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- "THE OFFICIAL, ALL-ORIGINAL, ALL-OUT THRILLING PREQUEL TO THE MUCH-ANTICIPATED NEW GAME HITMAN: ABSOLUTION"
- ―Hitman: Damnation's Tagline
Hitman: Damnation is the second novel for the Hitman Series. It was released on October 30, 2012 in North America, but is also scheduled to be released in other countries as well. It was written by author Raymond Benson. More can be found on the official Hitman: Absolution website.
In September 2011, 47 is on assignment on Mt. Kangchenjunga, Nepal with Diana providing her usual assistance from Paris, France. 47 is set to kill Nam Vo, a Chinese general whose squad routinely pillages and rapes Tibetan villagers, and plans to use a sonic boomer to trigger an avalanche and make the general's death look like a natural accident. Diana was set to instruct 47 on where to place the boomer and arrange a helicopter for his escape, but cuts contact with him unexpectedly. On her end, she was sabotaging ICA financial accounts as her first step in abandoning the agency, and was forced to cut 47 off when ICA thugs charged towards her hotel room. 47 is paranoid that she abandoned him for no good reason, manages to kill Nam Vo by triggering the avalanche but traps himself in a small crevice of the mountain in the process. 47 escapes relatively quickly, but is in severe back pain and is nursed back to health for two weeks by an indigenous Nepalese couple. 47 goes to nearby Kathmandu where he is prescribed painkillers, and spent 14 weeks recovering there, where he became addicted to the painkillers. He went on to Guadalajara, Mexico to buy a new pair of Silverballers, then decides to stop contacting the ICA and let them assume he is dead.
Twelve months after the Nepal incident, 47 is a freelance assassin and down on his luck. He must accept small, simple contracts such as Roget paying him to kill Hector Corado (both gangsters in the Caribbean). 47 finds Corado at a yacht party hosted by crime billionaire Emilio Fernandez, off the coast of Ocho Rios, Jamaica (he is there with the alias Michael Brandt, a bottled water heir from Luxembourg). 47 lures Corado to his helicopter with a forged napkin note, quickly desposes of Corado and his entourage, and enjoys the party before all the guests are sailed back to shore.
Roget treats 47 to a trip to Rio de Janeiro aboard a private flight, which only he is aboard. The plane suddenly descends into the ocean and to 47's shock, the jet has no pilot. 47 takes a floatation device, jumps out of the plane and floats in the ocean for seven hours before blacking out. He wakes up on a hospital bed aboard the ICA company yacht Jean Danjou II. Jade Nguyen calmly explains that Roget helped them locate 47, and the plane was meant to be remote-controlled to a safer landing on water before 47 shot the control device in a panic. Benjamin Travis joins in, and the two of them try to entice 47 back into the ICA (omitting that they were indirectly responsible for 47's Nepal injury by chasing Diana, and momentarily convincing 47 that Diana wanted him dead). He flatly and repeatedly tells them "I don't work for the Ageny anymore", but changes his mind after being lavishly nursed, wined and dined aboard the ship for two days. They brief 47 on his assignment to kill Dana Linder, and possibly Charlie Wilkins if he chooses to run for president in the aftermath. He is to kill Linder within the week, and accepts. It is early October 2012, five weeks away from the election.
47's first stop is Park Slope, Brooklyn to meet Cherry Jones - a divorced mother of two who secretly deals in heavy weapons, drugs and classified FBI information. In exchange for writing off $100,000 that Cherry owes him, 47 stocks up on weapons, fireworks, and FBI info on a possible link between Charlie Wilkins and Cromwell (well-known head of the New Model Army, a domestic terror group). Cherry's abusive ex-husband Bill makes a surprise visit, and is shocked to see her heavy weapons cache for the first time. Cherry signals 47 to snap Bill's neck, and says she can easily have the body disposed of. As a token of gratitude, 47 shyly accepts several bottles of painkillers.
47 now goes to Chicago, where he will kill Dana Linder as she speaks at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The client arranges for 47 to use an M40A3 sniper rifle, probably for purposes of the weapon to be traced to a patsy. 47 is disguised in drag as a grandmother, takes aim from the adjacent BP Bridge, and shoots Linder dead as she's speaking to a crowd of over 9,000.
The American public quickly jump to the conclusion that Linder was ordered dead by incumbent president Mark Burdett, despite the fact that he attended Linder's funeral without incident. Charlie Wilkins announces he will run for president in her place, though ICA's client still delays ordering 47 to kill Wilkins. Wilkins makes a lengthy, cooperative phone call to Cromwell, revealing that they are indeed working together. Both of them also suspect Burdett. Before leaving Chicago for the Church of Will in Virginia, 47 visits Birdie to pick up C4 explosive and heart attack-inducing poison.
