissance Treize might not able to complete their part of the deal, but Douay calms him down. The Agency cannot know about Thorakis’ involvement with the competitor, so he tries to limit the number of people that know about him. Unfortunately for him, Al-Fulani has full knowledge about the organization Thorakis is working for… as well as pretty much everyone else. Let me just say that Thorakis isn’t the best when it comes to covering his ass.
47 travels to Fez, Morocco, as lead by the microchip implanted in Marla’s belongings. He needs to scout the terrain so he chooses a disguise based on a previously seen German tourist and heads out for a scheduled meeting with professor Paul Rollet – a source of information on Ali bin Ahmed bin Saleh Al-Fulani. The contact tells him that Al-Fulani is a successful businessman but he’s known for more infamous operations such as smuggling hashish into the European countries. 47 now also knows of Al-Fulani’s Puissance Treize connections as well as his rather interesting hobby. Rollet mentions an “orphanage” Al-Fulani visits every Friday night and 47 is somehow drawn to that topic. He isn’t the only one gathering intel however as one of Al-Fulani’s spies overhears the entire conversation. 47 falls into a trap set by Marla and only his disguise saves him as the man he based his uniform on happens to appear in the same place at the same time. The agent manages to escape and Marla is now more than angry about herself and her mission. There is another matter that requires her attention though. Thanks to the spy, professor Rollet has been captured and is about to be interrogated. Rollet gets killed but not before revealing 47’s plans to Al-Fulani.
The agent takes his time to prepare for the upcoming mission. When he ultimately decides to visit the orphanage, he learns that it is actually a place used for organizing child “performance shows” and more. There’s a strangely familiar atmosphere to this place and 47’s thoughts wonder back to his childhood years in Romania. Al-Fulani, warned by Paul Rollet, decides to not show up so 47 leaves the orphanage disappointed.
Before we get to the next mission, let’s switch our attention to Sudan in North Africa where a group of Dinka refugees march on searching for food and a place to stay. They’re hoping to get to Chad, but they aren’t so lucky. They are attacked by slavers, yet the attackers are only interested in children.
Several days pass before 47 realizes that Marla is most likely keeping Al-Fulani away from the orphanage. He gets a call from his controller who tells him that he’s not the only one tailing Al-Fulani. The Otero brothers would also like a slice of the pie. They were apparently hired by the Tumaco cartel in Colombia and are known to work with a wide set of explosives. In fact, the Agency now wants Al-Fulani alive. 47 deducts that the area the Oteros might target is a big public square in Morocco. He searches the perimeter for any possible type of bomb, but there is none to be found. Instead, he catches glimpse of Marla Norton and her people. He’s well disguised so Marla doesn’t recognize him. The two agents now have the same goal in mind – protect Al-Fulani at all cost, yet it is 47 who finds first two of four Otero brothers in a nearby church. Pedro and Manuel are soon to be dead, but that’s only half of the gang. José and Carlos are still on the loose and currently stealing a tanker truck loaded with petrol. They foolishly stop the vehicle in front of the church and 47 manages to kill José and later also Carlos Otero after an intense chase scene. Al-Fulani is still alive.
A small inside to the Agency as we enter the Black Coral Key with Aristotle Thorakis. He’s heading for a very important meeting with the members of the Board of Directors. Diana and Nu are also here. The “mysterious Chairman” knows that there is someone not quite trustworthy in midst of the Agency, most likely in this very room, but Thorakis has an entire Puissance Treize to protect him. Or at least those are his thoughts as fear starts to creep in.
47 continues to follow Al-Fulani and Marla as they decide to leave Fez. The Agency assists him by hiring freelancers to get him to Chad without any problems. People here don’t exactly like foreigners and Gazzeau and Numo are a way to combat any possible difficult encounters such as getting a permission to enter from the police officer.
Meanwhile, southeast of Oum-Chalouba, the last of the Dinkas are escorted by slavers. In the group are seven year old Baka and his older sister Kola. They are headed for an auction in the town itself. They’re not the only ones though as Marla, Al-Fulani and 47 also happen to visit the auction. Kola is separated from her brother and 47 decides to follow Al-Fulani’s slaves and make a move when the right time comes. He finally catches his prey, interrogates him and leaves him for the children to deal with their slaver. The interrogation brings valuable information – the name of Aristotle Thorakis is now known to 47 and soon, the Agency.
But not before Diana is attacked in her hotel room by Mr. Nu himself. Nu thinks that Diana is the one having connections to Puissance Treize and he doesn’t take “no” for an answer. Aristotle Thorakis is informed of this fact, it’s seems like he’s safe. For now. “The rest is up to agent 47.”
Marla is gone (and never seen again), so 47, Gazzeau and Numo fly to Italy where the children are left in hands of padre Vittorio. 47 is quite perplexed when Kola says that the Dinka’s will remember his name. Or rather the name he was using at the time. 47 then meets up with Mr. Nu in Rome. Nu says that if he really believes that Diana is innocent than he has to prove it. “I need time”, 47 responds. “Two weeks.” Nu is reluctant, but ultimately, he agrees.
The search for Thorakis is on as 47 finds him in Portugal living with his mistress (one of them actually). Disguised as a paparazzi, he photographs the magnate’s house and sets up an interview with his maid. He learns Thorakis’ routine as well as one important weakness – his nut allergy that would be a perfect way to create an accident.
47 confirms to Nu that Diana is not involved in any way with Puissance Treize. His controller is now free and the two are working together again. Meanwhile, Pierre Douay receives info that Aristotle Thorakis is in danger. He doesn’t seem to want to protect the magnate, but sends in two assassins anyway. Those assassins are quickly taken care of by 47 (brilliantly, I might add, but you have to read the book to find out!), who manages to sneak into Thorakis’ mansion and eliminate him.
“The sun was out, the air clear and a hawk could be seen circling in the distance. The killer was at rest.”
(I couldn’t find nice art to go with this…)