47 applies for the job of gardener, under the alias of Iowan farmer Stan Johnson, after their previous gardener died of a heart attack (47 found him at a bar and shared beers with him). He is given a tour by Wilkins' personal assistant Helen McAdams, who quickly takes a liking to him. 47 feels out the Church of Will, and finds that he genuinely enjoys his new relationship with Helen. He opens up to her about his painkiller addiction, as does she about her former problems with heroin. After two weeks of working, 47 is first permitted into the restricted area around Wilkins' on-site mansion. Colonel Bruce Ashton, Wilkins' head of security, calls "Stan" to his office, confronts 47 on his identity and knocks him unconscious. 47 wakes up in the back of a Charlie's restaurant van, where some of the Colonel's underlings plan to bury him in concrete near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 47 escapes the death trap, disposes of them, and drives their van back to Church of Will and is welcomed back as if nothing was amiss. He confronts Chambers with a gun, another aide to Wilkins who used to date Helen and was passive-aggressive towards "Stan", extracts that Wilkins is flying with Helen and the Colonel to Cyprus for some reason, and kills him in a faked falling-down-the-stairs accident.
47 flies to Cyprus with a new disguise (male gypsy), decides to quit the painkillers and quickly deduces along with Jade that Wilkins killed Dana Linder's father Eric Shipley in 1976 to date Mrs. Shipley. Wilkins is found at the Cyprus Hilton, where he is meeting with members of OPEC, Russian mobsters and other powerful foreign bankers for campaign funds. 47 kills the Colonel as he's waiting for a massage in the spa, along with a handful of employees who threaten to blow his cover. Wilkins' entourage stumbles upon the bodies, and the following police investigation severely damages Wilkins' reputation in the United States. The client finally signals 47 to kill Wilkins, that night.
47 infiltrates the mansion and plants C4 under Wilkins' desk, counting on his ritual of praying there every midnight. Growing impatient, 47 instead confronts Wilkins at a multi-religion prayer shrine in the basement, where 47 is knocked down from behind. Wilkins is quickly joined by Cromwell, who is revealed to be Dana Linder's seemingly-dead brother Darren Shipley. While Wilkins ventures upstairs to try to dismiss Helen from the mansion, Cromwell tortures 47 with an electric cattle prod. 47 tries to convince Cromwell that Wilkins killed his father, and manages to hold out before the explosives detonate. Post-traumatic stress disorder gets the better of Cromwell, and 47 escapes. Helen is distraught and outraged when she learns that "Stan" is 47 (Wilkins apparently told Helen that 47 was coming to kill him). While fleeing, 47 incapacitates a lone police officer and steals his unmarked Dodge Charger cruiser.
On November 1, 2012, Wilkins is preparing to give a speech at the Washington Mall where 47 plans to head him off. Cromwell and the New Model Army, disguised as the National Guard, begin massacring Wilkins' innocent supporters. In the pandemonium, Helen confronts 47 before a Guardsman shoots her in the chest. 47 gives her a mercy kill, then goes on the warpath towards Wilkins. 47 steals a bus, gives chase to Cromwell's bus before shooting him in the head, and chases Wilkins' limousine to the Tidal Basin. 47 rams Wilkins with the bus, he flies fifty feet into the lake and is later found dead, and 47 manages to escape.
Mark Burdett is reelected on November 6, along with only three of the many America First congressmen, after most all of Wilkins' dirty dealings came to light. The November 1 riot left 193 dead and 758 wounded. 47 is laying low in Guadalajara as his arms dealer prepares new Silverballers. Diana finds and rents the Chicago mansion featured in the first mission of Hitman: Absolution, in which 47 is assigned to kill her.
The novel got positive reviews. Amazon gave the novel a 4.5 out of 5. FBF Network rated it 100%, and EGM book review gave it 8.5. Goodreads gave the novel 3.6 on 5. Apple Books gave the novel an average 4.0 out of 5
- The book briefly refers to the mission Death of a Showman, particularly the client's request to show Joseph Clarence a photograph before killing him.
- 47's cover as a church gardener is very similar to his genuine attempt at retirement in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.
|Media of the Hitman series|
|Main Games||Hitman: Codename 47 - Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - Hitman: Contracts - Hitman: Blood Money - Hitman: Absolution - HITMAN™ - HITMAN™ 2 - HITMAN™ III|
|Other Games||Hitman 2 Christmas Game - Hitman: Vegas - Hitman: Sniper Challenge - Hitman: Sniper - Hitman GO - HITMAN™ 2: Sniper Assassin|
|Novels||Hitman: Enemy Within - Hitman: Damnation|
|Films||Hitman (2007) - Hitman: Agent 47|